Business Law Concentration

As the business world becomes increasingly regulated, employers value professionals with specialized legal knowledge. As part of the online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law programs, the Business Law concentration will equip you with a strong legal foundation that is crucial for making informed decisions on the job when negotiating business transactions, interpreting legal regulations or curating employment contracts.

The Business Law concentration is designed for students who are looking to gain a deeper understanding of how the law impacts businesses and corporations. Whether you are an entrepreneur who needs to navigate the laws and regulations involved in starting a new business or if you work for a nonprofit or NGO and need the legal skill set to push your agenda, the Business Law concentration will provide you with the legal knowledge to help you execute your responsibilities and advance your career.

If you are interested in learning more about the online programs and the Business Law Concentration, request information today.

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Who Should Pursue a Business Law Concentration?

Professionals who could benefit from the Business Law concentration include:

  • Marketing consultants who want to make more informed marketing recommendations
  • Commercial real estate agents who use contract negotiation skills to close deals
  • Compliance officers who ensure company policies and legal regulations are followed
  • Financial directors who create legally sound and informed financial strategies
  • Entrepreneurs who have to navigate legal regulations when launching a business
  • Tax auditors who ensure the accuracy of financial records according to the law
  • Labor union delegates who need the legal skills to better represent and defend the interests of their union
  • Insurance analysts who update and verify liability claims in adherence with legal regulations and laws
  • Grant writers who create and review funding applications, ensuring they comply with the law
  • Physicians who own a private practice and need to understand legal concepts and regulations to run their business effectively

Concentration Requirements

To pursue the Business Law concentration, you must be enrolled in the online MLS or LL.M. in U.S. Law program and complete 11–12 credits from the predefined courses below. Business Associations, Contracts and Negotiation are required, but you may select either Corporate Compliance, Employment Law or International Business Transactions as your remaining 2- or 3-credit course. These credits count toward the total credits required for each program.

Business Associations (Required)

This course is a survey of the law of business associations, emphasizing corporations and issues and problems relating to corporate governance. The course covers publicly and closely held corporations, the organization of business associations, the distribution of power, and control between management and shareholders, with a focus on the fiduciary duties of directors and officers. In this regard, students explore the developing notions of fiduciary duties to shareholders and other stakeholders. The course explores the rapidly evolving nationalization of corporate governance standards and its implications. The course further focuses on practical application of the material by applying the fundamentals of corporate organization through collaborative class exercises.


Contracts (Required)

This course is designed to introduce students to U.S. contracts. Contracts are vitally important in understanding U.S. law, as they are the foundation of corporate law and cover areas such as employment, loans and credit. In addition to teaching the principles behind U.S. theories of contractual obligation, the course is intended to provide instruction in “how to succeed” in a U.S. law school class.


Negotiation (Required)

Students in this course learn the skills of negotiation through simulations, lectures and exercises in which they negotiate and observe their classmates and experts negotiate. Class members conduct at least three negotiations during the course — a sales contract, a retainer agreement between an attorney and a client, and a complex multiparty dispute. In addition to the simulations and discussion of the readings, there is instruction on drafting agreements and individualized advice about further steps to improve negotiation skills.


Corporate Compliance

What causes companies to break the law? How do we incentivize them not to? Who should we blame when they do? These are the core questions of corporate compliance and the focus of this class. Rather than reading several court decisions, this class will work primarily from case studies of recent compliance failures. Our goal will be to study what went wrong at the company level and whether the relevant laws are effectively designed to prevent the misconduct. We will also cover theories of regulatory enforcement and punishment. This course will be interesting for those considering compliance positions as well as those interested in regulatory agency and corporate defense practice.


Employment Law

This course is designed to introduce students to U.S. employment law, including laws, rules and regulations related to types of employment; hiring and firing practices; prohibited discriminatory practices; employee wages; hours and benefits requirements; and various governmental processes and procedures. This course is an experiential course in which students will have multiple opportunities to apply legal theory to practical, real-life settings.


International Business Transactions

Cross-border business transactions are the mainstay of the modern global economy, and very few transactions can be negotiated or performed without due consideration of implications that may arise in such an international environment. Accordingly, understanding of the legal aspects of private transactions carried out across national borders can be indispensable to the modern legal practice. This course provides a survey of such issues, including transnational sales, cross-border operations (including branch offices and subsidiaries), international business combinations (including mergers and joint ventures) and the role of international law (including treaties and international organizations such as the WTO and IMF). A series of problems will be used to explore the dynamics of planning, negotiating, creating and executing cross-border transactions.