Study banking, securities, & financial services law.

The Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law is the only financial services LLM program in the US with its own faculty of senior practitioners and with a curriculum designed exclusively for graduate study (rather than relying on regular law school courses.) The program of study includes courses in banking law, securities law, and general financial services law and leads to the degree of Master of Laws in Banking and Financial Law. The regular full-time program consists of five or six courses (12 credits) taken for credit each semester. With more than 25 courses offered, students may choose from a variety of classes that suit their needs and interests. With the exception of the Banking Structure and Regulation course, all courses are elective.

There are three principal types of courses in the Graduate Program:

  • Regulatory courses provide solid grounding in the structure and content of banking, securities financial law, and regulation
  • Transactional courses familiarize students with the structuring and documentation of typical transactions in a number of financial areas, including commercial lending, project finance, transnational lending transactions, and securitization
  • Business-oriented courses introduce students to bankruptcy, the role of central banks, mergers and acquisitions and other structures in the area of banking and financial law

Course Descriptions

2 credits

This course provides an introduction to and overview of the banking and financial services industry under US law and where US laws intersect with international banking supervision structures and principles. The course focuses on US banking structures and regulations, with an emphasis on the public or regulatory policies behind the laws and regulations. Recent US legislation in the Dodd-Frank Act and recent international reform initiatives such as Basel III receive close scrutiny. The course addresses a range of safety and soundness rules, permissible activity issues, chartering and merger activity procedures and capital and liquidity requirements. The course also addresses administrative procedures including bank examination and supervision, the regulatory supervisory process and bank enforcement actions. Students are asked to do significant reading and to participate in classroom discussion about course subject matter and to be aware of current developments in the financial services industry. This is a required course for all students studying for the degree of Master of Laws in Banking and Financial Law.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 925 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 James E. Scott LAW 605
FALL 2017: LAW BK 925 OL , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2 James E. Scott

2 credits

This course examines bankruptcy and related state law from the point of view of secured and unsecured creditors. The course begins with survey of individual state law collection remedies and non-bankruptcy composition and liquidation schemes. The balance (and bulk) of the course focuses on the rights, obligations and procedures created by federal bankruptcy law. Topics addressed include: the automatic stay, the use and protection of collateral during the pendency of a bankruptcy case, the avoidance of pre- bankruptcy transfers as preferences and fraudulent transfers, the treatment of executory contracts and unexpired leases, debtor-in-possession financing, asset sales and the negotiation and confirmation of a plan of reorganization that is binding on all creditors. Finally, the course will discuss recent !? bankruptcy reform!? legislation, which affects both corporate and consumer bankruptcies.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 933 A1 , Sep 11th to Dec 11th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon 6:30 pm 8:30 pm 2 Francis C. Morrissey LAW 605

2 credits

This course introduces lawyers to the economics of financial markets and institutions. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of commercial banks, the Federal Reserve System, and monetary policy. Other topics include the characteristics of financial instruments (such as Treasury securities, corporate stocks and bonds, and secondary market mortgage-backed securities), how they are priced in the market, the factors determining the level and shape of the Treasury yield curve, and the relationship between commercial banking and the growth of the over-the-counter derivatives market. Course grades will be based on midterm and final examinations, and on written assignments.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 983 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 6:30 pm 8:30 pm 2 Mark K. W. Gim LAW 605

2 credits

This course studies the legal problems involved in negotiating and documenting various types of commercial lending transactions ranging from short-term unsecured loans to secured and long-term financings. The process is followed from the initial identification of a lending opportunity to pre- commitment correspondence and commitment letters, through to the key documents required at closing. The major aspects of a loan agreement, including definitional provisions, representations and warranties, lending provisions, pricing, affirmative and negative covenants, and events of defaults are studied in detail in an effort to insure that each student understands the mechanics of a commercial loan agreement. Security interests in real estate and personal property are addressed. Loan syndications and the loan markets are examined. Issues relating to guaranties and subordination agreements are considered. Overviews of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and lender liability are provided. Provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act relating to financing transactions, legal lending limits, margin requirements, and usury are considered. A lecture and discussion format is employed. Reading assignments include relevant court decisions, articles, and actual transaction documents.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 991 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 5th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 2 Richard Daingerfield LAW 605

2 credits

The course is a survey of the key areas of compliance. The course will examine implementing and maintaining a compliance program. Topic areas to be covered include: U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; the Office of Foreign Assets Control; Bank Secrecy Act; Privacy; Investigations; Whistleblower Rates; Information Reporting/Disclosure; Insider Trading Policies; Code of Ethics; Audit; Conflict of Interest; Management Reporting; Internal Reporting/E- Discovery/Record Retention.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 931 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Stephen Cesso LAW 605

2 credits

This class presents an overview of the laws relating to traditional and innovative consumer financial products and services, including the impact of the new consumer protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank banking law on creditors and consumers. The course focuses on federal consumer financial laws governing installment, revolving, and real estate lending, credit and debit cards; and ATM networks, point of sale payment systems, home banking, stored value and prepaid cards; and other deposit and loan products and services. The course examines the design of retail financial products and considers operational issues, the regulatory framework, and consumer protection laws including The Consumer Financial Protection Act, Truth in Lending, Equal Credit Opportunity, Community Reinvestment Acts, and federal and state laws governing fair credit reporting, trade practices, usury, electronic funds transfers, and funds availability.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 995 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Craig W. Kaylor

2 credits

Corporations I is a two credit introductory course on the fundamental principles of corporate law in the United States. The course does not assume that students have previously engaged in the study of U.S. corporate law. Corporations I will consider the nature and role of the corporation, its formation, its capital structure, and the powers, duties and responsibilities of corporate directors. In Corporations I, to gain a fuller understanding of corporate law, we will also consider basic principles of accounting, corporate finance, and agency law. To place corporate law in context, we will also consider broader issues of economic and social policy, and practical business issues on which corporate lawyers advise their clients. To foster greater understanding of the subject matter, students will be encouraged to engage in discussion and raise questions during class sessions.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 937 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 2 Eric D. Roiter LAW 605

2 credits

Corporations II is a two credit course on corporate law that focuses on the rights and powers of shareholders and the relationship between shareholders and directors. As in Corporations I, we will also consider broader issues of economic and social policy, and practical business issues on which corporate lawyers advise their clients. To foster greater understanding of the subject matter, students will be encouraged to engage in discussion and raise questions during class sessions. It is recommended, but not required, that students taking this course have taken Corporations I offered in the fall.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 938 A1 , Jan 23rd to May 1st 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 2:10 pm 4:20 pm 2 Eric D. Roiter

1 credits

This course seeks to give students real world experience in the practice of financial services law by immersing them in the day-to-day operations of a law firm, financial services organization, financial nonprofit entity or regulatory agency. Students are expected to work under the supervision of a professional, approved by a Financial Services Law Internship faculty member, who will ensure that the students have a meaningful, relevant and rigorous experience. It is expected that the Internship will involve a minimum of ten hours workplace experience per week. The Graduate Banking Program will exercise its best efforts to arrange relevant internships with entities involved in providing financial services. The Graduate Banking Program will also review and incorporate in the Internship course, appropriate internship opportunities arranged by the student which meet course requirements. Participation is subject to availability of positions and a matching of student interests, prior course work and language skills with the needs of the internship providers.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 903 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 1 Carolina Trujillo
SPRG 2018: LAW BK 903 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 1 Carolina Trujillo

2 credits

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), better known as health care reform, is the most important and controversial piece of federal social legislation of this generation. It is also basically an insurance regulatory statute. PPACA establishes a new and complex set of rules governing the operation of the health insurance industry, provides consumers with important rights with respect to access to medical care and imposes obligations with respect to health insurance on both businesses and individuals. The course will look at PPACA and the issues that surrounded its enactment--issues which continue to fuel debate over whether it should modified or repealed. This will be done as part of an examination of the regulatory rules that govern all of insurance industry?s products (annuities, auto, home owners? product liability, life insurance, etc). The course also takes a look at the insurance industry?s structure and financial performance and at the competitive interactions between the insurance, banking and securities industries. The impact on the industry of the financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting Dodd-Frank reform legislation will be reviewed.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 990 A1 , Sep 11th to Dec 4th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 2 Raymond A. Guenter LAW 508

2 credits

Assets being managed by hedge funds have grown significantly during the past 10 years. As a result, managers of hedge funds have been the focus of increased scrutiny by investors, the press and regulatory authorities. This course will cover the regulations (and exemptions) applicable to hedge funds and their managers, including under the Securities Act of 1933, the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act. We will focus on the formation and operation of U.S. and offshore hedge funds, including structure, disclosure, risks and economic and liquidity terms. This will include a detailed review of hedge fund offering documents. We will discuss the many issues being considered by hedge fund managers and regulators, including valuation, conflicts of interest, insider trading and compliance.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 934 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2 Gross

1 credits

This course will provide students with an introduction to the business, risk, legal and regulatory aspects to the evolving intersection of finance and technology. The course will include introductions to Blockchain technology, marketplace lending and other fintech business models that are disintermediating traditional financial services.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 909 A1 , Sep 22nd to Nov 3rd 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Fri 12:00 pm 2:00 pm 1 Russell LAW 605
FALL 2017: LAW BK 909 OL , Sep 6th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 1 Russell

2 credits

This course focuses on the structure, documentation and negotiation of a typical project finance transaction. The class will explore legal, financial, and policy problems involved in investing in domestic and cross- border power and infrastructure projects. We will focus on strategies and techniques of structuring and financing such investments, and will touch upon the legal and regulatory environment for investment, and in the context of foreign investment, the role of political risk management and the implications of treaties, conventions, and other relevant law. Selected domestic and cross- border investment transactions, both actual and hypothetical, will be used to illustrate recurring issues. This course may contain a graded group drafting component where students draft and negotiate a loan agreement.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 957 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 2 Kathleen M. Phelps

2 credits

This course focuses principally on three areas: (1) the use of case law as a primary source of American law, including analysis of cases, reasoning from prior cases, the evolution of case law, and the case method of teaching; (2) the structure of the American legal system and selected elements of Constitutional law, such as allocation of powers among the three branches of government, the relationship between federal and state courts, due process of law, equal protection, and other key concepts; and (3) a brief introduction to particular private law subjects such as contracts, intellectual property, criminal procedure and torts. The goal is to provide insight into the methods used by American lawyers in dealing with legal questions and an introduction to the structural and substantive legal framework within which American lawyers operate. This course is no longer a required course for students who did not obtain their first law degree at a law school in the United States. However, foreign-educated students planning to sit for a bar examination in the United States, especially the New York State Bar Examination, must take this course, which is only offered in the fall semester.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 912 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Thu 10:10 am 12:10 pm 2 William Straus LAW 212

Var credits

This course provides the student with a perspective on the origins of the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the response to that crisis, and the financial reform responses to the crisis be they legislative, regulatory of market- driven. The course has three parts: the Buildup, the Eye-of-the Storm, and the Response. In the first part, the causes of this and other financial crises are explored including the housing bubble, the development of the "shadow" financial system, new financial instruments, regulatory gaps and deregulation, monetary policies, compensation practices, accounting deficiencies, governance breakdowns, and more. In the second part, policy responses to the crisis are detailed such as: central bank liquidity facilities, government investment programs such as TARP, fiscal stimulus, stress-testing, enforcement actions and the lack thereof, and global coordination of responses. Finally, the course will take an analytical view of the reforms prompted by the crisis. These include various systemic risk measures, guidance from the G-20 and Bank Stability Board, Basel III, the treatment of home/host country issues, and the current state-of-play of the regulation of the derivatives marketplace. A discussion format is employed to the extent feasible, and problems and illustrations are used to focus and encourage class participation.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 971 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD Var Cornelius K. Hurley

2 credits

This course deals with key issues that arise in bank mergers and acquisitions. Business and transactional topics include: merger and acquisition strategies, deal structure and pricing, hostile takeovers and defenses, duties of directors, disclosure obligations, due diligence, mergers of equals, social issues, tax considerations, and accounting issues. Regulatory topics include: federal and state approval processes, regulatory considerations in the structuring of transactions, antitrust considerations, interstate banking issues, the Community Reinvestment Act, thrift and other nonbank acquisitions, Glass-Steagall and Bank Holding Company Act issues, and cross- industry transactions.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 988 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 6:30 pm 8:30 pm 2 Kevin J. Handly

2 credits

This course provides an introduction to the field of microfinance, particularly its rapid evolution and role in economic development. Students will learn key concepts including the study of lending methodologies, products available to micro-entrepreneurs and the legal challenges, public policy considerations, and risks faced by investors, technical experts and financial providers. This course will also examine financial practices in the developing world such as payment and remittance systems, which allow foreign nationals to transfer funds internationally within and outside traditional banking systems.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 935 A1 , Jan 22nd to Apr 23rd 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon 6:20 pm 8:10 pm 2 Kevin M. Saunders

2 credits

Pooled investment funds, such as pension plans and mutual funds, are an important part of the global financial services industry. This course is designed as a survey of pooled funds and seeks to introduce students to the common regulatory themes that are found across pooled fund types, and to identify the unique approaches to regulation applicable to the various pooled fund types studied. The course undertakes an analysis of the legal, regulatory and fiduciary standards that apply to trustees, managers, advisers, and sponsors of collective investment vehicles. The course focuses on the concept of fiduciary duty as the basis of all trusted relationships, and examines selected problems of investor and beneficiary protection in the fields of private and public pension plans and mutual funds. It studies in detail two U.S. federal statutes as examples of legal techniques used to mitigate those risks--ERISA and the Investment Company Act of 1940 (including fiduciary duties, the role of the fund board and management fees). The class then studies pooled investment funds and investment trusts in the E.U., the U.K. and other countries, focusing on the perceived risks and protective measures reflected in their legal and regulatory systems. Not offered fall 2013.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 950 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 6:30 pm 8:30 pm 2 Fross

2 credits

This course will provide an overview of a lawyer's professional and ethical obligations under United States law. It will examine the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility and the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers as they apply to the practicing lawyer. The course explores ethical issues, and tensions and dilemmas that arise in the practice of law, particularly in the representation of financial institutions. Students will have the chance to examine these issues through discussions of current events affecting the financial services industry.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 941 A1 , Jan 18th to May 2nd 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2 Maggie Weir

2 credits

This two-credit Legal Research and Writing seminar is required for LL.M. students in the American Law program and optional for students in the LL.M. programs in Banking and Financial Law and Taxation. It is specifically designed to introduce foreign lawyers to the basic principles of American legal writing. In small class settings and individual conferences, students receive guidance on drafting and editing memoranda and agreements. Their work is critiqued and rewritten. The research component of the seminar trains students to locate cases, statutes and secondary material through indexing systems and the latest computer technology. Research assignments are integrated into writing assignments -- exposing students to the methods of US legal analyses -- so that by the end of the term, students obtain the skills needed to write memoranda appropriate for submission to US law firms.

FALL 2017: LAW JD 893 A1 , Sep 11th to Dec 4th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon 6:00 pm 7:15 pm 2 Richard A. Sugarman LAW 416

2 credits

A survey and analysis of key problems arising under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the rules promulgated thereunder. These problems include the form and content of registration statements under the 1933 Act, liabilities of persons designated in Section 11 and 12 of the 1933 Act, the form and content of a typical Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement, processing a registration statement, exemptions under the 1933 Act, the underwriter's liability, the control person's "distribution;" regulation of securities exchanges and broker- dealers, manipulation, stabilization, and "Hot Issues;" tender offers; and civil liabilities under rule 10b-5, section 14(a), and Section 16(b) of the 1934 Act.

FALL 2017: LAW BK 955 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 5th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 H. Norman Knickle LAW 605

2 credits

Securitization and structured finance together constitute one of the most dynamic segments of the financial markets. Securitization involves the creation and issuance of securities backed by one or more assets which generate cash flows sufficient to fund the securities. Structured finance includes securitization as well as transactions in which securities are not issued, but which involve the often complex structuring of cash flows to achieve a desired tax, accounting or financial objective. These transactions often cut across many areas of legal specialization, including bank and thrift regulation, securities regulation, taxation, bankruptcy and insolvency, fiduciary law, real estate law and environmental law. This course examines a series of actual transactions to explore the sometimes contradictory ways that these various legal constructs impinge upon the structuring transactions. Examples include single-family mortgage pools, trade receivable securitizations and commercial mortgage securitizations. This course also explores some of the more cutting-edge securitizations of exotic asset classes such as legal fees, intellectual property and renewable energy assets.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 987 A1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Steven B. LevineRonald S. Borod
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Steven B. LevineRonald S. Borod
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Steven B. LevineRonald S. Borod

2 credits

This course provides an opportunity for students to conduct in-depth research and to improve their writing skills on current structural and/for regulatory issues in the financial services area. This class meets weekly to discuss financial services developments on topics and to review the topic proposal and outlines of class participants. Each student prepares a paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor, and then leads a class discussion of the financial services issues addresses by the paper he or she prepares. Students edit one another's drafts and participate in critiques during class sessions. A text and other materials are used in discussions of effective legal writing. The seminar may satisfy a concentration requirement depending on the subject of the paper. It is open to a limited number of second- semester students with permission of the instructor.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 960 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 12:10 pm 2:00 pm 2 John A. Beccia

2 credits

Tax aspects of international business transactions, both "inbound" and "outbound", with particular attention to fiscal jurisdiction, the foreign tax credit, allocation of income among affiliated companies, treaties, anti-abuse measures aimed at tax haven operations, information reporting and foreign investment in U.S. securities and real estate. Prerequisite or corequisite: Federal Income Taxation I.

FALL 2017: LAW TX 906 A1 , Sep 11th to Dec 4th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 William W. Park LAW 605
FALL 2017: LAW TX 906 OL , Sep 5th to Dec 11th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2 Park

2 credits

This course examines legal issues arising in debt financing provided by financial institutions in international markets. The structure of transnational loan agreements, guarantees, letters of credit, participation and loan sales transactions, and basic instruments and documents common to trade financing are examined. The nature of the documentation and techniques used in such transactions, as well as regulatory patterns, legal problems and international law reform efforts, are studied. The course also covers issues related to the syndication of debt financing transactions, governing law, and creditor remedies.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 958 A1 , Jan 22nd to Apr 30th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Ian Wenniger

3 credits

Secured Transactions explores the "how-to's" of asset-based lending and, particularly, the way in which a lender or seller of commercial goods on credit protects its rights in the debtor's collateral under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The subject matter is approached from the perspective of practice skills in representing a lender and a commercial debtor. Students are responsible for case and problem recitation, as well as problem solving in a team environment.

SPRG 2018: LAW BK 972 A1 , Jan 18th to Apr 20th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Thu 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Karol K. Sparks
Fri 12:00 pm 3:00 pm 3 Karol K. Sparks