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Author Topic: Recommended classes  (Read 756 times)

confusedatquinnipiac

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Recommended classes
« on: March 21, 2008, 11:04:18 PM »
I am in the process of figuring out which classes to take for next year (my 2L year)
The school has these core classes: Income tax, administrative law, trusts and estates, evidence, commercial law, and business organizations which they require you to take 4 of (one of which must be tax or commercial) and recommend all 6. I am getting a joint degree with an MBA so am technically on the 4 year plan

I am hoping to work for a firm for a while primarily doing business law but then at some point open up my own office which while having a largely business focus but will take a few other cases now and then (torts, family, etc.) basically general law but with more of a focus on business cases (especially contract issues).

In light of this, which courses would you recommend? I am thinking of trying to keep them mostly business related but if I take one family law class or one medical malpractice at some point--- would that look bad to firms specializing in business law? I am thinking i should take all 6 of the core classes... is that a good idea?

I am thinking of taking for the fall:

Advanced Contracts ("multi-party contracts" mostly-third party beneficiaries, assignment and
delegation, suretyship, negotiability, ius tertii, fraudulent transfer, voidable
preference, security interests, bona fide purchaser, subordination agreement, pure and “pledgeable”
intangibles, and letters of credit.)
Evidence
2 MBA classes
Trusts and Estates


and for the spring:

business organizations
commercial law
an MBA accounting class (hoping it will also help me with Fed. Income Tax the following fall since I have heard horror stories about that class)
Law and Economics (mostly because it is a huge interest of mine--- is it really just a waste though since it is more philosophical/jurisprudential rather than some classes which seem more clearly substantive?)

Professional Responsibility (required)

any other classes I should consider for the future? should I consider taking IP even though I do not want to be a patent lawyer etc.? I also heard Criminal Procedure is on the bar and it is not required here; there are two upper level classes on it instead; should i take either of them or both, even though I have no desire to be a criminal attorney (save perhaps for white collar defense but there are no white collar crime classes available)?

I am also considering my school's health care compliance certificate since with the JD and MBA it would only be 2 classes extra. I hear it is something very helpful to have particularly with the recent debates on universal health care whether through the govt. directly or the govt. forcing employers to pay their employee insurance bills. I would have to take two health law classes that would count toward both the certificate and the JD... is it a good idea?

GA-fan

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2008, 07:56:50 AM »
you sound like you're on teh right track. However, if you want to do business law, I also strongly recommend classes in: corporations, bankruptcy, trademarks, and tax.

jacy85

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2008, 09:11:21 AM »
If you're thinking of hanging out your own shingle, I'd definitely take the criminal classes.  One of my professors, before teaching, opened her own practice with her husband.  They ended up doing quite a bit of defense work in between the other stuff they actually wanted to do.

T&E is a good idea; after taking the class last semester, it's really not a field you can dabble in (it's still pretty complex and arcane with the possibility of rather tragic consequences), but it's good to know enough to know that you should tell your client they should find a specialist.

Admin law is one of those classes that everyone told me I shoudl take in law school since its so pervasive in our legal world, and I've been told the same of income tax.  I've taken neither and will be graduating this May. 

Overall, I'd focus on what you want to focus on (the business/commercial stuff), but if you can fit in some of the other classes, it may be helpful down the road (and sometimes its just nice to do something different than your other classes - constitutional crim cases or a med mal class may be a nice change of pace from all your business courses).

philibusters

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2008, 11:35:48 AM »
If you're thinking of hanging out your own shingle, I'd definitely take the criminal classes.  One of my professors, before teaching, opened her own practice with her husband.  They ended up doing quite a bit of defense work in between the other stuff they actually wanted to do.

T&E is a good idea; after taking the class last semester, it's really not a field you can dabble in (it's still pretty complex and arcane with the possibility of rather tragic consequences), but it's good to know enough to know that you should tell your client they should find a specialist.

Admin law is one of those classes that everyone told me I shoudl take in law school since its so pervasive in our legal world, and I've been told the same of income tax.  I've taken neither and will be graduating this May. 

Overall, I'd focus on what you want to focus on (the business/commercial stuff), but if you can fit in some of the other classes, it may be helpful down the road (and sometimes its just nice to do something different than your other classes - constitutional crim cases or a med mal class may be a nice change of pace from all your business courses).

Wow, I didn't get that picture of T&E.  From T&E which I am currently taking I think there is a lot of fairly simple stuff and if you do it carefully you should be fine.  It gets more complicated the richer you client is and you might want help or to refer your client to somebody else if you have a case that is going to involve a lot of complexity.  But I got the exact opposite feel, for working class Tom or Mary, its not that hard to draft a will and follow the formalities or set up a inter vivos revocable trust for them.

My admin law was incredibly boring.  I liked tax a lot. If you are thinking about going into business law, tax plays a large part in business law as almost any complex business maneuver will have a ton of tax consequences.  The maneuvers are not done for tax purposes, it just a side effect,but its a good skill to have if you are going into business law because when you client is running things by you, you need understand tax consequences.  Federal income tax and corporate tax would be very useful if you are interested in business law.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

confusedatquinnipiac

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 10:37:17 PM »
Thanks Jacy, Raven and Nota
as far as trusts and estates stuff, do you feel like that one class would be enough preparation to help form basic wills someday or is it not enough and I should really try to fit in estate tax and estate planning (tax a pre-req)?
I know its not the same but we went over some estate stuff in property and it seems pretty straight forward for the most part anyways (once you get past the weird historically based terminology)

jacy85

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2008, 11:44:58 PM »
I don't know if one course is enough to be able to go draft a will in 10 years, as rules change, etc.  It will be enough to give you an idea of the formalities, the important parts, and likely a short (or perhaps) long list of things not to do.  I wouldn't feel comfortable going out and doing it for someone after having taken the class (and gotten an A) just last semester, but I have a grasp of the terminology, etc.

As for whether you should take estate tax, well, that would depend on what sort of clients you foresee yourself working for.  The vast majority of Americans will never have to worry about a lot of the taxes you're talking about there.  If I were in your shoes, it would come down to whether or not you were actually interested in the subject.

slacker

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 11:53:56 PM »
You can get the basics of drafting a will or trust instrument in a T&E class. The class probably won't give you the knowledge to advise a client on tax implications, the best instruments for their needs, etc., etc. It's good to have to get the language down. A lot of states test T&E on the bar for essays. The last two MBEs have included very simple will principles in a question or two.

The MBE tests criminal procedure (4th/5th/6th amendments). I took a class on that for bar reasons and was glad that I had. It can also be an essay topic, depending on the state where you take the bar.

As someone suggested, trademarks could be helpful. Then again, if your school offers a class in licensing, that may be better given your commercial law focus. If not, trademarks or trade secrets or something along those lines.

Anyway, it sounds like you have a good list. Don't worry about taking a class or two because you like the area of law -- like the law and econ class -- unless your program is really so tight you can't fit it in. If you need ideas on what else to take, look at what's on the bar in the state where you're taking the bar and fill in any gaps as needed.

confusedatquinnipiac

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Re: Recommended classes
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 04:41:09 PM »
Turns out I'll probably have to revise my schedule based on money issues (its cheaper to take 9 law credits and 6 business every semester than to take 12 and 3, etc...)

but as far as the health care compliance thing, if I am doing a few health law classes, there is no need to take a class on medical malpractice right?i imagine they would cover a lot in some of the health classes?