LAW 2750 - Accounting and Finance for Lawyers
This course is designed to give law students the knowledge, tools, insights and confidence they need to work effectively in any one of a myriad of business, financial or commercial settings. We will begin with the history and purpose of corporations and other business entities. Students will study about how corporations are created and organized, the respective roles of boards of directors, management and shareholders and how conflicts arise and may be resolved. We will focus on corporate governance and best practices as well as the nature and limits of fiduciary and other legal obligations.
Considerable time will then be spent learning how to read and understand financial statements of both public and private companies. This is not delving into technical and arcane accounting rules but learning how the principal financial statements are related to each other and tell the story of a business, its operations and financial condition. This is always eye opening and often exciting. Thereafter, we will learn the most basic tools of financial analysis—including the time value of money and discounted cash flow analysis—and how they are used to value everything from bonds to investment projects and ultimately entire businesses. We will look in some detail at the finance of real estate and see how both legal and financial analyses are crucial to success in the field. Throughout the term students will explore in some depth the concepts of risk and return and learn the fundamentals and key drivers of financial analysis. Real world examples will constantly be used to illustrate these concepts as we develop them throughout the semester.
Quantitative analysis will be a core skill used throughout the course. However, no background in statistics, calculus or other advanced mathematical theory or practice is required. Each topic will be presented in an accessible manner and ALL students will be able to understand and master the skills taught in the course.
Credits: 2 or 3
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