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Business Law Certificate

The Certificate in Business Law enables students to explore a broad range of business related topics to begin a successful career as a business lawyer. The program provides students with a solid understanding of the basic principles of business and commercial law and the complex regulatory environment that business lawyers must navigate. The curriculum includes traditional focus on business organizations, securities regulation, and taxation as well as special interest topics such as Intellectual Property, Corporate Finance, Bankruptcy, and Labor related courses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding and fundamental knowledge of the basic rules, theoretical foundations and principles of substantive business law covered by the required basic courses as well as in one of the listed sub-specialties of the certificate program.
  • Students will acquire effective analytical and problem-solving skills as applicable in the field of business law, including an understanding of the interaction between business and legal considerations.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate with clients, decision makers, and other stakeholders in the manner expected of a new lawyer through thorough and efficient research and writing in the area of business law.

Requirements - Section 1.

An applicant for an NIU-COL Certificate in Business Law must earn a minimum of eighteen academic credits in the courses described by sections 1.a, 1.b, and 1.c below; and must comply with all of the specified requirements of sections 1.a, 1.b, 1.c, and 1.d below.

a. Required Basic Courses. An applicant must complete all of the following basic courses:

i. Agency and Unincorporated Business Associations.

ii. Corporations.

iii. Introduction to Federal Income Taxation.

b. Required Capstone Courses. An applicant must complete at least one of the following capstone courses:

i. A seminar, directed research project or law review note or comment leading to completion of a substantial written product on a business-related topic, if approved in advance for certificate eligibility by the supervising faculty member.

ii. An externship or clinic course primarily focused on business law, if approved in advance for certificate eligibility by the supervising faculty member.

c. Elective Courses in Sub-Specialties. An applicant must earn sufficient academic credits from courses listed in one of the three tracks below in order to meet the eighteen-credit minimum described above. All elective courses must be chosen from the same track.

i. General Business Law Track

A. Antitrust.

B. Corporate Finance.

C. Employment Law.

D. Labor Law.

E. International Business Transactions.

F. Real Estate Transactions.

G. Securities Regulation.

H. Bankruptcy.

I. Taxation of Business Enterprises.

J. Insurance Law.

K. Landlord-Tenant Law.

L. Administrative Law.

ii. Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Track

A. Bankruptcy.

B. Business Bankruptcy.

C. Consumer Law.

D. Payment Systems.

E. Sales.

F. Secured Transactions.

G. Corporate Finance.

H. Administrative Law.

iii. Intellectual Property Law Track

A. Intellectual Property Law.

B. Copyright Law.

C. Entertainment Law.

D. Patent Law.

E. Sports Law.

F. Trademark Law.

G. Antitrust Law.

H. Administrative Law.

d. Required Additional Skills Development Activities. An applicant must complete at least one of the following co-curricular or extra-curricular activities:

i. NIU Internal Client Counseling Competition.

ii. ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition.

iii. ABA Regional Negotiation Competition.

iv. ABA Arbitration Competition.

v. ABA Mediation Competition.

vi. ABA Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge.

vii. International Labor Arbitration Competition.

viii. Another equivalent internal or external student competition facilitating development of business practice skills if it is approved in advance for certificate eligibility by the supervising faculty member.

ix. A business-law related pro bono service if approved by the supervising faculty member.

For purposes of this section 1.d, “completion” of an activity means:

(1) participation in the preliminary rounds of an internal or external student competition and, in the case of external competitions, participation in faculty-supervised practice sessions; or

(2) qualification for College of Law Approved Pro Bono Service Recognition.

Section 2.

An applicant for an NIU-COL Certificate in Business Law must also meet the GPA and other requirements set forth in the College of Law Guidelines for Certificate Programs.

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