UCLA School of Law has established the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs (“LMI-Sandler Prize”), an entrepreneurship competition designed to recognize student innovation and leadership and support the real-world launch of promising new business ventures. The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school. It was established through gifts totaling more than $500,000 from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation and the Richard and Ellen Sandler Family Foundation.
“The LMI-Sandler Prize is a completely new way to reward law student achievement and promote the entrepreneurial ambitions of UCLA Law students and recent graduates,” UCLA School of Law Dean Rachel F. Moran said. “The competition will provide students with an opportunity to put the principles of entrepreneurship into practice and to use their law school education as a path to careers marked by fresh perspectives and bold initiatives.”
The LMI-Sandler Prize, which will be housed within the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, will complement the existing curriculum and programs within the Institute. During a year-long training process, students will receive robust support and guidance as they develop their competition entries. The preparation will begin with a series of orientation and planning events that work in tandem with the law school’s curriculum and that cover topics such as idea generation, team-building and networking. At least one member from each team will then be required to participate in a Business Plan Workshop to ensure that the fundamentals of developing a novel enterprise are fully addressed.
“The goal of the LMI-Sandler Prize is to offer students valuable training in management, problem-solving and leadership, which are skills that will benefit them in a wide range of careers,” Richard Sandler ’73, a partner in the law firm of Maron & Sandler, said. “In developing their competition entries, the participants will use their legal training and gain a better understanding of the legal issues that affect an entrepreneurial enterprise. This will provide the students with an entrée into the legal community as well as the entrepreneurial community.”
The prize competition, which will start in the fall of 2015, will be open to third-year UCLA Law students or J.D. graduates within two years of graduation. Participants will be able to compete as individuals or in a team with fellow law students, recent graduates or UCLA students in the undergraduate schools or other graduate or professional schools. Entries into the competition will be submitted to a blue-ribbon panel of judges who will select one or more teams to present their proposals in a final live round of competition. The judges will award the LMI-Sandler Prize only if they deem a proposal worthy of this recognition and support.