Many new lawyers learn business practices and culture the hard way — on the job. Others enroll in combined J.D.-MBA programs, requiring an additional year of study. Virginia offers a third way: The John W. Glynn Jr. Law & Business Program, which builds a bridge between law school and the real problems encountered in business law practice. By integrating business and legal analysis into the law school classroom, the program better prepares students to serve their future clients from day one.
Led by Professor Cathy Hwang, the program is designed for students aspiring to structure and negotiate business transactions, advise company directors and management, represent businesses in litigation and disputes, begin their careers in a corporate position, or serve in government regulatory agencies. The program educates students about the needs and goals of commercial and financial services clients, the concepts and skills needed to guide those clients, and the importance of problem-solving. Students who participate in the program gain experience with the sophisticated and challenging projects they will encounter in their careers.
The study of business law is intellectually engaging and challenging. It prompts us to evaluate the appropriate role of government regulation and mandatory legal rules versus private ordering, default rules and self-regulation. It raises questions about how legislatures and courts address the relationship of the profit motive and other community interests, and it requires consideration of the allocation of risk and responsibilities among private parties, and the conflicting needs and demands of those parties. It gives students an understanding of why businesses behave as they do and prepares students to advise clients about business plans that comply with the law and are socially responsible.
The Law & Business Program provides opportunities to all law students. It is not a separate “track” and does not lead to a separate degree or certificate or a combined J.D./MBA. Instead, the program provides a chance for all students to build skills that many employers are seeking.