This course is designed to familiarize law students with the principles of investment banking and corporate finance. In this field, the distinction between lawyers and investment bankers has become blurred. Whether negotiating a debt restructuring, merger agreement, acquisition or divestiture, rendering a fairness opinion, preparing for an appraisal hearing, litigating derivative suits, issuing new securities, taking a firm private via a leveraged buy-out or public via an initial public offering, corporate lawyers and investment bankers work side-by-side, and lawyers without an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance are at a distinct disadvantage. Even students who do not plan to venture into the corporate world will benefit from this course. The financial principles covered are essential for lawyers intending to do estate or tax planning, litigate divorces, or write the compensation agreements for partnerships or closed corporations.
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to understand the core corporate finance decisions, which are essential for all businesses: 1) understand the tools that are used to value investment projects and companies (valuation); 2) understand the basic issues involved in how firms should raise funds for investments (financing). Furthermore, they should be able to understand how investment and financing decisions are related, evaluating the process which firms go through in choosing between strategic options, such as undertaking a merger or engaging in restructuring, and integrating their knowledge of the legal aspects with a comprehensive financial approach. A final focus on financial tools for development is provided.
The course stresses problem solving, encouraging guided class discussion and through case studies, and problem sets.
Objectives of the course and expected learning outcomes
- in-depth knowledge of the institutions related to financial markets and ability to understand the general principles guiding such institutions;
- ability to critical thinking, to revise notions gained during the course and, furthermore, the ability to apply such competence to specific cases;
- ability to interpret systematically the legal provisions analyzed during the course, to identify their ratio and to express grounded opinions upon the course's main topics;
- use of an appropriate legal language;
- achievement of an advanced learning ability which enables the students to study legal institutions with a high level of autonomy.