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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Business Planning: Structuring and Financing a New Enterprise (Fall 2019)

  • Course Number: LAW-627
  • Class Number: 03268
  • Instructor: Alan J. Levine

Course Description

This upper division “specialized transactional skills” course qualifies as part of the approved curriculum toward a Business Law Certificate and the Media and Entertainment Law Certificate, and has been designed specifically for JD, JD/MBA and MBA candidates who are interested in pursuing leadership roles and professional transactional careers in business and in the entertainment/media world.


Using the motion picture business as a proxy for any content producer or other startup business, this “hands on” course follows a running hypothetical through a series of real transactions involving the formation, structuring, financing and operation of a new independent motion picture production company. Through the review and analysis of actual term sheets, letters of intent, formal contracts, financial projections and other documents, students will be exposed to the legal and business concepts, principles, practices, financial and operational structures, and other key issues encountered by the company in each phase of its business.


Like a real-life transactional attorney, business executive, or other key advisor, students will focus on the process of structuring, drafting, reviewing and negotiating the transactions and documents necessary to accomplish the formation and funding of the company; students will examine each transaction from all sides and will also engage in “mock negotiations” of parts of some of the more important deals in class. While the drafting, analysis and negotiation exercises involve fact patterns drawn from motion picture business, the issues, skills, legal principles and concepts presented in this course can be applied in any media, entertainment or other business environment.

The instructor is a veteran entertainment, tax and corporate attorney, studio chief executive, investment banker, and financial and media consultant with more than four decades of practical experience in the entertainment and media industry. (See Professor Levine’s biography on the Law School website.)

All assigned reading will be from a Course Reader (which includes sample term sheets, formal agreements, class slides and extensive notes and illustrations conforming to the transactions examined in this course) prepared by the instructor that will be made available to students at the Copy Center before the first class session, and additional handouts distributed in class and/or posted on Blackboard during the semester.

            The final grade will be based on a combination of (i) in-class participation and the written exercises given during the semester (25%), and (ii) the open-book final exam (75%). The instructor will hold voluntary study sessions and office hours during the semester. A comprehensive review of the course will be held at the end of the semester during the last regularly scheduled class session(s).


Course Details

  • Unit Value: 4
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: M/W 10:00 am - 11:50 am
  • Room Number: Room 107: Ackerman Courtroom
  • Exam: In-class, open-book exam
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes