Financial Services Fundamentals

Financial Services Fundamentals is a course offered to provide necessary business, legal and structural information about the financial services industry to students entering the Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law, or a more general LLM program in American law with an emphasis on business or commercial law, without significant employment experience or a strong academic background financial services or business. This course will provide the basic information on eight subjects relevant to the study of financial services law, information the faculty in the Banking Law Program expects students entering to understand prior to entering the Program. The course has the added benefit of introducing incoming international students to lectures, discussions and readings on financial topics in English.

Course Content

The course consists of eight modules on particular financial services subjects that provide essential financial law background. The subjects addressed will include:

  1. Introduction to the American Legal System: the power and authority of US courts, their role with respect to other branches of the government, the federal and state courts and how to read court cases.
  2. Banking Law and Structure: a brief history of US banking themes, major statutes, regulatory structure, types of banking institutions.
  3. Corporate Law Principles: the organization, governance, ownership and operation of structures from corporations to business trusts. Includes basic corporate governance principles.
  4. Principles of US Administrative Law: the powers and authority of of US agencies serving as financial services regulators and a description of the regulatory process by which they issue regulations, orders, interpretive letters and guidelines.
  5. Central Banks and the Conduct of Monetary Policy: the actions of the US Central Bank during the financial crisis as a lender of last resort.  Has monetary policy change since the financial crisis?
  6. Capital Markets Regulation in the US: an introduction to the regulators and statutes governing the activities of investment banks, funds, investment advisers and asset managers. Themes of capital markets regulation, including disclosure, duties owed and consumer protections.
  7. Financial Statements, the Concept of Capital and Legal Disclosures for Financial Institutions: an introduction to reading financial statements, understanding financial concepts and the disclosures required in periodic financial statements.
  8. Financial Services Products: a basic description of derivatives, futures and options, as well as asset-backed and mortgage backed securities and other sophisticated debt products.  A brief introduction to payment systems.


Scott G. Alvarez, retired General Counsel, Federal Reserve Board

Richard Daingerfield, Member, Board of Directors, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, EVP & General Counsel of Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (retired)

Mark Gim, President and Chief Operating Officer,  The Washington Trust Company

Kevin Handly, Principal, Kevin Handly LLC

Samantha M. Kirby, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP

Eric RoiterSenior Vice President and General Counsel of Fidelity Management & Research Company (retired)

Karol Sparks, Partner, Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

Eligible Students

All admitted Banking & Financial Law LLM students may choose to take this summer financial services preparatory course, but for certain prospective students, this course will be strongly recommended as a means of overcoming a lack of financial services experience. The course is also open to students enrolled in other BU LLM programs, students enrolled in non-BU LLM Programs, and non-LLM students on a case by case basis.


Anyone seeking to register for Financial Services Fundamentals must complete the registration form, which will be available at the bottom of this page on July 15, 2020 . The tuition for the 24 classes, offered as two classes of 90 minutes per day for 12 days, is $1600.


As of June 30, 2020:

Plans for Financial Services Fundamentals are currently being finalized.  The program will run either from August 4 through August 19 with a 90 minute exam on August 20, or August 5 through August 20 with the exam on August 21, depending upon faculty availability.  This information will be updated shortly.

Schedule – Summer 2020

This summer Financial Services Fundamentals will be taught entirely online in a manner that will allow students to participate in the program regardless of their location.  Some of the segments will be offered in the morning hours and some will be taught in the evenings.  All sessions will be recorded for students who are unable to join us at the time the courses are being taught.  The schedule will be posted here as soon as it is finalized.  Students will be sent instructions to access the course upon registration.

    More Information

    A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found here. More information about attending Boston University in the summer can be found here, although the registration, enrollment processes and conditions of enrollment of Financial Services Fundamentals are different from other Summer Term courses. If you have additional questions, please email

    Indicate your interest in enrolling in this course below, and we will send you additional information to continue the registration process.