As Loyola Law School entered the 21st century, Professor Therese Maynard recognized a glaring need for law schools to do a better job of preparing students for transactional practice. A pioneer within the transactional law and skills community, Professor Maynard sought to create a curriculum that prepares students for transactional practice that would rival what Trial Advocacy and related programs accomplish for students pursuing a post-graduation career in litigation. From this vision, the concept for the Business Law Practicum was borne. Professor Maynard caucused with dozens of practitioners about the skills, knowledge and qualities they valued in transactional associates while building this program.
Fast forward several years. Professor Maynard, with the support of former Loyola Law School Deans David W. Burcham and Victor J. Gold, and together with the significant input of corporate attorney Molly M. Coleman, created the course known today as Business Planning: Financing the Start-Up Business and Venture Capital Financing. Innovative in its own right, the course has the twin objectives of (a) teaching students to think like a transactional lawyer and (b) introducing students to the skills that allow them to do what a deal lawyer does. Instead of a traditional study of cases or a labor-intensive clinical approach, the course is taught using a simulated deal format in which the students represent a new client started by entrepreneurs, through a series of decisions and events as part of financing an early stage business.
Professor Maynard and others witnessed the impact of providing hands-on training in transactional practice and sought to expand Loyola’s offerings in this space.
As a result of the generosity of Howrey LLP—in memory of Patrick J. McDonough ’71—the Patrick J. McDonough Business Law Practicum Directorship found a home. Mr. McDonough was a Loyola Law School graduate who was part of Howrey’s insurance recovery practice group. During an outstanding legal career, which included acting as general counsel to the international insurance and consulting firm Johnson & Higgins, Mr. McDonough was well known for mentoring young attorneys and helping them to advance their careers.
In November 2009, then Loyola Law School Dean Victor Gold announced the appointment of Dana Warren as the first Patrick J. McDonough Director of the Business Law Practicum. Together with Faculty Co-Director Therese Maynard, Professor Warren published a casebook through Aspen Publishers, which is based on the Business Planning course materials and is now in its third edition. Professors Maynard and Warren also developed the highly successful Transactional Negotiation Team, which is Loyola’s intramural deal negotiation competition. Each spring, students negotiate a complex business transaction and receive feedback from experienced transactional attorneys in a competition format.
In July 2015, Professor Shannon Treviño succeeded Professor Warren as Director following his retirement and, in 2018, helped publish the third edition of the Business Planning casebook.
In November 2019, Loyola Law established the Transactional Lawyering Institute. In doing so, Loyola Law sought to build on the established course offerings of the Business Law Practicum and reflect the other programming Loyola Law supports with a view towards training the next generation of transactional lawyers, including further expansions of the law school's business law curriculum. The Transactional Lawyering Institute also connects alumni in the business law community to each other and to current students through speaker events on campus, continuing legal education events for alumni, the Business Law Fellows program and outreach to local high schools.
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