Innovative Study

Certificate Program of Business Law

The Certificate Program of Business Law provides Willamette students with an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of business law. The program is designed to lead to a special understanding of the relationship between the law and business, giving Certificate holders an important advantage in providing business clients with sound and effective legal advice.

The formal requirements for those entering the Certificate Program of Business Law are described below (those already in the program may chose to remain subject to such earlier requirements as applied when they were admitted).  The requirements include two core business classes, a “distributional” requirement providing insight into the range of legal issues relevant to business clients, an in-depth research and writing experience on a business law topic, and a cap-stone experience developing the ability to identify and integrate all project relevant legal issues and to effectively communicate with a business client.

The certificate program does not have a first-year elective course requirement, instead encouraging students to focus on developing the expertise in contracts and property essential to effective representation of business clients.  Students may take one of the Core or Distributional Courses listed below as their first year elective, but should first discuss the nature of those courses and proper sequencing with a member of the program committee.  In addition, Rule III.2 (permission of the associate dean for student affairs) must be satisfied and approval of the course instructor obtained.  

Certificate students are encouraged to meet regularly with the program director and members of the program committee to discuss course selection, satisfaction of the writing requirement, concerns and career options.

Admission to the Program

To be admitted to the Certificate Program a student must (1) have a cumulative GPA of 2.40 or higher and (2) apply and be admitted to the Certificate Program. Students are selected based on cumulative GPA; their personal statement explaining their background, their interest in business practice and the program; and such other considerations as the Program Director deems appropriate.

Requirements for Certificate of Business Law

To receive the Certificate, a student must successfully complete the Certificate Program courses and the writing requirement listed below. All requirements for the Certificate Program must be completed prior to graduation.  At the beginning of each year every Certificate student should complete and submit the Progress Form available from the Program Administrator to ensure that all requirements can be timely satisfied.  However, issues do sometimes arise and in the event a Certificate candidate is unable to complete all requirements prior to graduation for good reason shown, the student, upon application to and with the discretionary approval of the Program Director, may be permitted to continue post-graduation at the College of Law to complete the Certificate requirements. In all such cases, the Certificate requirements must be fully completed within the academic year immediately following graduation.

Required Core Courses

Business Organizations (Law 202)

Federal Income Tax (Law 215)

Distributional Courses

Any three of the following courses, except as noted regarding the intellectual property law courses (the two-course limit is not suggesting all those courses should not be taken, it merely seeks to ensure a distributional exposure)

Antitrust (Law 314)

Business entities tax (Law 360)

Corporate finance (Law 203)

Debtor and creditor (Law 303)

Employment law (Law 225 or Law 249 – not both)

Intellectual property:  Any two of the survey course (Law 315), patent law (Law 354), copyright law (Law 260) and trademark law (Law 258)

Labor law (Law 205)

Mergers and acquisitions (Law 349)

Real estate transactions (Law 214)

Secured transactions (Law 337)

Securities regulation (Law 309)

Other courses may be substituted (including a course offered at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, which students are urged to consider) provided the PRIOR approval of the Program Director is obtained.

Business Lawyering

Business Lawyering (Law 379)

3L Writing Requirement

The research writing requirement described in Section 4.II of the Student Handbook must be completed within the business field. The Program Director must approve the topic of the paper written for the purpose of qualification for the Certificate and its completion. The field of business is broadly defined to include, among other things, employment law, finance, financial distress, intellectual property, international business, mergers and acquisitions, real estate law, and tax.

Program Faculty

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