» Business Law Emphasis Program

This Business Law Emphasis Program is designed to enable students to practice law in matters involving companies and trade associations. Understanding the fundamental language of business is emphasized, as students explore aspects of:

  • International business
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Business start-ups
  • Bankruptcy
  • Taxation
  • Accounting

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

The Business Law Emphasis Program at Chapman was designed and is 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 on its faculty. 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.

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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 core courses
  • Complete at least eight (8) credit hours of approved electives

The Advisory Board

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

  • John Amer, Partner, Korn Ferry International
  • 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, General Counsel, Greenwave Systems
  • Camilla Eng, General Counsel, JMEagle
  • Amber Enriquez, General Counsel, ECOS
  • Daniel Ferleger, Executive Vice President Business Affairs, Paramount Pictures
  • Sam Fernandez, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC
  • 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
  • Todd McHenry, General Counsel, SONIFI Solutions, Inc.
  • Ron Meraz, Managing Director, UBS Financial Services, Inc.
  • Susan Myers, Director, Associate General Counsel, Hyundai Capital America
  • Caryn B. Siebert, VP & National Director of Carrier Engagement, Gallagher Bassett (global risk 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, Chief Legal Officer, Vistage International, Inc.
  • Jenny Wang, Corporation Counsel, Pacific Dental
  • Aimee Weisner, Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, Edwards Lifesciences
  • Alex Winsberg, Director, Legal Affairs and Risk Management, Angels Baseball

Core Courses

*Students must take either Business Associations or Corporations as one of the core courses in this program. Students may not take both 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. Note: Students who have completed a comparable Accounting course in their undergraduate program may waive out of this course for purposes of the business law emphasis certificate. While the undergraduate course allows a student to waive out of this course requirement, it will not count towards J.D. graduation requirements and will not count in the law GPA.

*Courses already required for JD degree

Approved Electives

Electives Category - for electives, students must take at least 2 hours in each of the following clusters:

1. Issues in corporate, partnership, and agency law

  • Agency & Partnership (3 credits)
  • Entertainment Industry Contracts (3 credits)
  • Entertainment Business & Legal Affairs (3 credits)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (3 credits)
  • Securities Regulation (3 credits)
  • Fundamentals of In-House Corporate Practice (2 credits)

2. Issues in intellectual property, transactions, and competition law

  • Antitrust (3 credits)
  • Information Privacy Law (3 credits)
  • Intellectual Property (3 credits)
  • Negotiations (3 credits)

3. Issues in taxation

  • Corporate tax (3 credits)
  • Partnership tax (3 credits)
  • Taxation of Business Organizations (3 credits)
  • Business planning (2 credits)

4. Issues in commercial law

  • Commercial Leasing (2 credits)
  • International business transactions (3 credits)
  • International business litigation (2 credits)
  • Real Estate Transactions (3 credits)
  • Secured Transactions (3 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.

Learning Outcomes

The law school faculty have identified the following learning outcomes as critical to a law degree and to developing the skills needed to become a proficient attorney.

  1. Students will know the basics of the laws most frequently encountered in business. They will be able to distinguish between matters under federal, state, and local jurisdictions.
  2. Students will learn to distinguish between the different kinds of laws and regulations that govern business. This will enable graduates to direct their further research on behalf of clients into the most likely fruitful directions.
  3. Students will learn to distinguish business decisions from legal decisions, and to find ways to contribute to business outcomes through innovative legal strategies. This is an important aspect of successful practice of business law.


Chapman has 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

Professor Tom Campbell
Business Law Program Director

Email: tcampbell@chapman.edu

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