A Relevant Response

The New York Times recently  criticized the current state of legal education for promoting irrelevant scholarship to the detriment of practical skills. Boston University School of Law has long offered its students a robust menu of courses in corporate and transactional law, and the Administration has been quick to respond to growing demand from two constituent groups: students seeking practical transactional training and employers seeking graduates with deal-based skills. The Law School launched a three-semester Transactional Program in the fall of 2011 that puts students into seminar-sized classes to work through the fundamentals of contract drafting and to learn how to add value to business deals.

Students at the Law School formed the Business Law Society to add an extracurricular depth to the opportunities already available to students interested in business law.  For any business lawyer, networking is as valuable a skill as being able to draft an asset purchase agreement or negotiate a term sheet. Students who attend Boston University School of Law have two extensive networks waiting on them when they arrive, but these networks must be tapped. First, students have a diverse University community brimming with students who will push the frontiers of innovation in technology, take management positions in leading companies, and engage in value-creating entrepreneurship.

Beyond an ample offering of excellent substantive programs, Boston University effectively connects its schools and colleges through platforms such as the Institute for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC), an entrepreneurial hub that provides counseling and collaborative opportunities for students to launch their ideas into businesses. The Business Law Society actively plans and hosts networking events with the goal of connecting law students to the University community. Second, students have one of the top entrepreneurial and business communities in the country. Boston is a perennial leader in business development and venture financing, and a host of BU alumni lead many of the firms that drive this activity. Whether students are interested in connecting with law firms, investment firms, or operating companies, the Business Law Society will assist in making connections with these professionals.

The Law School is committed to equipping graduates with deal-based legal and business skills, and the Business Law Society is committed to connecting students with people in the University and professional communities who share interests in business development, entrepreneurship, and industry leadership. Participation in the Transactional Law Program and the Business Law Society will equip students with a skill set and substantive network with which to launch a successful career.

Nathan Hertzog
President, Business Law Society

One Comment

Betsy Munnell posted on March 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

We all know that when the New York Times and the WSJ discover an issue is newsworthy it has likely been a concern for months or, in the case in question, for years. The need for business development, business skills and other practical skills training has been obvious to many lawyers and legal professionals for a long time–and BU Law has been one of only a handful of law schools that have taken meaningful steps to address the problem. I first read about the Transactional Law Program when I read about it in the BU Alumni Bulletin (my husband is a BU grad–we are both lawyers), and passed along my congratulations to Dean O’Rourke.

This blog post is excellent–well written, comprtehensive and a credit to the school and the Business Law Society. I hope you have plans to push it out further, on twitter in particular. I assume you have distributedd the post to your Linked In group and through other alumni channels, but have you gottren the attention of the Journal or the Times? Call Ashby Jones –I hear he’s a very nice guy. I don’t know anything about the NYT columnist but BU Law desreves press credit for the efforst you describe in your blog.

I’m about to post the llink on Twitter. Do you have a Twitter handle?

Good luck!

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