Campbell Law School: Creating Practice-Ready Lawyers in Transactional Law
Article Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Written By: J. Bryan Boyd
As the practice of law becomes more diverse and increasingly specialized, Campbell Law School consistently seeks to live out the goal of producing "practice-ready lawyers."
While the law school has historically been known as a place where outstanding litigators are trained, Campbell Law has produced an equally talented group of transactional attorneys, serving their clients across the state, region, and nation in a variety of roles.
Our required curriculum introduces all students to transactional legal education. From Contracts in the first year and Business Organizations in the second year, students are given a foundation to prepare them for a transactional practice. In the third year, all students are required to take two semesters of Uniform Commercial Code. These three-hour courses provide students with critical exposure to many complex legal issues presented under the UCC, including Sales and Leasing and Secured Transactions. In addition, all students are required to take a Planning Elective in the second or third year of law school. These electives are designed to establish a "hands on" exposure to transactional law in a variety of settings. For example:
• Business Planning presents a study of the formation, operation and disposition of business enterprises. This course seeks to synthesize contract, tax, securities and corporate law (as well as law governing partnerships and limited liability companies) into an integrated whole as applied to planning problems drawn from real-world businesses.
• Contract Planning concentrates specifically on contract law and drafting. The setting for the course is a law office with lawyer and client working together to complete a required project by planning, negotiating, and drafting a long-term contract.
• Estate Planning reviews and evaluates planning opportunities and techniques inherent within the Federal transfer tax system. The course assists student in learning how to accomplish a client's wealth transfer goals while reducing the transfer tax consequences through careful planning and drafting.
Nearly 10 years ago, Campbell Law School created elective tracks for students desiring to structure some of their elective courses around a particular practice area. Within the Business Track, students take courses that provide essential understanding to transactional law practice. These courses include Bankruptcy, Income Tax, Securities Regulation, Antitrust, Employment Law, Franchise Law, International Business Transactions, Non-Profit Organizations, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Payment Systems.
This past semester, we created a new transactional course entitled "Corporations: From Formation to Major Transactions." This course provides students with a practical understanding of the core skills and knowledge necessary to embark on a corporate law practice. Students are given the opportunity to review and draft corporate formation documents, work through common issues relating to founders, the board of directors, and employees, and to negotiate and prepare for significant corporate transactions, such as financing or acquisition.
Recently, we have added the Intellectual Property track to our curriculum. Students in this track are engaged in a variety of Patent, Trademark, Copyright issues, including licensing and transactions of Intellectual Property.
In addition to our curriculum offerings and specialties, opportunities for our students for experiential learning through our externship program have increased almost 300%. With this, transactional law externships have increased, providing our students with the perfect opportunity to further develop a theoretical and practical understanding of what it means to be a lawyer today.
Campbell Law School's commitment to transactional learning continues to grow through our expanded curriculum offerings, specialized electives, and increased partnerships in business which uniquely position our graduates to serve their clients from boardrooms to courtrooms and beyond.
J. Bryan Boyd is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Campbell Law School.
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