Businesses make the largest contribution to the gross domestic product. They also exercise significant influence over public policy. The business lawyer therefore plays an important role in society. “Business Law” is not a term typically used to describe a legal practice area. Rather, “Business Law” encompasses a number of practice areas that all relate to representing businesses (as opposed to individuals) in their operations and disputes.
Business Law can be subdivided into functional practice areas: transactional practices (representing business in their contract negotiations); commercial litigation practice (representing business in litigation and arbitration); and regulatory practice (assisting business clients in compliance with law and regulation). Of course, these functional practice areas often overlap.
Business Law can also be subdivided by subject matter. Within each subject matter practice, lawyers may be engaged in transactional work, litigation, or regulatory compliance. Corporate Law involves advising business clients on a wide range of issues. Both small and large law firms have corporate practices and many corporations, especially larger ones, have their own in-house legal departments. Securities Law focuses on the regulation of transactions and litigation involving a “security,” which is an investment in a business. Students in the Securities Law Certificate Program take courses specializing in this area. Real Estate Law involves representing clients in property development, zoning and land use, financing, and compliance.
Business lawyers often deal with agencies regulating issues bearing on the drafting and performance of contracts. For example, lawyers counseling banking and related clients interact with a host of financial regulatory institutions. Competition law specialists counsel in mergers and acquisitions and other transactions work with the DOJ and FTC. Consumer protection lawyers defend clients from claims of consumer fraud by FTC and similar state regulators. Health care and food and drug lawyers advise on regulatory compliance issues and guide clients through approval processes of the FDA relevant to product development and risk management. International trade lawyers manage import, export, and investment issues relating to a range of concerns, sometimes even including national security. They work with the Department of Commerce and USTR among others.
Highly Recommended Courses
- Introduction to Securities Law
- Commercial Transactions
- Federal Income Taxation
- Sales and Leases
- Advanced Issues in Corporate Law
- Agency and Partnership
- Comparative and International Trade
- Corporate Finance Seminar
- Government Contracts
- International Business Transactions
- Federal Securities Law courses
- Real Estate Transactions
Clinics, Skills, and Externships
- Legal Drafting: Contracts
- Compliance, Investigations, and Corporate Responsibility Certificate Program Securities Law Certificate Program
Faculty: Duggin, Miles, Perez, Schooner, Winston