Alumni: Leila Banijamali

Leila Banijamali

Leila Banijamali


Founder, Startup Documents

Earning a JD degree at the University of Ottawa gave Leila Banijamali a great overview of the legal world but little practical experience. So in she enrolled in the one-year masters program in intellectual property law at Golden Gate and got an instant immersion in Bay Area startup culture.

Most faculty members were practicing attorneys, working every day with tech companies facing real-world problems. She quickly fell in love with the work. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart,” she says. “I wanted to be part of this, to be on the ground floor with these creative entrepreneurs, helping them protect their ideas.”

By the time she completed the program she knew where she wanted to head – and had the confidence to make it happen. Within five years she had founded her own technology-focused firm. She called it Bedrock and began helping young software developers license their work to companies like Tesla, Disney, LinkedIn, and Google.

Banijamali provided a valuable service, helping them form partnerships, protect their IP, and negotiate deals. But as she worked with small firms, she learned something else: The $5,000 or so in fees that lawyers typically charge to prepare founding documents was hard on new companies. So in 2014, she created her own startup and called it, yes, Startup Documents. It automates the company formation process and other core legal documents typically needed by startups, generating them quickly and for a flat fee.

“That’s the direction legal services are heading and young lawyers ought to be ready,” she says.