J.D. Business and Entrepreneurial Emphasis Area Requirements

Emphasis in Business & Entrepreneurial Law

The Emphasis in Business and Entrepreneurial Law program is designed to provide within the J.D. degree a well-rounded course of study for students interested in an emphasis in business law and transactional practice. 


Any candidate for the J.D. degree who has earned passing grades in the Business Organizations and Federal Taxation courses may apply for the Emphasis in Business and Entrepreneurial Law program.

The deadline for application to the program shall be no later than the beginning of the second week of classes of the student's sixth semester of law school. Any student who applies after the beginning of his or her fourth semester must demonstrate that the program can be completed by the end of the sixth semester of law school. Appropriate adjustments will be made to deal with part-time students not on the regular semester schedule. Exceptions to the deadlines may be made with approval of at least two-thirds of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors: any full-time, long-term contract, tenure-track or tenured professors who concentrate on business, entrepreneurial, or transactional law within the School of Law (the "Emphasis Faculty Advisors").

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Lawyering Skills. All LL.M. in Lawyering students will acquire or improve the following legal skills: the ability to read and analyze legal texts, including cases; the ability to conduct legal research on U.S. law sources; the ability to spot legal issues raised by typical legal problems; the ability to apply the law to factual scenarios; the ability to analyze legal issues and predict likely judicial outcomes; the ability to communicate legal analysis clearly in writing and orally; the ability to interview witnesses and clients; the ability to counsel clients with legal analysis and legal options; the ability negotiate a legal issue or problem with an adversary; the ability to make persuasive arguments based on the combination of law and facts.
  • Legal English. For those students who were trained in law outside of the U.S. or another English-speaking, common law country, they will develop a working knowledge of key legal English terms used in law practice in the United States.
  • Knowledge of U.S. Law. Students in the LL.M. in Lawyering program will learn or deepen their understanding of U.S. law generally and in particular sub-areas of U.S. law in one of the emphasis areas or such other area or combination of areas selected by the student with the approval of the academic advisor.

Below is a partial list of courses that would support the emphasis area identified. Course schedules change on an annual basis, so all courses listed below may not be available in a particular year. The LL.M. student’s academic advisor may approve additional courses not listed as counting towards an emphasis area. One course, Global Legal Systems, is listed for each emphasis area because students write papers to compare US law to the law of other countries, and that course can count towards an emphasis area if the paper topic supports the emphasis and is approved by the academic advisor. In addition to the course requirements, each student must complete an internship approved in advance by the academic advisor to qualify for this emphasis area.

LAW 8643FAdvanced Legal Research: Foreign, Comparative and International Law1
LAW 8707BAdvanced Legal Writing: Business Contract Drafting3
LAW 8605Antitrust And Fair Competition Law2-3
LAW 8797Business Torts and Unfair Competition2-3
LAW 8501Contracts I3
LAW 8502Contracts II3
LAW 8721Commercial Transactions3
LAW 8725EEnergy Law3
LAW 8757REntrepreneurial Law & Practice Clinic2
LAW 8754International Business Transactions2-3
LAW 8918International Commercial Arbitration1
LAW 8837Negotiating Mergers And Acquisitions2-3
LAW 8758SSecurities Regulation2-3
LAW 8720Secured Transactions3
LAW 8601LTransactional Lawyering Skills Lab1
LAW 8743Global Legal Systems (with appropriate topic for paper)1-3


Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Students will demonstrate mastery of core doctrinal knowledge within emphasis area
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of skills necessary for objective legal analysis.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of the skills necessary for effective legal research in the emphasis area.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of legal writing with particular emphasis on transactional drafting.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of the duties of attorneys as members of the legal profession.
  • Students will demonstrate ability to work with people in a professional environment
  • Students will demonstrate competency in professional work habits
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level proficiency in lawyering skills especially relevant to the emphasis area.


Minimum Total Hours Required

The Business Emphasis  requires satisfaction of all Group A required courses listed below and a minimum of 9 credit hours of courses from the approved Group B elective courses listed below.  Any course in Group A or B may be counted toward the required total hours even if it is also used to satisfy the student's Emphasis Research and Writing Requirement.

Writing Requirement

The Business Emphasis requires students to complete a paper of high professional quality that reflects detailed research and analysis of one or more business or entrepreneurial law topic(s). The paper must be certified by one of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors as satisfying that standard. A student may request such certification through their J.D. Research Requirement paper or through any other paper done during their J.D. program, whether in connection with a course, independent study, or otherwise, and whether or not the paper is graded or given course credit toward their J.D.

Practical Skills Requirement

Students must complete at least one course containing a substantial practical skills component. The following courses satisfy this requirement:

Transactional Lawyering Skills Lab
Business and Personal Finance
Entrepreneurial Lawyering: Solo and Small Firm Practice
Advanced Legal Writing: Business Contract Drafting
Business Planning
Entrepreneurial Law & Practice Clinic
Negotiating Mergers And Acquisitions
Real Estate Transactions
Intellectual Property Clinic

In lieu of one of those courses, the Practical Skills Requirement may be met by such other internships, externships, simulation courses, drafting courses, advanced research courses, or other courses designed to provide exposure to development of practice skills in the type of work commonly performed by lawyers in the business and entrepreneurial law field and that are approved by at least two-thirds of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors for satisfaction of this Practical Skills Requirement.

Ethics Requirement

In addition to relevant instruction provided in the required Securities Regulation course, each candidate for the Emphasis must attend at least three clock hours of instruction dealing with ethical issues that frequently arise in the business and entrepreneurial law field and that is approved by the Business Emphasis Administrator (defined at the end of this page).

Advanced Research Requirement

All students in the program must satisfy an advanced research requirement which provides familiarity with materials and sources frequently consulted by lawyers practicing in the business and entrepreneurial law field. Subject to approval of at least two-thirds of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors, this may entail a separate course, a component of an existing course, a separate lecture, seminar or workshop offering, or demonstrably satisfactory training on advanced research in connection with the Emphasis Writing Requirement.

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisites or Co-requisites

Federal Taxation
Business Organizations

Required Courses (Group A) (All must be taken on a graded basis unless otherwise approved by the Emphasis Faculty Advisors)

Secured Transactions
Real Estate Finance
Debtor-Creditor Rights
Business and Personal Finance
Securities Regulation
Legal Accounting (or other approved prior accounting education)
Corporate Taxation I
and Partnership Taxation I
Taxation Of Business Organization

Sufficient Electives Requirement (Group B) (Must take at least 9 credit hours, all taken on a graded basis, from among these courses)

Transactional Lawyering Skills Lab
Business and Personal Finance (if not taken to satisfy Group A course)
Antitrust And Fair Competition Law
Entrepreneurial Lawyering: Solo and Small Firm Practice
Special Topics in Entrepreneurial Lawyering
Secured Transactions (if not taken to satisfy Group A course)
Commercial Transactions
Debtor-Creditor Rights (if not taken to satisfy Group A course)
International Business Transactions
Law of International Trade and Finance
Business Planning
Entrepreneurial Law & Practice Clinic
Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation
Social Entrepreneurship Ventures
Social Venture Creation
Labor Law
Employment Discrimination Law
Employment Law
Administrative Law
Public Finance
Art Law
Sports Law I, Amateur Sports Law
Sports Law II, Professional Sports Law
Entertainment Law
Intellectual Property Law
Copyright Law
Patent Law
Negotiating Mergers And Acquisitions
Real Estate Finance (if not taken to satisfy Group A course)
Real Estate Transactions
Legal Context of Real Estate Decision Making
Tax-Exempt Organizations
Sales and Leasing
Construction Law
Advising Life Sciences and Technology Entrepreneurs
Intellectual Property Clinic
Advanced Legal Writing: Business Contract Drafting

If a Group B course is properly counted toward the 9 credit hour Group B requirement and also listed above as a course satisfying the Practical Skills Requirement, it may be applied to satisfaction of both the those requirements. A course listed above as a course satisfying the Practical Skills Requirement but not listed as a Group B course may not be applied to satisfaction of the Group B requirement.


For a student's participation in the Business Emphasis to be recognized at graduation and on such student's transcript, and in addition to satisfying the other above-described requirements, the student must have completed and passed courses sufficient to satisfy the courses requirements described above and achieved a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in the Applicable Courses; provided that a student may, at the student’s option, omit a grade received in either Corporate Taxation I or Partnership Taxation I, while still counting the course to reach the courses completed and passed requirements for the Business Emphasis; and provided that a student may also omit any grade received in any Group B course, so long as the student has grades from at least 9 credit hours of  other Group B courses properly  included and counted in the grade point average necessary for the Business Emphasis.  For this purpose, "Applicable Courses" means whichever Group A courses the student completed and passed that the student elects to count toward satisfaction of the Group A requirement and all Group B courses completed and passed by the student.

Important Note: Because the School is committed to keeping up with changes in the practice of law, and because of potential scheduling changes on course offerings due to various circumstances, the requirements for emphasis areas may change during the course of a student's enrollment at the Law School. A course of independent study not listed above can meet a Business Emphasis course requirements if approved by at least two-thirds of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors.  The requirements at the time a student is granted admission into the emphasis area are the requirements that govern completion of the student's emphasis requirements.

For questions about applying for the Business Emphasis or satisfying its requirements, or about possible revised requirements that will take effect in  the next academic year, ask the Business Emphasis Administrator. The “Business Emphasis Administrator” means an Emphasis Faculty Advisor appointed to be the principal contact with candidates for administration of the application to pursue and monitoring compliance with the requirements to earn the Business Emphasis credential. The current Business Emphasis Administrator is Professor Christopher Hoyt