Business Law Practicum
The Business Law Practicum is Loyola’s home for traditional and simulation-based course offerings 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 - in particular, the Corporate Law Concentration and the Law and Entrepreneurship Concentration.
Managed by the Patrick J. McDonough Director of the Business Law Practicum, Shannon Treviño, 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, modifying and negotiating, actual transactional documents. The Practicum continues to be guided by the advice of Practicum founder, Therese H. Maynard.
Elements of the Practicum
For more detailed information about the offerings discussed below, see Curriculum.
- Traditional Course Offerings
Gaining a substantive foundation in business law is critical to becoming a successful transactional attorney. We recommend that students complete the following foundational courses: Business Associations, Securities Regulation and Mergers and Acquisitions after the completion of their first-year course requirements.
- Simulation-Based Course Offerings
Business Planning I: Financing the Start-Up Business and Venture Capital Financing is the capstone course offered through the Business Law Practicum. It allows students to understand the lawyer’s role in business transactions by taking an entrepreneurial “client” from entity formation through a series of simulated transactions, including a joint venture, founder stock issuance and first round venture capital financing. This format allows us to introduce the legal, ethical and business issues that confront the transactional lawyer in representing an early stage growth company.
The Transactional Negotiation Team gives students the opportunity to analyze and develop a strategy to address a complex business deal, then compete with each other in a negotiation tournament where they receive mentoring and feedback from practicing transactional lawyers.
- Advanced Topics in Corporate and Business Law
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.
The core Business Law Practicum courses are the required elements of the Corporate Law Concentration and the Law and Entrepreneurship Concentration. These concentrations offer 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. Completion of the concentrations demonstrates to potential employers that students have devoted a substantial portion of their law school studies to a "deep dive" into more advanced corporate law topics and skills.
Students interested in completing either the Corporate or Entrepreneurship concentrations should consult the informational webpages to begin the course planning process and to register for the applicable concentration. Questions should be directed to Corporate and Entrepreneurship concentration advisor, Professor Shannon Treviño.
Director Emeritus Dana M. Warren and Practicum Founder 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. A third edition of the casebook is expected to be published in 2018.
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.