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 Common Law and the US Court 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.


Brian Carroll, Managing Counsel and Senior Vice President – Enterprise Bank Regulatory, Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

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

Mark Gim, Executive Vice President, Wealth Management and Treasurer, 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)

James E. Scott, Director, Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law

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 can also be found at the bottom of this page. The tuition for the 24 classes, offered as two classes of 90 minutes per day for 12 days, is $1600.


Financial Services Fundamentals is scheduled to run from Wednesday, August 7 through Thursday, August 22, 2019, with the final evaluation on Friday, August 23, 2019.


The 2019 schedule will be posted during the summer. The 2018 schedule is posted below as an example of what the program schedule will be like.

August 8-10

  • 4:00 to 5:30pm: Karol Sparks – Understanding Financial Statements and Types of Financial Institutions
  • 6:00 to 7:30pm: Mark Gim – Central Banks and the Financial Crisis

August 13-15

  • 4:00 to 5:30pm: Rich Daingerfield – Sophisticated Financial Instruments
  • 6:00 to 7:30pm: Samantha Kirby – Introduction to Capital Markets

August 16, 17, 20

  • 4:00 to 5:30pm: Eric Roiter – The Basics of Corporations
  • 6:00 to 7:30pm: Kevin Handly – Introduction to Administrative Law

August 21-24

  • 4:00 to 5:30pm: Scott Alvarez – Introduction to Bank Regulatory Law and Structures
  • 6:00 to 7:30pm: Brian Carroll – Being a Corporate and Regulatory Lawyer in a Common Law System

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.