Business Law Practicum

The Business Law Practicum is Loyola’s umbrella program for the development of classes and programs oriented towards preparing students for the practice of transactional business law.  Loyola offers a unique and innovative approach to educating business lawyers that is designed to allow students to “hit the ground running” as first-year transactional associates. The Business Law Practicum played an important role in Loyola’s highly successful development of academic concentrations and the Director of the Practicum acts as advisor to both the Corporate Law Concentration and the Law and Entrepreneurship Concentration.

Supervised by the Patrick J. McDonough Director of the Business Law Practicum, Shannon Treviño, with the advice and guidance of Faculty Co-Director Therese H. Maynard, the Practicum moves students beyond the abstract study of business law to an interdisciplinary analysis of transactional lawyering problems and business objectives that requires reading, comprehending, and managing, as well as drafting and modifying, actual transactional documents.

Elements of the Practicum

To complete the Business Law Practicum program, students must take Business Associations, Securities Regulation, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Business Planning I. For more information regarding these courses, please see Curriculum.

An additional, elective feature of the Business Law Practicum is the Transactional Negotiation Team, which gives students the opportunity to analyze and develop a strategy to address a complex business problem, then compete with each other in a negotiation tournament where they receive mentoring and feedback from practicing transactional lawyers.

The Business Law Practicum’s capstone class, Business Planning I: Financing the Start-Up Business and Venture Capital Financing, allows students to understand the lawyer’s role in business transactions by taking an entrepreneurial “client” through a series of simulated deals that introduce the legal, ethical and business issues that confront the transactional lawyer in representing an early stage growth company. Practicum Director Emeritus Warren and Faculty Co-Director Maynard have written a casebook based on the Business Planning I course materials. This casebook, Business Planning: Financing the Start-Up Business and Venture Capital Financing, is available from Aspen Publishers.

The core Business Law Practicum courses are the required elements of the Corporate Law Concentration and the Law and Entrepreneurship Concentration. Through its role in the formation and support of these Concentrations, the Practicum is a testament to Loyola's commitment to bridge the gap between law school and practice. It offers students interested in a corporate transactional practice the foundational knowledge in key subject matter areas and, through Business Planning I, gives them the opportunity to apply their substantive learning in advising an entrepreneurial client.

Loyola's Corporate and Business Law Faculty; Additional Offerings

Further, in support of the mission of the Business Law Practicum, Loyola’s outstanding corporate and business law faculty has developed a number of innovative and challenging course offerings for students interested in the challenges arising in representing businesses. 

Professor Michael Guttentag has developed Business Strategy for Lawyers, where students use case studies to better understand the elements of business strategy, as well as the lawyer’s organizational and contractual tools to support the implementation of business objectives.  Professor Carlos Berdejo teaches Corporate Finance, where students examine the costs and implications, including through financial statement analysis, of various approaches to business financing.  Professor Elizabeth Pollman has developed a challenging and topical Corporate Governance Seminar, where students explore the decision-making processes, constraints and conflicts that arise in business entities. 

In sum, Loyola has become a leader in business law education through its development and delivery of a business-focused curriculum that is intellectually rigorous and real-world oriented.  The Business Law Practicum has had a key role in this process and will offer more innovation in the future.