» Business Law Emphasis Program

This Business Law Emphasis Program is designed not only to enable students to practice law on behalf of companies and trade associations, but also to illustrate how they may utilize their legal knowledge to contribute to the entrepreneurship and prosperity of a business. Understanding the fundamental language of business is emphasized, as students explore aspects of:

  • international business
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • business start-ups
  • bankruptcy
  • taxation
  • and more

Students who complete the Business Law Emphasis Program requirements will receive a Certificate and transcript notation.

The Business Law Emphasis Program at Chapman is designed and directed by Dr. Tom Campbell. Prior to joining Chapman, Professor Campbell was the dean of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Chapman is the only law school in the country with a former top 10 business school dean. Professor Campbell leads a highly-experienced faculty of attorneys and legal scholars who have worked extensively in the business world and actively contribute to national economic dialogue.

Some students might choose to pursue a joint JD/MBA. The business law emphasis program is not intended to replace the rigor of obtaining both degrees; however, it is understood that not all students with an interest in business are able to or wish to pursue the joint degree program.

+ - Certificate Requirements

Successful completion of the Business Law Emphasis Program requires the law student to

  • Earn a minimum 2.6 overall cumulative GPA
  • Earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in the certificate courses
  • Complete the four (4) core courses (Financial Accounting, Corporations or Business Associations, Federal Income Tax, Fundamentals of In-House Corporate Practice*)
  • Complete at least eight (8) credit hours of approved electives

*This course requirement applies to the class of 2016 and thereafter. It does not apply to current students graduating in 2014 and 2015; however, may be taken as an elective towards the emphasis.

+ - Core Courses

Business Associations* (4 credits) LAW-7146 - California Bar Tested
This course offers coverage of both fundamental agency law principles and an in-depth study of the law governing various business forms/entities, including sole proprietorships, general partnerships, corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships. In addition to addressing basic questions of formation, students will acquire an understanding of the law governing various aspects of business operations and growth, the means by which investors and other stakeholders may legitimately obtain a return on their investment, the extent of personal stakeholder liability with respect to business obligations, and other topics of relevance. Coverage of various business entities in the context of a single course offers students the opportunity, via effective comparison and contrast, to appreciate the unique character of specific business forms. The course also serves well in preparing students for advanced study in arenas in which prior knowledge of various business entity fundamentals is assumed. Students who have taken the course in Corporations or the course in Agency and Partnership may not enroll in this course. 

Corporations* (3 credits) LAW-7145
This course provides a basic understanding of both closely held and publicly held for-profit corporations. Particular attention is given to the way in which corporations organize and operate. The course also examines the respective roles, relationships, responsibilities, and liability exposure of shareholders, directors and officers. The study of corporate litigation and regulation under key portions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules and regulations of the S.E.C. is included. Students who have taken the course in Business Associations may not enroll in this course.

Federal Income Tax* (3 credits) LAW-7133
This course introduces students to the system of federal income taxation of individuals. The tax system is studied with emphasis on basic concepts rather than detailed computations. Significant attention is given to the public policy served by various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Primary consideration is given to principles and policies relating to the taxation of individuals including procedure, income, deductions, gains and losses, and transactional aspects of income taxation. The Internal Revenue Code and Regulations are emphasized.

Financial Accounting (3) LAW-7855
This course represents an introduction to accounting for students with little background in the field. Initial emphasis is on established accounting principles and the analysis of financial statements. The course’s perspective is that of a business attorney who might use financial statements to advise clients in various legal settings (e.g., the drafting of financial contracts and the valuation of businesses). Applications to securities law are also considered.

Fundamentals of In-House Corporate Practice (2) LAW-7854
(This requirement applies to students in the Class of 2016 and thereafter)
This is a practical skills course in practicing as an In-House Corporate Lawyer that introduces students to the fundamentals of working effectively in a high-functioning corporate law department and prepares them for a career as an In-House Corporate Counsel. The course will cover the structure and mechanics of corporate legal departments; leadership, effective communications and the exercise of legal ethics within a commercial organization; the use of business tools and technology; and the in-house approach to managing Intellectual property, labor & employment, significant litigation, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, international operations, outside counsel, contract negotiation and administration, and organizational crisis response. Students will have the opportunity to perform exercises relating to each of the substantive areas of in-house practice through actual case studies of corporate legal issues, simulating actual assignments as corporate counsel. Outside reading consists of articles and excerpts of published materials. Class sessions consist of lecture, class discussion, practical exercises and presentations, with some prominent in-house lawyers and general counsel as guest speakers, and networking opportunities. The final exam will consist of a write-up on a case study to be assigned on the last day of class and submitted prior to the end of the exam period. This course will satisfy the Lawyering Skills Requirement.

*Courses already required for JD degree

+ - Approved Electives

Approved Courses
  • Agency & Partnership (3 credits) - California Bar Tested
  • Bankruptcy I (3 credits)
  • Bankruptcy II (3 credits)
  • Business Planning (2 credits)
  • Commercial Leasing (2 credits)
  • Corporate Stock & Asset Acquisition (2 credits)
  • Corporate Tax I (3 credits)
  • Employment Law (3 credits)
  • Entertainment Industry Contracts (3 credits)
  • International Business Transactions (2 credits)
  • International Business Litigation (2 credits)
  • Legal & Business Affairs in Hollywood (3 credits)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (3 credits)
  • Partnership Tax (3 credits)
  • Patents & Trade Secrets (2 credits)
  • Patent Litigation (2 credits)
  • Real Estate Transactions (3 credits)
  • Sales (3 credits)
  • Securities Regulation (3 credits)
  • Secured Transactions (3 credits)
  • Taxation of Business Organizations (3 credits)
  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition (3 credits)
Approved Seminars
  • Seminar Corporate Ethics & Legal Practice (3 credits)
  • Regulation of Financial Institutions & Central Banking (2 credits)

Specific offerings will vary from year to year, depending on periodic rotation of electives, instructor availability, student interest, and scheduling dynamics. Additional courses may be added in the future. See the course descriptions for more information about specific courses.

+ - Faculty

The dean leads a highly-experienced faculty of attorneys and legal scholars who have worked extensively in the business world and actively contribute to national economic dialogue.

+ - Contact Us

For additional information about the Business Law program, please contact 

Dr. Tom Campbell
Business Law Program Director and Dean

Email: tcampbell@chapman.edu.

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Advisory Board

The Advisory Board for the Business Law Emphasis Program consists of general counsel from major corporations.

John Amer, Partner, Korn Ferry International
Ambassador Frank Baxter
, Chairman Emeritus, Jefferies & Co.
Larry Boyd
, Executive Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel, Ingram Micro
Daniel Burke
, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel, Pacific Dental Services
Lee Cheng
, Chief Legal Officer, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary, Newegg, Inc.
John Corcoran, Senior Director Legal Services and General Counsel, Cisco Consumer Products LLC
Camilla Eng, General Counsel, JMEagle
Daniel Ferleger, Executive Vice President Business Affairs, Paramount Pictures
Sam Fernandez, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC
David P. Goodwin, Government & Military Counsel, Oakley, Inc.
Erik Greupner
, Senior Vice President, Business Administration & General Counsel, San Diego Padres
Clay Halvorsen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Irvine Company
David J. Harshman, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Toshiba Amer. Inf. Sys., Inc.
Jerry C. Huang
 Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, VIZIO
Brad Jones, Founding Partner, Redpoint Ventures
Terry Mansky, Executive Vice President of Legal affairs & Real Estate Board Member, Dignified Foods Int'l, LLC
Steve McCracken, Of Counsel, Fish & Richardson
Tom McGuire, Head of Business Affairs, William Morris Endeavor
Todd McHenry, Executive Vice President, DTZ (retired)
Ron Meraz, Managing Director, UBS Financial Services, Inc. 
Susan Myers, Director, Associate General Counsel, Hyundai Capital America
John Page, Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility and Legal Officer, Golden State Foods
Arnold PinkstonExecutive Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Allergan, Inc.
Phillip Rudolph, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Counsel and Risk Officer, and Secretary, Jack in the Box
Caryn B. Siebert
, General Counsel and Executive Management
Yvonne Schroeder, General Counsel, Trojan Battery Company
Terry Theologides
, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, CoreLogic
Jim Thomas, President, Thomas Properties Group
Teigue Thomas, Cheif Legal Officer, Vistage International, Inc.
Steve Tomassi, Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel, Sybron Dental
Framroze Virjee, Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, The California State University
Aimee Weisner, Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, Edwards Lifesciences
Ray Weston, Vice President and General Counsel, Taco Bell Corp.
Alex WinsbergDirector, Legal Affairs and Risk Management, Angels Baseball