Courses A - C
185: Business and the Law
enrollment limited to first-year students
The majority of practicing lawyers represent businesses or individuals with business or investment interests. Unfortunately, the majority of law students have had limited exposure to business law and the first year curriculum offers few opportunities to explore this area. This course is intended to expose first year law students to the fundamental issues and perspectives that pervade business law. The goal is to make these topics accessible to all students, particularly those who have not taken many, if any, undergraduate courses in business, economics or accounting.
The course will be divided into three segments. The first segment, entitled "The Law of Business," will introduce students to fundamental business and tax law concepts as well as transactional issues that business lawyers confront. These issues include the alternative ways of organizing a business (corporation, partnership or limited liability company) and the alternative ways of structuring a business acquisition or merger. The second segment, entitled "The Ethical Practice of Business Law" will explore the pressures on new lawyers to conform to an existing culture, how lawyers get into trouble, and how business law can be practiced in an ethical manner. The third segment, entitled "Developing a Financial Mindset" will introduce planning tools (e.g., the time value of money, compound interest) and the planning process in the context of both personal financial planning and business planning. Certain classes may be taught with other professors and practicing lawyers.
There will be no final exam in this course. Students will be required to take a mid-term exam and to submit a short final paper. Class participation may also be taken into account. Students will also be expected to read the Wall Street Journal on a daily basis. (Kwall)