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.
Knowledge and understanding: 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). Applying knowledge and understanding: students 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. Making judgements: students learn the ability to identify and use data to formulate responses to well-defined financial problems, such as pricing a company asset or evaluating investment options. Communication: the course encourages students to communicate about their understanding, skills and activities encouraging guided class discussion and through case studies, and problem sets. Lifelong learning skills: on successful completion of this class, students can appreciate the basics of corporate finance and use them to undertake further class in finance and/or in their work experience.