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The Evolving Role of the Law Department in the Modern Corporation and Legal Industry

Large in-house legal departments have only recently become a significant part of the legal landscape. The rise of in-house legal departments fundamentally changed the manner in which traditional law firms service their clients, as their client's representative often became an in-house attorney instead of a business person. Yet few law firm attorneys have a deep understanding of the daily challenges and responsibilities of in-house attorneys, who are both their client and peer (and, often, a former colleague). The course will provide students with insights into the role and responsibilities of in-house departments in public and private companies. Topics covered will include new models utilized by in house counsel to manage law firms, the pressure on General Counsel to manage the corporate legal department as a business, the relationship of in-house counsel with senior executives and the board of directors, the role of in house counsel in internal investigations and regulatory compliance, management of litigation, and emerging responsibilities of the corporate legal function. The class will include numerous guest speakers from leading corporate law departments who will describe the daily challenges and responsibilities of serving as an in-house attorney. Evaluation: Final examination, short paper (5-7 pages), class attendance and participation Teaching Method: Some lecture, guest speakers and discussion Prerequisites: None Text: Reading materials assigned by professor in class


Catalog Number: BUSCOM 664
Practice Areas: Business, Corporate,Trans Area


Course History

Fall 2013
Title: The Evolving Role of the Law Department in the Modern Corporation and Legal Industry
Faculty: Hacker, Mark
Finke, Thomas S.
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25



Fall 2012
Title: In-House Counsel: Modern Corporations
Faculty: Hacker, Mark
Finke, Thomas S.
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 23



Fall 2011
Title: In-House Counsel: Modern Corps
Faculty: Hacker, Mark
Finke, Thomas S.
Section: 1     Type: Seminar     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25



Fall 2010
Title: The Evolving Role of the Law Department in the Modern Corporation and Legal Industry
Faculty: Finke, Thomas S.
Section: 1     Type: Seminar     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 16