Corporate Finance & Business

Anyone who expects to work as a lawyer, whether in a law firm or in-house, representing for-profit or non-profit business organizations, should have a grounding in the core business courses: Business Entity Fundamentals; Basic Federal Income Tax; Taxation of Business Entities; and Accounting for Lawyers.

This kind of work is divided into five sub-categories, and include several suggested courses that may be helpful for each.

Large corporations. Law firm and in-house lawyers practicing corporate and finance law deal in almost every kind of business issue, from drafting and reviewing purchase and supply contracts, to structuring, negotiating, and drafting documents in mergers and acquisitions, to advising corporate directors on governance issues, to doing securities offerings, or organizing hedge funds. Helpful courses include: Commercial Law - Commercial Paper or Secured Transactions; Corporate Finance; Securities Regulation; Accounting; Negotiation for Lawyers; Antitrust.

Financial Institutions. Lawyers for financial institutions may find themselves engaged in the regulation of the business, or in the documentation, administration, or workout of loans. Helpful courses include: Bankruptcy; Commercial Paper; Secured Transactions; Commercial Lending/Finance Practicum; Banking Law; Investment Management Regulation; Private Placements/Venture Capital.

Emerging and Small Businesses. A lawyer's business law practice may be geared to smaller or family-owned businesses, or start-up businesses, particularly those requiring venture financing. These businesses are more likely to be organized in non-corporate forms. Counseling these businesses is often going to require some passing familiarity (whether to perform the work or to spot issues that need to be referred to specialists) with estate planning, bankruptcy, accounting, and real estate, among others. Small company lawyers are also frequently called upon for business and strategic advice. Helpful courses include Business Planning; Conveyancing/Law of Mortgages; Trusts and Estates; Negotiation for Lawyers; and Private Placement/Venture Capital.

Non-Profits. Many businesses and other private sector organizations are organized as non-profit or other eleemosynary corporations. Hospitals, education institutions, cultural organizations (like museums), foundations, charitable societies, and non-governmental organizations (e.g., the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, Greenpeace, or Doctors Without Borders), can be large and complex, and involve legal issues much like those facing profit-based corporations. They are often funded by charitable contributions or other fund-raising activities. These courses do not include areas of substantive concern for specific non-profits, such as health care reimbursement law for hospitals, or education law for those institutions. Helpful courses for students consider a career representing non-profit organizations include: Non-Profit Organizations; Corporate Finance; Estate and Gift Tax; Administrative Law; Education Law; Medicare and Medicaid.

Insurance Industry. Representing insurance companies, apart from what is known as "insurance defense" litigation, presents particular issues of regulation and organization. The insurance industry is highly complex, and legal work can involve, among other things, traditional corporate governance work, traditional finance industry issues, drafting policy provisions, dealing with agency networks and distributions issues, negotiating and drafting reinsurance treaties, licensing and other regulatory issues, litigation with policy-holders over coverage issues, rate-making in state administrative agencies, and insurance company insolvency (which is regulated by the individual states). Helpful courses include: Insurance Law; Administrative Law; Securities Regulation; Admiralty Law.

Extra-curricular activities include the Suffolk Business Law Association; Sports and Entertainment Law Association; Tax Moot Court; Securities Moot Court. The Business Law and Financial Services Concentration also facilitates placement in business law related externships.