The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. Please refer to the published schedule of classes on the MyBU Student Portal for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times.

  • LAW AM 813: Contract Law Practice for LLM Students: Understanding the US Lawyer's Perspective
    This is an introductory course on US contract law specifically designed for foreign-trained LLM students from civil law traditions. Its goal is to prepare non-common law lawyers to work effectively with US counsel when structuring and negotiating contractual terms and provisions. The class brings a practical perspective to the topics covered in a traditional first-year contracts course: the fundamentals of contract formation, enforceability, defenses to enforceability, interpretation, performance, conditions, third party rights, damages, and other remedies. In addition to receiving foundational exposure to the main U.S. contract law topics, students will examine how contract law principles affect real-world US legal practice in a range of settings. Comparisons to civil law traditions will be made to elucidate doctrinal concepts and practice considerations. As a result, students will gain a deeper understanding of the practical and cross-cultural issues to consider when working with (or against) US counsel. Enrollment is limited to LLM students from non-common law backgrounds who have not taken the fall semester four- credit JD or LLM contracts class.
  • LAW AM 814: Introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code: Sale of Goods and Secured Transactions
    This is a six-week class intended to provide international LLM students with an introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), the model code developed for the purpose of harmonizing the varied commercial and contract laws in the United States. The course will begin with an overall survey of the UCC, including its purpose and coverage. Students will then focus on two important articles of the code -- Article 2 and Article 9. Article 2 governs the sale of goods by merchants or professional sellers and addresses such matters as offer and acceptance, consideration and contract formation, modification, repudiation, breach of contracts, and the "battle of the forms." Article 9 governs secured transactions -- business transactions in which a debtor grants a security interest in personal property to a creditor in order to ensure repayment of a debt. This article addresses such issues as creating and giving notice of a security interest in property, and resolving conflicts among creditors claiming interests in the same property. The class will use a variety of learning methodologies, including readings, lectures, small group discussions, and role-plays. The class has no pre-requisites. Enrollment is limited to 40 LLM in American Law Program students. Students may not also enroll in LAW BK 972 or LAW JD 805.
  • LAW AM 815: Corporations for LLMs
    Course about the legal structure and characteristics of business corporations. Topics include the promotion and formation of corporations; the distribution of power between management and shareholders; the limitations on management powers imposed by state law fiduciary duties and federal securities laws; shareholder derivative suits; capital structure and financing of corporations; and fundamental changes in corporate structure, such as mergers and sales of assets. The course serves as a PREREQUISITE to advanced courses. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW AM 817: Introduction to Corporate Finance for LLM Students (S)
    Understanding how businesses raise money to fund their operations is essential for any transactional lawyer. This is a survey class for international LLM students on the foundations of corporate finance -- its functions in a corporation and the underlying principles of contract and corporate law that influence the structure of basic corporate finance instruments, i.e., stock, preferred stock, varieties of debt, and other aspects of capital raising for public and privately held companies. The seminar will introduce students to basic US and international accounting principles, fundamental financial statements, concepts underlying the time value of money, interest rates, the valuation of companies, and mergers and acquisitions. The focus will be on understanding the business functions of these instruments; the choices that business managers must make between different ways to raise capital; and the legal dimensions of corporate finance instruments that international corporate lawyers must know in order to advise business clients interested in doing business in the US. The course will also discuss the financial markets in which capital is raised. Prior coursework in accounting, while helpful, is not required. Basic concepts from finance, such as risk, return, control, cost of capital, diversification, etc., will be introduced conceptually rather than through using finance math. In addition, the course will have distinctly legal and practical component, exposing students to how corporate finance is captured in contractual documents. CO-REQUISITE: Corporations. Students with strong backgrounds in business or finance may find that this course is too elementary for them; they might consider JD corporate Finance instead. Limited to 25 LLM in American Law Program students. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW AM 891: Negotiation for LLMs (S)
    Whether you are a litigator, dealmaker or in-house counsel, your performance will turn in large part on your ability to negotiate effectively. The goal of this course is to improve your effectiveness as a negotiator. Students will engage in a series of negotiation exercises (i.e., role plays) through which they can develop and hone their skills and approaches to negotiation. Discussion and short lectures will accompany the role-plays, as appropriate. There will be short written assignments (3-5 pages) as well as a longer paper (12-15 pages) due at the end of the semester. No final exam. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 12 students. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option. RESTRICTION: Students may not enroll in Negotiation for LLMs (JD891) and Negotiation (JD921) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (JD881). **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW AM 892: Legal Interviewing & Client Counseling for LLMs
    This is a practical skills seminar designed to introduce LLM students to the theory and practice of legal interviewing and client counseling. Through a combination of classroom discussion, readings, reflective writing, simulations and role-plays, students will learn the skills and techniques lawyers use to help clients make sound decisions. These include: identifying and obtaining relevant facts; effectively formulating questions; actively listening; identifying legal problems; clarifying client needs and objectives; formulating potential strategies; assisting clients in evaluating options; and communicating difficult information to clients, in litigation and transactional contexts. This course will provide opportunities for experiential learning, allowing students to develop and practice interviewing and counseling in real- world contexts. Enrollment limited to 18. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW AM 893: Effective In-House Legal Counsel (S)
    This course will introduce internationally-trained LLM students to the roles and responsibilities of in-house legal counsel. Students will investigate the skills and characteristics that contribute to successful and effective practice as an in-house counsel and explore the similarities and differences between in- house legal practice and outside legal practice. Topics covered during the course will include: the relationship between in-house counsel and his/her client; in-house counsel's role in adding value to his/her organization; advising and counseling clients; fact gathering and investigation; managing an in-house legal practice; selecting and managing outside counsel; and the ethical challenges of in-house counsel. This will be a hands-on course focused on practice skills development. In role plays, students will step into the shoes of in-house counsel to address a variety of situations in which an in- house counsel would be expected to act. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW AM 895: Immigration Law for LLMs
    This 2-credit course is designed to give the student an overview of U.S. immigration law. The focus is on the day-to-day practice of immigration law, including an examination of the substantive and procedural aspects of this practice. Topics covered include power of the Congress to regulate immigration; the effect of politics on immigration policy; nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications; the law of asylum; the intersection of immigration law and criminal law; grounds of removal from the United States; relief from deportation, immigration court representation and access to justice; and the law of naturalization and derived citizenship. There are no prerequisites for this course. There is no writing requirement, but there will be weekly quizzes and a final examination. Class attendance and participation are essential. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. RESTRICTION Students may not enroll in both Immigration Law for LLMs and Immigration Law: LAW JD 968.
  • LAW AM 911: Practice of US Copyright and Trademark Law: Media & Entertainment Transactions (S)
    This seminar will provide foreign-trained lawyers with a practical overview of American intellectual property concepts in copyright and trademark as well as rights of privacy and confidentiality in their application and negotiation strategies in media and entertainment transactions. The course will study and analyze contracting/licensing from both a commercial and content creators' perspective. Focused on media and entertainment transactions, students will review, analyze, negotiate and draft agreements among which may include brand sponsorship, trademark licensing and product placement, content distribution, personal services for talent, such as music and TV/video production, and licensing music and clearance of rights for film and TV. Students will receive exposure to how the protection of intangible assets can further a variety of business strategies, as well as the client counseling issues to consider. International comparative analyses of concepts and strategies will be presented where applicable. Students will be evaluated based on their class participation and performance on drafting assignments, negotiation exercises and a final capstone project. Co-Requisites: Contracts; a survey IP class and/or prior exposure to copyright and trademark concepts is highly recommended. Limited to 18 LLM students. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW AM 955: Alternative Dispute Resolution for LLMs (S)
    The goal of this course is to improve the ability of internationally-trained LL.M. students to resolve disputes and to productively engage in conflict. In this highly interactive class, students will examine a variety of dispute resolution processes, other than traditional court adjudication, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, dispute system design and restorative justice. Over the course of the semester, students will engage in a series of exercises (i.e., role-plays) through which they can develop and hone their skills and approaches to dispute resolution. Discussion and short lectures will accompany the exercises, as appropriate. There will be a series of short written assignments (2-3 pages). No final exam. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students.
  • LAW AM 983: International Human Rights in Practice (S)
    This 3-credit seminar will provide an overview of international human rights advocacy beginning with the history of the international human rights movement and different theoretical perspectives about human rights advocacy. The seminar will also analyze the process by which human rights law is made, the various human rights actors and stakeholders, and the interplay between international human rights mechanisms and domestic legal systems and movements. Throughout we will consider what makes for effective human rights advocacy and what are the major critiques of the human rights movement. In order for students to develop the skills necessary to become practicing human rights lawyers and activists, the seminar will also include skills-oriented sessions and case rounds. Class exercises and simulations will help foster the development of lawyering and advocacy skills. Case rounds will give students the opportunity to present on their work, reflect on theory and practice, and solicit class feedback and discussions about challenges faced in their projects. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Because the course involves regular in-class exercises, some of which are done in teams, and class participation is a significant component of a student's final grade, regular class attendance is essential and thus the course normally does not accommodate flexibility in attendance. RESTRICTION Students may not enroll in both International Human Rights in Practice and International Human Rights (S): LAW JD 991
  • LAW BK 903: Financial Services Law Internship
    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.
  • LAW BK 905: Financial Derivative Products and Markets
    This course will introduce students to the basic economics and business purposes of a variety of derivative instruments and transactions, both exchange-traded and privately traded, and to the laws and regulations governing derivative activities and transactions. Derivatives covered will include futures, forwards, options and swaps in the interest-rate, currency, credit, equity, commodity, energy, weather and environmental areas. Students will also learn key issues and choices that arise in negotiating derivative transactions. The course will cover the increasing intersection of derivatives, cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger (blockchain) technologies, and the related rapidly changing regulatory landscape. We will discuss the treatment of derivatives in bankruptcy and financial crises, and the public-interest uses of derivatives. Finally, current "hot topics" in commodities and derivatives regulation and negotiation will be discussed. 2 credits.
  • LAW BK 911: Venture Capital Financing
    This two-credit course will provide an introduction to the legal and economic aspects of venture capital fund formation and venture capital financing transactions with the goal of familiarizing students with the legal agreements used to document these transactions; the course will be taught from a practical perspective in order to better prepare students who intend to pursue careers in transactional law. Through a combination of lectures and in-class exercises, the course will cover the entire life cycle of the formation and fundraising of both venture capital funds and entrepreneurial business ventures, focusing on the function of the most common transaction documents, the economic and/or legal purpose of the provisions contained within these documents and alternative approaches to address specific situations.
  • LAW BK 912: Introduction to the American Legal System
    This course is designed to provide foreign graduate students with a general overview of the American legal system and as a preparatory bar course. The topics include:American common law, federalism, and judicial review; the Bill of Rights and Reconstruction Amendments; freedom of speech, press, and religion; criminal law and the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments; property law; torts and civil remedies; contracts; professional responsibility; and the role of juries and the judiciary. The course grade is based on two short writing assignments, an online midterm, and online final exam, and class participation. Foreign- educated students planning to sit for a bar examination, especially the New York State Bar Examination, must take this course, which is only offered in the fall semester.Students who have completed the LECP will find some subject overlap between this course and their previous coursework, but largely different course materials.
  • LAW BK 916: Compliance With U.S. Insurance Regulations
    This course will begin with a look at the legal and regulatory environment (federal and state) governing the insurance industry and how insurance companies organize themselves to operate within that environment. It will address how insurance companies and other industry participants comply with state licensing and financial solvency rules as well as state market conduct rules (including rate setting and policy forms). It will also examine what happens when an insurance company becomes financially distressed or insolvent and how unlicensed persons and entities involved in aspects of the insurance industry comply with state insurance rules. Special attention will be paid to recent federal and state developments regarding healthcare insurance. The course will also briefly cover developments in international insurance regulation as they affect U.S. insurers, and the regulation of cyber technology such as computer modeling and blockchain in insurance operations.
  • LAW BK 917: Lessons from Major Compliance Failures
    The course will examine the stages of a significant compliance matter through a series of case studies of actual matters in various banking and financial services companies in recent years. Upon successful conclusion of this course, a student will be able to: (a) understand the different stages of a significant compliance failure at a financial services institution from initial discovery through investigation, remediation and on to final resolution, (b) understand the principal considerations and decisions that need to be made at each stage of the process, (c) formulate a plan to investigate allegations of wrongful behavior or practices, (d) determine what communication with regulators, boards of directors, and other stakeholders may be appropriate, (e) understand the principles for a successful remediation of a compliance failure, and (f) have a basic understanding of the statutory enforcement powers of the US financial regulators.
  • LAW BK 918: Compliance Role for U.S. Registered Mutual Funds
    The focus of this course will be on the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the '40 Act) and the roles and responsibilities of the Chief Compliance Officer and the Compliance Department with regards to U.S. Registered Mutual Funds. This is a "how to" course and is structured to add value to each student's career and to the firms they work for. Students will learn key portions of the '40 Act as well as the "process of compliance". By the end of the course students will know: how to create and manage an effective mutual fund compliance program; write rule inventories and risk assessments; develop policies and procedures and surveillance activities; understand critical disclosure documents; navigate a routine SEC examination; and be familiar with recordkeeping requirements. Students will also learn how the CCO and the Compliance Department work closely with the Mutual Fund Board and the fund's Service Providers.
  • LAW BK 924: Contemporary Financial Services Compliance Programs: Perspectives & Practices
    This course introduces the core requirements and foundational concepts relating to a financial services compliance program. The core requirements of a compliance program include: the designation of a compliance officer and compliance committee; implementation of written policies and procedures; conducting effective training and education; developing effective lines of communication; conducting internal testing; enforcing standards through well- publicized disciplinary guidelines; and responding promptly to detected problems with corrective action. The course will also address foundational concepts in contemporary compliance practice including the role and responsibilities of the compliance officer; the role of the compliance department within the organization; the importance of a compliance culture; the concept of tone from the top; and the importance of a strong culture of collaboration with internal stakeholders. Offered only in Fall 2020.
  • LAW BK 925: Banking Structure and Regulation
    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.