Director, Corporate Counsel Externship Program
BA, Sweet Briar College
JD, University of Virginia School of Law
Cecily Banks is a lecturer and director of the School of Law’s Corporate Counsel Externship Program. Banks joined the faculty in 2017 to launch the law school’s externship program devoted to corporate counsel placements. Through this program, BU law students train for academic credit in the in-house legal offices of corporations in Boston and beyond. Banks teaches a connected seminar on the modern role of in-house counsel and on professional development through practice. Banks will also teach Contract Drafting as part of the law school’s Transactional Law Program.
Banks comes to this role after 15 years as a faculty member at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. While there, she created, launched and directed the law school’s first Corporate Counsel Clinical Externship Program and oversaw its growth through generous training partnerships with corporate counsel and through increasing student demand for these experiences. She also served as a Professor of Experiential Education and taught Contract Drafting and Transactional Lawyering, teaching students the foundations on how to draft, negotiate and analyze business contracts and on how to represent business clients. To enrich the law school’s transactional skills curriculum, Banks also created a number of programs, including a transactional law speaker series and a “business for lawyers” workshop. In addition, Banks taught as a Professor of Legal Practice, immersed in the first-year legal writing, research, and advocacy curriculum.
Prior to Banks’s law faculty positions, Banks represented business and corporate clients as an attorney in the Litigation Practice Group of the law firm of Hinckley Allen, in both its Providence and Boston offices. Prior to that, Banks represented business and corporate clients at the law firm of Richards, McGettigan, Reilly & West in Alexandria, Virginia, in commercial litigation matters in the state and federal courts in Virginia, as well as in establishing business entities, and negotiating and advising on commercial leases, all in a wide variety of industries.
Banks is a long-time volunteer to support the social justice and public interest missions of legal education and within the practice of law.
Contract Drafting: LAW JD 788
This course is the foundational skills course within the Transactional Law Program. It teaches students basic principles and skills of drafting and analyzing commercial and transaction agreements, with a focus on recognizing, and addressing through contractual provisions, key business issues in transactions. Although the course will be of particular interest to students interested in a corporate or transactional law practice, since most practicing attorneys will need to work with contracts at some point in their career, the concepts and skills which the course conveys are applicable to virtually all practice areas and specialties. While the course utilizes lectures to introduce various contract concepts and techniques essential for drafting and reviewing commercial and transaction agreements, it requires that students complete both in-class exercises and out-of-class assignments as a means of building basic drafting skills and a solid understanding of the structure and operation of contractual provisions in a business transaction. Grades will be based on the graded assignments, good faith completion of ungraded assignments, and class participation. CLASS SIZE: 12 students. NOTE: This course counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: A student who fails to attend the first class or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar will be administratively dropped from the course. Students who are on the wait list are required to attend the first class to be considered for enrollment. 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.
FALL 2021: LAW JD 788 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2021
FALL 2021: LAW JD 788 B1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2021
FALL 2021: LAW JD 788 C1 , Sep 8th to Dec 8th 2021
FALL 2021: LAW JD 788 D1 , Sep 8th to Dec 8th 2021
FALL 2021: LAW JD 788 E1 , Sep 9th to Dec 9th 2021
FALL 2021: LAW JD 788 F1 , Sep 9th to Dec 9th 2021
SPRG 2022: LAW JD 788 A2 , Jan 25th to Apr 19th 2022
SPRG 2022: LAW JD 788 B2 , Jan 26th to Apr 20th 2022
SPRG 2022: LAW JD 788 C2 , Jan 27th to Apr 21st 2022
FALL 2020: LAW JD 788 A1 , Sep 3rd to Dec 3rd 2020
FALL 2020: LAW JD 788 B1 , Sep 1st to Dec 1st 2020
FALL 2020: LAW JD 788 C1 , Sep 2nd to Dec 2nd 2020
FALL 2020: LAW JD 788 D1 , Sep 2nd to Dec 2nd 2020
FALL 2020: LAW JD 788 E1 , Sep 2nd to Dec 2nd 2020
FALL 2020: LAW JD 788 F1 , Sep 3rd to Dec 3rd 2020
SPRG 2021: LAW JD 788 A2 , Jan 19th to Apr 20th 2021
SPRG 2021: LAW JD 788 B2 , Jan 20th to Apr 21st 2021
SPRG 2021: LAW JD 788 C2 , Jan 21st to Apr 22nd 2021
Corporate Counsel Externship Seminar: LAW JD 896
This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is a 2-credit graded seminar for those students doing fieldwork in Corporate Counsel offices that meets every week for 1.5 hours. The seminar will cover a range of topics and competencies essential to the day-to-day role of a lawyer in the corporate counsel offices of for-profit and nonprofit companies, such as: understanding the modern and future role of corporate counsel offices, on a global scale; exercising executive leadership; representing a business entity through its constituents; becoming both a trusted legal advisor and strategic business partner to the corporate client; upholding confidentiality and ethical standards; learning the client's business; understanding the role of regulatory compliance; communicating effectively in a business setting; managing priorities and crises; collaborating with multi-disciplined teams; and solving problems with workable solutions that enable the client's objectives. To maximize the students' growth over the semester, the seminar will also teach students how lawyers learn from practice, build strong supervisory and mentorship relationships, build cultural competence, reflect and self-assess, and set and measure progress on professional development goals. Students will write reflective papers, make oral presentations, and complete other work as required by the instructor. COREQUISITE: Corporate Counsel Externship Fieldwork (JD 954). NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement.
FALL 2021: LAW JD 896 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2021
SPRG 2022: LAW JD 896 B1 , Jan 25th to Apr 19th 2022
FALL 2020: LAW JD 896 A1 , Sep 1st to Dec 1st 2020
SPRG 2021: LAW JD 896 B1 , Jan 19th to Apr 20th 2021
Independent Proposal Externship: Paper (C): LAW JD 710
This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Students receive credit for an externship done in conjunction with an independent study project. Qualifying placements include the legal departments of non-profits, government agencies, private companies, or law firms. Placements may be paid or unpaid. Students may find their own placements that must be approved by the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office, or the Office has resources to help students identify and apply to suitable field placements based on their interests and career goals. Students receive 3-9 variable P/F credits for their fieldwork, as determined in consultation with their placement supervisors. Each credit requires 50 hours of work over the course of the 13-week semester (averaging 4 hours per week). NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: INDEPENDENT PROPOSAL EXTERNSHIP: FIELDWORK (LAW JD 709).
FALL 2021: LAW JD 710 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 9th 2021
SPRG 2022: LAW JD 710 A1 , Jan 21st to Apr 22nd 2022
FALL 2020: LAW JD 710 A1 , Aug 31st to Dec 7th 2020
SPRG 2021: LAW JD 710 A1 , Jan 19th to Apr 22nd 2021