Law School Director Helps Students Learn Crucial Skills For Their Transactional Law Careers

Shannon Trevino
Shannon Treviño

Professor Shannon Treviño believes wholeheartedly in helping students master the necessary skills to succeed as transactional attorneys. The Patrick J. McDonough Director of the Business Law Practicum notes that in past, most U.S. law schools tended to orient the curriculum around litigation law. But not all legal careers require analyzing cases and making court appearances. Students who ended up pursuing different legal careers—such as ones involving transactional law—were left with having to learn the necessary legal skills on the job. Says Treviño,“It was simply all about throwing yourself into the deep end and figuring it out.”

As the Director of the Business Law Practicum, Treviño oversees a number of courses that help students prepare for careers as transactional attorneys. The keystone of the business law program, she notes, is the Business Planning I course. With this course, students go through the entire lifecycle of a company, walking through all the necessary legal steps required to start and grow a business. The course, Treviño says, provides transactional students with hands-on training in an area that many law schools rarely pay attention to. “This is something students can apply to everything from mom-and-pop businesses to major tech firms,” she says. “With this course, students can actually add value from day one to their employers once they graduate.”

Treviño also leads the Transactional Negotiation Team, which gives Loyola students the opportunity to flex their competitive skills and negotiate a complex simulated transaction. Experienced attorneys provide real-time feedback and assessments to the students, helping them refine their negotiation skills.

As well, Treviño assists students with establishing their careers once they graduate. “About a quarter of my time is spent on career development and career counseling—it’s very gratifying,” she says. She works on establishing relationships with local boutique firms. Thanks to Loyola’s strong emphasis on teaching practical, hands-on transactional skills, many firms express an interest in connecting with graduating students. Once these firm owners hear that transactional students take a business-planning course, Treviño notes, their interest peaks. “Their eyebrows go up when they hear that our students have experience analyzing a charter for a new company. Loyola works hard to give students the skills they need to succeed right from the start.”