Corporate Law Opportunities at Yale

March 13, 2012 - 12 AM

S.H., 2L

When people think about business and law, Yale Law School is rarely the first name that comes to mind. I am happy to say you will be pleasantly surprised by the breadth of courses and extracurricular opportunities available at Yale to learn about corporate law.

For starters, Professor Roberta Romano, a renowned name in the field of corporate law, was recently named Sterling Professor of Law and is the director of the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law. In addition to teaching courses such as business organizations, Professor Romano also teaches a unique class called Chirelstein Colloquium on Contemporary Issues in Law and Business. It’s a small seminar class where students have the opportunity to meet with Yale alumni who are leaders in the area of corporate law. I have had a chance this semester to meet with seniors partners at law firms who are at the top of their respective fields, the Chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and General Counsel of a large pharmaceutical company. Professor Jonathan Macey was recently a guest on the Daily Show talking with Jon Stewart about private equity firms. The school offers courses spanning securities regulation, banking, bankruptcy, antitrust, and much more. I was also surprised to discover that YLS offers a number of corporate law courses taught by practitioners. This semester, I am taking classes taught by a senior counsel at a major law firm and the head of tax for a major public corporation.

YLS now offers an accelerated three-year JD-MBA program with the Yale School of Management. If you are not sure whether a joint degree is right for you, YLS allows students the flexibility to apply to the accelerated program during the first year of law school. You may be able to do an MBA at another school but there is no guarantee it will be accelerated. Even if you decide not to apply, you have the ability to take classes at the School of Management or any of the other Yale graduate and undergraduate schools. This is a major advantage of attending a law school, such as Yale, where the law school and the rest of the university are integrated and easily accessible.

In addition to academics, YLS has a very active and growing Yale Law and Business Society (YLBS). YLBS is a student organization for students who have an interest in corporate law and business in general. I have had the opportunity to attend some fantastic events with speakers as diverse as Elliot Spitzer, a former trader convicted for insider trading, and a panel of law firm partners discussing mergers & acquisitions deals they recently worked on. There are informal events such as a breakfast chat with the CEO of a private equity firm. As a future board member of YLBS for 2012-2013, I can assure you that we plan to have many more opportunities for students to learn about and connect with key people in the corporate law and business world.

Last but not least, because of Yale’s size and rank, law firms recruit heavily here. Hundreds of firms interview on campus at the Fall Interview Program. (See my classmate’s post on how law firm recruiting can be like speed dating.)

So, if you are interested in corporate law, I would recommend giving Yale a closer look. You have the same opportunities as law schools in major cities with all the attendant benefits that Yale Law School traditionally offers.