Transactional Law: Where Business and Law Intersect

I always enjoy meeting BU Law alumni around the country and learning about their current careers and professional contributions to the legal field. It’s also a great opportunity for me to talk about our law school’s new programs, like the Transactional Law Program and Business Basics Boot Camp.

Last month, I travelled to New York City, Atlanta and Chicago to meet with our alumni. In New York, I attended a reception for Lois Herzeca (’79), a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP who has just co-authored Fashion Law and Business: Brands & Retailers, a book that provides a comprehensive overview of the legal environment as it pertains to the fashion industry. The next day, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Shari Redstone (J.D. ’78, LL.M. ’81), vice chairman of Viacom and CBS Corp. who has recently started an early-stage investment firm, Advancit Capital.

I met many of our Midwestern alumni, including Christopher Freeman (’04) and Michael Rothstein (’87), while attending the BU Law alumni reception in Chicago last month.

maureen o'rourke alumni happy hour chicagomaureen o'rourke chicago alumni happy hour

In Atlanta and Chicago, we celebrated our revitalized alumni chapters. While I was in those cities, I also met with individual alumni like Ray Baltz (‘95), head of the Global Corporate Department at King & Spaulding, and Joel Chefitz (‘76), head of the Securities Litigation Group and co-chair of the Chicago Antitrust & Competition Group at McDermott Will & Emery, who have made names for themselves in the law and business worlds.

In each of these meetings, I was reminded of how often the worlds of business and law intersect, and how important it is for our law students to understand basic business principles. That’s why we offered a two-day Business Basics Boot Camp last month, which was taught by Peter Russo, director of Entrepreneurship Programs at BU’s School of Management. About 100 students attended the inaugural session introducing fundamental business tools and concepts.

In our Transactional Practice Concentration, students take skills-focused courses in contract drafting, negotiations, and risk analysis, then learn how to apply these skills in simulations that emphasize the business context of the transaction and the client’s business objectives. They also take core courses that include Corporations, Introduction to Federal Income Taxation, Corporate Finance, and Financial Reporting for Lawyers.

Student participation in our Business Boot Camp, along with the growing demand for our Transactional Law Program, speaks to our students’ interest in becoming more business-savvy. Today, all employers expect their new attorneys to be able to report on potential business and legal risks in contracts and deals, and to know how to draft, analyze and negotiate contracts.

Our Transactional Law Program, which is headed by Professor Kent Coit, a retired partner of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, is a great example of how BU Law is thinking forward.

3 Comments

Joe Zaks posted on October 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Dean O’Rourke is always welcome in Naples.

Dean O'Rourke posted on October 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

Thanks, Joe! I would love to visit Florida.

Mac posted on October 24, 2013 at 6:56 am

Nice Post Dean, I would like to add an important point that is in addition to understanding the legal issues, transactional lawyers must develop the skills necessary to enable them to perform their roles in an effective, efficient and ethical manner. They must also develop an awareness of the commercial context, including the client’s commercial objectives, to ensure that the transaction works from both a legal and commercial perspective.

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