Business Law

Business Law

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The Business Law emphasis at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University offers students the opportunity to develop critical insights into the complex legal issues facing today’s businesses. Students will learn how to advise companies and their leaders regarding formation, regulatory compliance, strategic decision making, and buying and selling businesses. The program offers an array of classes touching on all aspects of a business, as well as externship or work opportunities with entities ranging from major law firms and publicly traded corporations to federal and state regulatory agencies.

These courses and experiential opportunities will prepare students to advise businesses of all levels and sizes, from established multinational corporations to companies just getting off the ground.

ASU Law graduates who focus on business and transactional law will be well-positioned to succeed in a diverse and increasingly entrepreneurial world.

Our Approach

Business attorneys are often portrayed as deal breakers, not deal makers, only telling their clients what they cannot do. We teach a different approach. Our future lawyers learn to listen to their clients, understand their needs and goals, and find ways to help their clients reach those goals. The focus is on risk mitigation, not elimination, so that businesses can continue to operate and expand.

To be an effective transactional attorney, one needs a solid foundation in a variety of commercial law topics as well as securities law, tax, and employment law. Client communications and strategic thinking are also key components for success.

This program is designed to expose students to the subject areas they will need if they are to advise clients on the many issues that arise in the business world. Students will get a mix of doctrinal and experiential courses that help them understand and create unique solutions for problems that businesses often face.

Degrees

Juris Doctor (JD): Students interested in business law can choose from a variety of courses and experiences designed to prepare them for a career advising and representing businesses big and small.


Master of Laws (LLM): Students who already have a JD or equivalent from a foreign law school can acquire additional knowledge and skills about business and transactional law by taking an additional year’s worth of business-focused coursework.

Alternatively, LLM students may choose to participate in the Entrepreneurship Law and Strategy emphasis, focusing their studies on the unique legal and strategic challenges facing early stage ventures.


Master of Legal Studies (MLS): This one-year program is aimed at those who do not intend to practice law, but who would like to understand the legal framework in which such businesses operate. The Entrepreneurship Law and Strategy Program is designed for those who want to work in the startup ecosystem, whether as a funder, founder, or employee. Alternatively, MLS students may study a more traditional corporate and business law curriculum – securities law, business organizations, corporate taxation, etc. – rather than focus on issues faced primarily by early stage companies.

Experiential opportunities

The Innovation Advancement Program pairs inventors, technology entrepreneurs, tech transfer professionals, and emerging technology companies with some of ASU’s brightest law students. Teams of two or three law students undertake a wide array of legal services to help early-stage venturers solidify their legal foundations, avoiding many of the mistakes made and pitfalls encountered when moving technology into the marketplace. Students are able to tap expertise from seasoned professionals at local law firms.

ASU Law also offers a variety of externships through which students can gain practical experience in commercial and corporate settings. In addition to paid externships with law firms, organizations who host externs include:

  • ASML
  • Avella of Deer Valley Inc.
  • AZ Crown Investment
  • Elevate Services, Inc.
  • Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc.
  • Healthcare Outcomes Performance Company
  • Integrate
  • Intel Corp
  • Iron Mountain Data Centers, LLC
  • JDA Software
  • Medical Logistics Management
  • ON Semiconductor
  • Oxford Life Insurance
  • Ping
  • Salt River Project, Legal Office
  • U-Haul
  • Voya Investment Management
  • Wolff Company

Student opportunities

In addition to the many academic experiences offered, students are encouraged to join the Corporate and Business Law Society, a student-run organization that hosts multiple networking events each semester, alongside educational lunches that are often sponsored by well-respected practitioners from around the, valley. We also have the Corporate and Business Law Journal that JD candidates in their second or third year may join. Furthermore, JD candidates in their second or third year may apply to compete in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, an annual international moot court arbitration held in Hong Kong and Vienna or the American Bar Association’s Representation in Mediation Competition, where competitors are placed in both lawyer and client roles.

Business Law typing at computer and paper document

Expertise

ASU Law has a number of faculty and practitioners with significant experience working for and advising corporations and other organizations.