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Business Law Certificate - LLM
USC Gould School of Law

Earning a certificate in Business Law in addition to your LLM degree helps you acquire the diverse legal, business and negotiating skills required to succeed in business law practice. It also offers you a credential that demonstrates your specialized training in this thriving and wide-ranging field.

Students are limited to pursuing one certificate with their degree.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the Business Law certificate, you must take at least 12 units of mandatory and elective courses, as outlined below.

Mandatory Courses

  • Business Organizations

Electives (at least 8 units required)

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy
  • ADR Clause Drafting
  • Advanced Contracts
  • Analytical Methods for Lawyers
  • Antitrust Law I
  • Bankruptcy: Debtors and Creditors
  • Business for Lawyers
  • Commercial Paper
  • Contracts (LLM)
  • Contract Drafting, Analysis and Negotiation
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporate Fraud
  • Corporate Reorganization
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Counseling the Start Up
  • Dealmaking in the Entertainment Industry (LLM)
  • Employment Dispute Mediation
  • Insurance Law
  • International Arbitration
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Negotiation & Mediation
  • International Trade Policy
  • Land Use Control
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Organizational Conflict
  • Partnerships and LLCs
  • Partnership Taxation
  • Real Estate Law and Business I
  • Real Estate Law and Business II
  • Real Estate Transaction Problems
  • Sales Transactions
  • Secured Transactions
  • Securities Fraud
  • Securities Regulation
  • Taxation
  • Technology Transactions
  • Topics in Entertainment Law: Current Issues Challenging the Industry
  • Topics in Entertainment Law: Intellectual Property Licensing
  • Topics in Entertainment Law: Legal and Business Issues in the Digital Age
  • Transactional Due Diligence
  • Venture Capital Law and Emerging Companies
  • Video Game Law

USC Marshall School of Business courses

  • Corporate Financial Strategy
  • Entrepreneurial Finance

You may choose to take one graduate-level course at USC Marshall. To request enrollment, email gipreg@law.usc.edu with the course name and number.

Not all courses are offered every year. Courses are open to all students, not just those pursuing a certificate. You must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.6 in your certificate coursework to receive the certificate.

Per American Bar Association requirements, courses taken outside USC Gould do not count toward the LLM degree. In addition, the New York Bar does not recognize USC Marshall School of Business courses.

Concentrations within the Business Law Certificate

Some LLM students may be interested in focusing their coursework with an eye toward signaling interest in and preparing for a particular area of legal practice. Such students may complete a concentration within the business law certificate in the following practice areas:

  • Capital Markets and Financial Law
  • Corporate Reorganization and Creditors Rights (Bankruptcy)
  • Taxation

LLM Students completing a concentration may note this on their resume.

Capital Markets and Financial Law

Students concentrating in Capital Markets and Financial Law must complete the following three classes:

Course Credit Options
1. Securities Regulation (2, 3, 4)
2. Corporate Finance (2, 3, 4)
3. Business Organizations* (3, 4, 5)

Students must also complete at least one of the following elective classes:

Course Credit Options
4. Mergers and Acquisitions (1, 2, 3, 4)
5. Accounting for Lawyers (2, 3)
6. Corporate Taxation (2, 3, 4)
7. Secured Transactions (3)

* Note that Business Organizations is already a required class for the Business Law Certificate.

Corporate Reorganization and Creditors Rights

Students concentrating in Corporate Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights must complete:

I. At least one of the following two bankruptcy courses EITHER:
a. Business Bankruptcy; OR
b. Bankruptcy: Debtors and Creditors I
AND
II. At least 10 credits in total from the following elective courses:

Course Credit Options
1. Business Bankruptcy (3)
2. Transactional Practice - The Syndicated Loan Agreement (1)
3. Corporate Finance (2, 3, 4)
4. Secured Transactions (3)
5. Mergers and Acquisitions (3,4)
6. Bankruptcy: Debtors and Creditors I (2,3)

AND

III. Have demonstrated proficiency in accounting or finance.

Students may demonstrate proficiency in accounting or finance in one of two ways. First, students may take a law school class on accounting or corporate finance. Second, students may instead have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate level course in accounting or corporate finance.

Taxation

Students concentrating in Taxation must complete the following 3 classes:

Course Credit Options
1. Taxation (3, 4)
2. Corporate Taxation (2,3,4)
3. Partnership Taxation (2, 3)

Students concentrating in taxation must also

  • complete at least one of 8 tax-related elective classes listed below, and
  • have demonstrated proficiency in accounting or finance.

Proficiency in accounting or finance

Students may demonstrate proficiency in accounting or finance in one of two ways. First, students may take a law school class on accounting or corporate finance, which may also count as their one mandatory elective for the tax concentration. Second, students may have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate level course in accounting or corporate finance.

Electives

JD students concentrating in taxation must complete at least one of the elective classes listed below. Currently, 3 of these electives are offered at the law school, and 5 of are offered only through cross-registration with the accounting department.

Law school classes:

Course Credit Options
Accounting for Lawyers (2, 3)
Corporate Finance (3,4)
Tax Policy Seminar (2, 3, 4)

Cross-listed classes at Marshall Accounting:

Course Credit Options
Advanced International Taxation 1 (3)
Federal Estate and Gift Taxes (3)
International Taxation (3)
State and Local Tax Concepts (3)
Taxation of Transactions in Property (3)

1 Prerequisite: ACCT 568T, which is international taxation.

In the table above, the right column shows options for the number of credits available for each course. For example, Taxation is offered as either a 3-credit course or a 4-credit course.

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