Business Law

eCornell

eCornell

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Who should attend

  • Business leaders looking to better understand legal issues
  • Founders and entrepreneurs
  • Anyone looking to work effectively with legal professionals

About the course

Success in business requires a basic understanding of law and the ability to partner with lawyers to address legal issues, set up new businesses, make business and property deals, and navigate laws and regulations.

The first of four courses begins with a look at foundational legal concepts, including business structures and the legal responsibilities of corporate directors and officers. The second course examines how contracts and business agreements are ideally structured. The third course delves into specialty areas of law, including employment, real property, tax planning, litigation and startups. The series ends with a focus on partnering with lawyers to navigate legal obstacles and accomplish business goals.

With content provided by ten Cornell Law School professors and five practicing attorneys, this series offers rich legal insight and practical approaches to real-life business situations. Animated videos, downloadable tools, carefully planned course projects and engaging activities make for a compelling and result-focused learning experience.

Embracing the Basics of Business Law

Presented by five legal experts with deep knowledge and experience in both academia and the corporate space, this course introduces you to a range of topics that serve as a foundation for dealing with legal matters in business.

You begin with a look at the sources of law, the formation of legal arguments and the growing role of regulatory agencies. The course proceeds with a tour of online legal resources, then moves to various kinds of business structures, along with the circumstances under which you might use each. The course ends with a close look at the legal responsibilities that apply to people holding certain positions in business.

Structuring Business Agreements for Success

Contracts are often written by legal professionals, but the best business deals are ones worked out collaboratively by people who know their business operations intimately.

This course will help you gain a seat at the negotiating table, familiarizing you with legal terms and concepts involved in business deals. You’ll learn how to collaborate with legal counsel and help negotiating parties address information gaps to reach agreement.

With content provided by two Cornell Law School professors and two practicing corporate attorneys, this course is rich with practical video content and a course project that’s designed to help you apply what you’ve learned to your own work situation.

The course Embracing the Basics of Business Law is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Exploring Specialty Areas of Business Law

Running a business is, in many ways, a legal undertaking in itself. With so many moving parts and ongoing concerns, several areas of law are touched upon while doing business: employment laws and regulations, real property, litigation, business tax planning, and startup financial structuring.

While it’s important to draw on expert legal counsel when required, it’s equally as important to be informed yourself. The more working knowledge you have of these specialty areas of law, the better you’ll be able to identify and discuss them and be prepared to face your pressing issues head on.

This course is co-authored by by six legal experts, including Cornell Law School professors and practicing attorneys. Through a rich set of animated videos and a course project that ensures application of the concepts to your own work situation, you’ll be ready face legal issues that are of particular relevance to your business.

The courses Embracing the Basics of Business Law and Structuring Business Agreements for Success are required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Working with Legal Professionals

To handle legal matters appropriately, business people need to know how to get good legal advice. This may require finding and retaining a lawyer, or it may involve working with existing in-house counsel. Business people must understand how lawyers approach legal issues and what lawyers need from clients in order to represent them effectively.

With content provided by four legal experts, including Cornell Law School professors and practicing attorneys, this course explains how lawyers work, how to establish an effective relationship with both in-house and external counsel, and how to work with legal professionals on business transactions and litigation. A course project guides you in applying these principles of attorney-client collaboration to your own work situation.

These courses are required to be completed prior to starting this course:

  • Embracing the Basics of Business Law
  • Structuring Business Agreements for Success
  • Exploring Specialty Areas of Business Law

KEY COURSE TAKEAWAYS

  • Look up laws and court cases relating to your business
  • Recognize the pros and cons of various business structures
  • Identify the legal duties you may have as a business leader
  • Analyze the structure and components of contracts to prepare for successful business deals
  • Identify practices necessary to comply with employment law
  • Participate effectively in legal processes associated with real property law
  • Take appropriate action in initiating or responding to lawsuits
  • Identify legal ways to reduce business taxes
  • Tackle legal and capital funding issues faced by startups
  • Interview and select legal counsel
  • Collaborate effectively with in-house counsel and external lawyers on litigation, business deals, and other matters

WHAT YOU'LL EARN

  • Business Law Certificate from Cornell Law School
  • 32 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

Experts

Charles Whitehead

Charles K. Whitehead specializes in the law relating to corporations, financial markets, and business transactions. After clerking for the Hon. Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland, U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit), Professor Whitehead practiced in the United States, Europe, and Asia as outside couns...

David Sherwyn

David Sherwyn is the John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources and a professor of law at Cornell University''s School of Hotel Administration. He is also the academic director of the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations and a research fe...

Jim Fulton

Jim Fulton is a partner in the Emerging Companies practice group. He joined the Firm in 1995 and is resident in the New York office. Prior to his tenure in New York, Mr. Fulton spent 17 years practicing in Cooley’s Palo Alto office where he was firm-wide Chair of the Emerging Companies practice g...

Robert Green

Robert A. Green teaches federal income taxation, international taxation, international trade law, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, and the taxation of financial products. After his graduation from Georgetown University Law Center, he clerked for the Hon. Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Cou...

Robert Hillman

Robert Hillman has written extensively on contracts and contract theory, the Uniform Commercial Code, and related jurisprudence. His articles have appeared in the Stanford, NYU, Columbia, Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, Duke, and Cornell law reviews, and he is the author of The Richness of Contr...

Mark Underberg

Mark Underberg has practiced corporate law for nearly 30 years, advising directors and officers in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, disclosure and securities and capital market transactions. Until 2012, he was a partner in the New York City law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rif...

Nina Scholtz

After earning her J.D. and B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, Nina Scholtz clerked for the Honorable Lawrence T. Lydick of the United States District Court, Central District of California. She practiced in civil litigation and appeals in Los Angeles for fourteen years before obtain...

Jed Stiglitz

Jed Stiglitz is a Professor of Law and the Jia Jonathan Zhu and Ruyin Ruby Ye Sesquicentennial Fellow. His research focuses on administrative law, with an emphasis on the relationship between judicial review and the values of trust and accountability in the administrative state. He also studies l...

Robert Wertheimer

Robert Wertheimer is a partner in the Real Estate practice of Paul Hastings. He is co-vice chair of the firm's Real Estate practice. Mr. Wertheimer focuses his practice on commercial real estate purchase and sale transactions, joint ventures, development and finance matters, representing entrepre...

Videos and materials

Business Law at eCornell

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