Courses

  • 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 908: Venture Capital Financing
    This one-credit course will provide an introduction to the legal and economic aspects of venture capital financing transactions with the goal of familiarizing students with the legal agreements used to document these transactions. Through a combination of lectures and in-class exercises, the course will cover the entire life cycle of an investment, 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • LAW BK 927: Anti-Money Laundering: A Major Substantive Compliance Topic & an Example of Risk Management
    This AML training course is intended to familiarize students with the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing; describe the legal and regulatory framework that governs AML compliance and its relationship to a financial institution's overall compliance function; and explain the consequences of non- compliance. At the end of the course, students should have not only a good working knowledge of AML compliance as a major compliance area for financial institutions but also a concrete example of risk management, monitoring and testing and the administrative requirements involved in customer screening.
  • LAW BK 928: Investment Adviser Compliance & its Lessons for Broader Financial Institution Compliance
    This course introduces the foundational components of an investment advisers compliance program. The course will cover the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the role of the SEC and will touch on the following areas: registration, books and records, fiduciary duty, Code of Ethics, Form ADV, advertising, guideline monitoring, allocation, best execution, error resolution, insider trading, and proxy voting. Emphasis on compliance methods and skills, including review of regulatory rules, compliance case discussions, and building and monitoring surveillance activities, will offer a broader perspective on general financial institution compliance. Students should come away with a working knowledge of how a financial institution compliance department operates.
  • LAW BK 931: Compliance Programs
    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.
  • LAW BK 933: Bankruptcy
    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.
  • LAW BK 934: Hedge Funds
    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.
  • LAW BK 935: Microfinance and Development
    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.
  • LAW BK 937: Corporations I
    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.
  • LAW BK 938: Corporations II
    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.
  • LAW BK 941: Professional Responsibility
    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.
  • LAW BK 950: Pooled Funds and Investor Protection
    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.
  • LAW BK 955: Securities Regulation
    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.
  • LAW BK 957: Introduction to Project Finance
    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.
  • LAW BK 958: Transnational Lending
    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.
  • LAW BK 971: Lessons from the Financial Crisis
    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.
  • LAW BK 972: Secured Transactions
    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.