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All VLS Courses

Course Name

Accounting and Business Fundamentals


An introduction to accounting and basic business principles for attorneys, including reading annual reports and financial statements, researching the financial structure of corporations and non-profits, and exploring relevant issues such as socially responsible investing.

Antitrust Law


This course is a basic introduction to federal antitrust law.  It will explore basic concepts in competition theory.  Specific topics will include cartels, monopolization, price-fixing, exclusive dealing rules, vertical restraints, and mergers.

Bankruptcy and Environmental Law


Explores the interface of environmental laws and federal bankruptcy statutes, as well as the tension between the goals of bankruptcy and the goals of environmental law, in particular CERCLA. Topics covered include the rights and obligations of debtors and creditors under the Bankruptcy Code, the discharge of environmental debts in bankruptcy, and the abandonment of contaminated property by the bankruptcy trustee.

Business Taxation


Survey of income tax issues of corporations, partnerships, S Corporations, limited liability companies, and their owners arising out of the business entity's formation, operation and liquidation. 

Commercial Law/Payment Systems

Randall Mayhew

Survey of the law relating to payment systems, with a major focus on the checking system and Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and applicable federal regulations. Topics include the laws and rules relating to electronic funds transfers, credit cards, debit cards, notes, letters of credit and similar payment devices. Also included are discussions of suretyship law and various credit enhancement devices. 

Copyright Law


A comprehensive introduction to copyright law that examines the historical foundations of copyright and related intellectual property law, U.S. treaty obligations, policies and case law that shape not only the traditional areas of copyright law, but also the often controversial relationship between copyright and technology in the digital age.

Corporate Finance/Mergers and Acquisitions


Explores legal and financial issues relating to the capital structure and financing of corporations, including various types of securities and the rights and legal relationships among the holders of such securities; and business and legal considerations with respect to dividends and distributions to shareholders.  This course also considers the planning, structure and implementation in connection with mergers and acquisitions, and the role of the business lawyer in corporate transactions. 

Corporations and Other Business Associations


Provides a basic understanding of the different organizational forms for businesses, including corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships, general partnerships and sole proprietorships.  The course also examines the law of agency, and surveys selected topics, such as basic accounting principles, business formation, financing, dissolution, and securities regulation.

Debtor-Creditor Law and Bankruptcy


An exploration of consumer bankruptcy law under Chapters 7, 12, and 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and how the law impacts the rights of borrowers and lenders. The course covers the creation of consumer lender-borrower relationships, including promissory notes, security agreements, and mortgages; rights of borrowers under the Truth in Lending Act, RESPA, and other consumer protection laws; creditor remedies; and exemption statutes under state and federal law. 

Digital Drafting


Focuses on how new technologies affect legal drafting, and surveys the historical background of law and technology; the logical basis for such legal documents as contracts, wills, statutes and regulations; and the theory of embedding law in code. The course  also considers the secondary effects on law, lawyering and the legal profession likely to arise from the digitization of many legal tasks. In addition to the reading and class discussions, students will learn basic programming techniques and will undertake drafting projects. 

Employment Discrimination Law


Examines federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and sexual identity.  In particular, the course examinesTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity.


Employment Law


Examines areas of federal and state labor law which regulate the employment relationship and which provide minimum protection outside of collective bargaining.  Major topics considered include wrongful discharge, post-employment liability, employee privacy, genetic and drug testing, and employee welfare and retirement benefits (ERISA).

GPP II - Commercial Transactions

General PracticeBusiness

Advice to clients respecting commercial transactions, that is, as to binding agreements between parties of all sorts involving the transfer of goods and services, lies at the core of the private practice of law. This course is an introduction to the negotiation, drafting, performance and enforcement of such agreements in a "real world" context, with a particular emphasis on the interpretation and understanding of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, with at least a nod to U.C.C. Articles 9 (secured transactions) and 3 (negotiable instruments) as they impact on these transactions. In the context of a law firm's actual practice, students will prepare to interview and advise clients on proposed transactions, identify and resolve legal and ethical issues, negotiate the terms of commercial contracts, draft such contracts and analyze and advise clients on issues of performance and breach.

Income Taxation


An introduction to federal income taxation.  Topics include:  the concept of income; exclusions from income; deductions and credits available to individual non-business taxpayers and business taxpayers; sales and other dispositions of property; capital gains and losses.

Intellectual Property


A basic introduction to the law of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. 

International Business Transactions

International LawBusiness

Using a problem-solving method, this course provides a practice-based introduction to private cross-border transactions, such as purchase/sale of goods; licensing of intellectual properties; and investment of capital in foreign countries in a service business.  

Nonprofit Management


An overview of management subjects facing nonprofit organizations, including resource development, leadership and governance, staffing, planning and policy, resource management and reporting, communications, and stewardship

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Non-Profit Organizations


Examines nonprofit law, policy and practice. The course focuses on the issues surrounding the creation of a tax-exempt charitable organization at the state and federal levels, raising money for that organization, unrelated business income, lobbying and political activity, board of directors and managerial liability, and dissolution of the organization. 

Representing a Private Business: Formation, Financing, Recruitment, Venture Capital/Private Equity, Acquisitions and Exit Strategies


Prepares students for the practice of transactional corporate law by providing them with a foundation on the law and processes related to corporate transactions, acquisitions, and divestitures of businesses.  Students draft documents, negotiate business issues, and organize the legal affairs for growing businesses.



Covers primarily Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code governing the sale of goods, including formation and modification of contracts for sale, Article 2's statute of frauds, warranties, parole evidence, risk allocations when goods are stored or transported, breach, remedies for sellers and buyers, and contractual limitations on remedies.  The course includes references to consumer rights as well as comparisons between the common law of contract and the Code's rules and concepts.

Secured Transactions


An examination of the structure of the law of security interests in personal property from both practical and economic perspectives.  The course covers the interests of all parties in secured transactions, particularly as a way of financing business.

Securities Regulation


A study of federal law and the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the registration, distribution and trading of securities, and legal and regulatory aspects of the securities industry.  The course considers the responsibilities and liabilities of issuers of securities, its officers and directors, brokers, attorneys, and other participants in the distribution and trading processes, as well as issues regarding "insider" trading.

Social Enterprise Law


Explores which legal rules can best further enterprises that are designed to engage in profit-making activities for the purpose of promoting social goals.  Will examine ways to define social enterprises; and ask whether traditional for-profit or non profit business forms can accommodate these dual mission companies or whether a new hybrid business form is needed.

Sports Law


An interdisciplinary course that provides students with both practical and theoretical approaches to legal issues that affect professional and amateur sports leagues, conferences, team, and players.  Topics include torts, antitrust, labor, agency, criminal, contract, immigration, and anti-discrimination laws.

Trademark and Unfair Competition


Provides students with a solid foundation in trademark, rights of publicity, advertising, and other state and federal law relating to the protection of commercial goodwill. Students will also be introduced to the practical aspects of interacting with the US Trademark Office and its administrative body - The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board.