Learning Outside the Classroom
Since most students in the Graduate Program complete their degree after one year of study, we believe in providing our students with as many extracurricular learning opportunities as possible.
Because we seek to provide a practical education, we supplement students’ coursework by focusing on the financial services issues of the day through lectures, conferences and roundtable discussions. A number of these conferences and lectures are co-sponsored with groups such as the American Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and The Clearing House Association.
Financial Services Basics
At the beginning of the fall semester, we hold a two ½-day primer on the US financial services industry—its products, participants, and role in the economy—to give students an overview of this dynamic sector. Taught by the LLM faculty members, the seminar examines the financial services industry through its main component industries: banking, securities, and insurance. Basic concepts in corporate law, finance and accounting are also discussed. One of the objects of this program is to provide all new students in the program with the basic knowledge required for its first semester courses.
Periodically throughout the academic year we invite speakers to have lunch with students and discuss issues of the day and to talk about their careers. Past speakers have included representatives from Citibank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, law firms, and academia. Topics discussed have ranged from the European debt crisis and “robo-signings” to compliance programs and the economic numbers behind the financial crisis. Students have also organized some of these programs. In 2015, African students from the Graduate Banking Program and the American Law Program joined as a group to host speakers on the topic of mobile banking in Africa.
Fundamentals of Banking Law and Fundamentals of Financial Services Compliance
Students have an opportunity to attend these two ½ day programs designed for US financial services professionals. The programs provide students with an opportunity to see first hand the training of US regulatory lawyers and compliance officers. They learn from the program faculty and from the young practitioners taking the courses, a valuable networking opportunity. Fundamentals of Banking Law is an intensive program designed to familiarize participants with the basics of banking law, including the critical policies, concepts, and regulations that have shaped 150 years of US banking law from the passage of the 1863 National Bank Act to the present. Fundamentals of Financial Services Compliance is designed to familiarize participants with the basics of and trends in financial services compliance, including the heightened emphasis on the compliance function as an important component of risk management in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–2009.
A Day in Court
Every year, Francis C. Morrissey, one of the many experienced practitioners on the Graduate Program’s faculty, takes his Bankruptcy class on a trip to the US Bankruptcy Court in Boston’s financial district. Attendees hear an actual case being argued, and then have a private conference with the judge when the session is over.
Boston Bar Association
All students in the LLM program receive free memberships in the Boston Bar Association and are welcome to attend activities of this professional group. Activities include lectures and networking activities.
The Legal Research Skills for Practice Program
LLM students can sharpen their research skills by taking this program offered by the Pappas Law Library. The Legal Research Skills for Practice Program provides training in the legal research skills most useful for new lawyers. Students can improve their skills by attending practical, hands-on research classes tailored to the realities of today’s legal landscape. Classes are taught by experienced legal information librarians, who have law degrees as well as library degrees.
Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy
Cornelius Hurley, the Director of the Center, offers a course on “Problems of the Financial Crisis” in the Graduate Banking Program, and the Center itself offers students the opportunity to participate in major conferences and to work on research projects sponsored by the Center.
The Graduate Program provides numerous opportunities for students to balance hard work with play. Just as we are serious about the business of learning, we’re also serious about fostering camaraderie among our students. Here’s a sampling of what students can expect to do in their spare time:
One wonderful thing about living in Boston is that the city has teams in all four major American sports—baseball, football, hockey and basketball. At the college level, BU has a nationally ranked men’s hockey team that annually competes for the national championship. The Graduate Program purchases tickets so that students can attend these events as a group.
Skiing and Skating
New England winters can be long—but they can also be fun. Winter activities include ski trips to the mountans and ice skating rink on the BU campus or at the Frog Pond in the Boston Common.
Concerts at Symphony Hall
It’s an easy walk from the law school to Boston’s Symphony Hall, home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. From Bach to Beethoven, Rachmaninoff to Gershwin, students don’t have far to go to find the sounds they want to hear. Students are eligible to receive free tickets to select concerts.
Every year we host a potluck dinner where students share a dish from their home country or region in the United States. These dinners are always a big hit—and a welcome study break.
Events Organized by Students
Every year, the Graduate Banking Program class elects student officers to help keep the class engaged. We also encourage all students to organize an event if they have a hobby or interest that they would like to share with their classmates. We fully support student involvement and can help with the planning process. From mentoring students at a local high school to class dinners featuring some exotic cuisine to organizing a soccer team to compete in the BU Intramurals, there are limitless possibilities.
Review of Banking and Financial Law
Founded in 1982, the Review of Banking and Financial Law is the nation’s preeminent student-run banking and financial law journal. It includes professional articles written by the field’s leading authorities, notes and comments, and development articles authored by JD students. In February 2015, the Review successfully hosted a one-day symposium entitled “Innovation Today: the Legal Challenges of Funding Startups” which was well-attended by practitioners and academics. While the journal’s membership is mostly made up of JD students, LLM students in the Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law can qualify for the staff of the Review.
Meeting Program Alumni
In the Graduate Program, we pride ourselves on keeping in touch with our alumni, long after they graduate and move forward in their careers. As a result, many alumni return to the school to attend events and serve as speakers. From career panels where they offer advice, to receptions where they’re eager to get to know new students, our alumni are an integral part of the Graduate Program experience. By joining us in this program, students are guaranteed to expand their professional network.