Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Random Thoughts on the Beneficiaries of Corporate Board Decision Making

Last week, I attended the National Business Law Scholars Conference at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, NJ.  It was a great conference, featuring (among others) BLPB co-blogger Josh Fershee (who presented a paper on the business judgment rule and moderated a panel on business entity design) and BLPB guest blogger Todd Haugh (who presented a paper on Sarbanes-Oxley and over criminalization).  I presented a paper on curation in crowdfunding intermediation and moderated a panel on insider trading.  It was a full two days of business law immersion.

The keynote lunch speaker the second day of the conference was Kent Greenfield.  He compellingly argued for the promotion of corporate personhood, following up on comments he has made elsewhere (including here and here) in recent years.  In his remarks, he causally mentioned B corporations and social enterprise more generally.  I want to pick up on that thread to make a limited point here that follows up somewhat on my post on shareholder primacy and wealth maximization from last week.

Continue reading

June 10, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Delaware, Joan Heminway, Litigation, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (6)

APDGE Conference │ Toulouse, France │ December 3-4, 2015

Recently, I received notice of the following call for papers from the French association of Law Professors in Business Schools – the Association des Professeurs de Droit des Grandes Ecoles (“APDGE”).  The theme of the conference is "Governance and Compliance in Companies: Constraints or Opportunities." Additional information is available below and at the conference website:

-------------------

TBS PDD

 3rd Conference of the Association of Law Professors of Les Grandes Ecoles/Business Schools, organized by Toulouse Business School

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

"Governance and Compliance in Companies: Constraints or Opportunities?"

December 3-4, 2015 – Toulouse Business School

Toulouse, France

Conference Website: http://www.tbs-education.fr/en/apdge-conference/

 

The taking into account of new legal rules (whether in Company Law, Banking Law, Tax Law, Environmental Law, Employment Law, Consumer Law, Digital Law, or in other fields of Law), involves increased attention to Governance and Compliance by companies, as well as by research professors.   The position of Chief Compliance Officer has become widespread within major companies, as have charters, codes of good conduct and codes of good governance.  Consequently, it is appropriate to look at Governance and Compliance in companies and to investigate whether or not they form constraints or opportunities for companies.    To what extent does the appearance of new legal and regulatory provisions represent new constraints for companies? On the contrary, may opportunities be detected in these practices in order to deal with upheavals in the Law?  What skills are necessary for lawyers in this new environment?  What are the roles of soft law and of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in this context?

These two research days propose to focus discussion on constraints and opportunities for companies in the development of the new rules and practices of Governance and Compliance.

This Call for Papers seeks to explore the following questions (as illustrations, not limitations):

  • The links between Governance and Compliance, on the one hand, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), on the other hand;
  • Programs to be put in place for a better compliance;
  • The role of lawyers  in Governance and Compliance;
  • Opportunities for good Governance and proper Compliance  for companies;
  • The impact of foreign laws on Governance (for example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act);
  • The legal risks in a breach of compliance;
  • Legal monitoring and anticipation of new legal and regulatory constraints;
  • Government procurement and a company's history of Compliance ;
  • The interface between internal control (internal auditing, reporting, etc.) and the Law;
  • The legal challenges of whistleblowing;
  • The strategic role of Compliance;
  • The interface between company lawyers, external advisors and operational staff in Governance and Compliance;
  • The theory of groups of parent companies or subsidiaries and Compliance;
  • Control of the chain of sub-contractors and subsidiaries and Compliance;
    • Analysis of the effectiveness of soft law in Compliance;
    • Investors and Governance;
    • The comparative study of Governance. 

A publication of the best papers is foreseen.

Key Dates

Proposals: June 30, 2015

Full Text: September 1, 2015

Author Notification by the Scientific Committee: October 12, 2015

[More information after the break]

Continue reading

June 10, 2015 in Business Associations, Business School, Call for Papers, Conferences, Haskell Murray | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Southeastern Academy of Legal Studies in Business Annual Conference │ Atlanta, GA │ Nov. 12-14, 2015

I just signed up for the SEALSB Annual Conference, which will be held in Atlanta, GA from November 12 through 14. I have attended and presented at the SEALSB Annual Conference each of the past two years. Both years we had a good group of professors.

The paper presentations are not limited by legal subject area, and the presentations in past years have covered issues in corporate governance, constitutional law, employment law, international law, sports and the law, franchise law, and other areas.

The conference is intended for “teachers and scholars in the fields of business law, legal environment, and law-related courses outside of professional law schools.” Most participants teach legal studies in business schools. I am told that those who interested in or exploring teaching legal studies outside of a law school are also welcome.

Conference registration information is available here

June 4, 2015 in Business Associations, Business School, Conferences, Haskell Murray, Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Upcoming Corporate/Securities Sessions at Law & Society Assoc. Annual Meeting May 28-30th

CRN: #46  Corporate and Securities Law in Society

 LSA 2015 Schedule

 

THURSDAY, MAY 28

 

 

 

2:45 PM - 4:30 PM

3319—Roundtable: Shareholders, Stewardship & Accountability

Room: Mercer 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MAY 29

 

 

 

9:30 AM - 11:15 AM

3321—Corporations and Their Constituencies: Employees, Customers, Creditors, and the Public

Room: Adams

1:30 PM - 3:15 PM

3322—Banking, Securities, and Beyond: Evaluating Financial Regulation in Varied Contexts

Room: Adams

3:30 PM - 5:15 PM

3325—Business Decisionmaking and Business Law: Exploring Implications for Constituencies and Communities

Room: Adams 

5:30 PM - 7:15 PM

3326—New Insights on Law and Regulation’s Evolution and Efficacy

Room: Adams

 

 

SATURDAY, MAY 30

 

 

 

8:15 AM - 10:00 AM

3320—Ownership and Control: New Considerations on Litigation, Governance Structures, and Shareholder Activism

Room: Adams

May 27, 2015 in Anne Tucker, Conferences, Corporations, Securities Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Call for Papers: Business and Human Rights


Business and Human Rights Junior Scholars Conference
                          
The Rutgers Center for Corporate Governance, The University of Washington School of Law, and the Business and Human Rights Journal (Cambridge University Press) announce the first Business and Human Rights Junior Scholars Conference, to be held September 18, 2015 at the Rutgers School of Law – Newark in Newark, New Jersey, just outside of New York City.  The Conference will pair approximately ten junior scholars writing at the intersection of business and human rights issues with senior scholars in the field.  Junior scholars will have an opportunity to present their papers and receive feedback from senior scholars.   Upon request, participants’ papers may be considered for publication in the Business and Human Rights Journal (BHRJ), published by Cambridge University Press.
 
All junior scholars will be tenure-track professors who are either untenured or have been tenured in the past three years.  The Conference is interdisciplinary; scholars from all disciplines are invited to apply, including law, business, human rights, and global affairs.  The papers must be unpublished at the time of presentation.
 
To apply, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to msantoro@business.rutgers.edu andarama@uw.edu with the subject line Business & Human Rights Conference Proposal.  Please include your name, affiliation, contact information, and curriculum vitae. 
 
The deadline for submission is June 15, 2015.  Scholars whose submissions are selected for the symposium will be notified no later than July 15, 2015. We encourage early submissions, as selections will be made on a rolling basis.
  
About the BHRJ
 
The BHRJ provides an authoritative platform for scholarly debate on all issues concerning the intersection of business and human rights in an open, critical and interdisciplinary manner. It seeks to advance the academic discussion on business and human rights as well as promote concern for human rights in business practice.
 
BHRJ strives for the broadest possible scope, authorship and readership. Its scope encompasses interface of any type of business enterprise with human rights, environmental rights, labour rights and the collective rights of vulnerable groups. The Editors welcome theoretical, empirical and policy / reform-oriented perspectives and encourage submissions from academics and practitioners in all global regions and all relevant disciplines.
 
A dialogue beyond academia is fostered as peer-reviewed articles are published alongside shorter ‘Developments in the Field’ items that include policy, legal and regulatory developments, as well as case studies and insight pieces.
 
 

May 21, 2015 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Marcia Narine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2016 Emory Transactional Law and Skills Teaching Conference - Save the Date

Emory’s Center for Transactional Law and Practice cordially invites you to attend its fifth biennial conference on the teaching of transactional law and skills. The conference, entitled “Method in the Madness: The Art and Science of Teaching Transactional Law and Skills,” will be held at Emory Law, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2016, and ending at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016.

The registration fee for the conference is $189 and includes:

 Pre-conference lunch and snacks
 A pre-dinner reception on June 10
 Breakfast, lunch and snacks on June 11

We are planning an optional dinner for attendees on Friday evening, June 10, at an additional cost. Attendees are responsible for their own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements. Additional information on the optional dinner and accommodations to come.

A request for proposals will be distributed in the fall.

We look forward to seeing you in June of 2016!

Sue Payne
Executive Director and Professor in the Practice of Law
Center for Transactional Law and Practice
Emory University School of Law
sue.payne@emory.edu

May 13, 2015 in Conferences, Joan Heminway, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

8th Annual Bridge to Excellence Nonprofit Conference │ May 12, 2015 │ Nashville, TN

CNM

On May 12, 2015, I will present at a breakout session of the Center for Nonprofit Management's 8th Annual Bridge to Excellence Nonprofit Conference. My talk will focus on the legal issues facing entities with multiple bottom lines. 

If interested, you can register here.

As you can tell from the conference description, this conference is designed for nonprofit and community leaders. From the conference schedule, it appears that I will be the only professor presenter. While I enjoy academic conferences, and find them useful, I also think it is important for professors to engage with practitioners. Professors should share the knowledge they have uncovered and should also listen to the current, practical concerns. 

May 8, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Entrepreneurship, Haskell Murray, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Legal Issues in Impact Investing: At Home and Abroad │ May 11, 2015 │ Washington D.C.

This coming Monday, I will be presenting – virtually – at the above titled conference. My piece of the presentation will cover my recent research on benefit corporation reporting.

Further information is available here and reproduced below. Personally, I am looking forward to hearing from the many impressive speakers, including Sara Burgess, the Regulator of Community Interest Companies in the UK.

May 11, 2015

08:00 AM - 06:00 PM ET

 

Morgan Lewis, in conjunction with the Impact Investing Legal Working Group, invites you to join us for an exclusive all-day conference featuring panels of leading lawyers who work in the area of impact investing—in business, academia, government, multilateral development institutions, and nonprofit organizations and foundations.

 

Topics will include:

How are investors aggregating capital for impact investing?

What are the newest social finance innovations in impact investing?

How can we build a robust legal community of practice in impact investing?

How can we advance the development of regulatory regimes and government policies that promote impact investing?

 

Details

8:00 - 8:30 AM | Registration

8:30 - 6:00 PM | Program

6:00 PM | Networking reception

 

View the agenda >>

 

Credit

CLE credit in CA (1.25 hours), FL, IL, MA, NY, NJ, PA, VA, and TX is currently pending approval.

 

For more information/registration

Please contact Gail Sobha Lynes at +1.617.951.8607 or gail.sobhalynes@morganlewis.com.

 

May 7, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Entrepreneurship, Haskell Murray, International Business, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fall Business Law Conference in Venice

Marco Ventoruzzo (Penn State Law) alerts us to the upcoming international conference for the sixtieth anniversary of the Rivista delle società, which will be held in Venice, on San Giorgio Maggiore, on 13-14 November 2015. The title of the conference is "Rules for the Market and Market for Rules. Corporate Law and the Role of the Legislature." The program and information on how to register (and other logistics) can be found here.  It looks like only an Italian version of the program is available on the website as of the time this is being posted, but I have an English version.  So, please just contact me if you want one.

Marco notes that the conference, organized every ten years by the Rivista, is one of the major events for corporate law scholars and practitioners in Italy (and probably in Europe as a whole). He anticipates well over 300 participants from several European countries, the U.S., and elsewhere. He notes that, as an additional incentive to participate, the venue is probably one of the most spectacular that can be imagined.  San Giorgio is a tiny island in the Venice lagoon, just in front of Saint Mark's Square, that overlooks the entire Venetian waterfront. On the island, inhabited since Roman times, the conference will be hosted in a monastery partially designed by Andrea Palladio in the XVI century.

Hat tip to Marco for this announcement.

April 22, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporations, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, April 17, 2015

UConn Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Conference│ Storrs, CT │ April 23-24, 2015

SE2-Logo2

At the end of next week, I will be at the University of Connecticut School of Business and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center for their Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Conference.

Further information about the conference is available here, a portion of which is reproduced below:

In October 2014, Connecticut joined a growing number of states that empower for-profit corporations to expand their core missions to expressly include human rights, environmental sustainability, and other social objectives. As a new legal class of businesses, these benefit corporations join a growing range of social entrepreneurship and enterprise models that have the potential to have positive social impacts on communities in Connecticut and around the world. Designed to evaluate and enhance this potential, SE2 will feature a critical examination of the various aspects of social entrepreneurship, as well as practical guidance on the challenges and opportunities presented by the newly adopted Connecticut Benefit Corporation Act and other forms of social enterprise.

Presenters at the academic symposium on April 23 are:

  • Mystica Alexander, Bentley University
  • Norman Bishara, University of Michigan
  • Kate Cooney, Yale University
  • Lucien Dhooge, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Gwendolyn Gordon, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gil Lan, Ryerson University
  • Diana Leyden, University of Connecticut
  • Haskell Murray, Belmont University
  • Inara Scott, Oregon State University

Presenters at the practitioner conference on April 24 are:

  • Gregg Haddad, State Representative, Connecticut General Assembly (D-Mansfield)
  • Spencer Curry & Kieran Foran, FRESH Farm Aquaponics
  • Sophie Faris, Community Development, B-Lab
  • James W. McLaughlin, Associate, Murtha Cullina LLP
  • Michelle Cote, Managing Director, Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Mike Brady, CEO, Greyston Bakery
  • Jeff Brown, Executive Vice President, Newman’s Own Foundation
  • Justin Nash, President, Veterans Construction Services, and Founder, Til Duty is Done
  • Vishal Patel, CEO & Founder, Happy Life Coffee
  • Anselm Doering, President & CEO, EcoLogic Solutions
  • Dafna Alsheh, Production Operations Director, Ice Stone
  • Tamara Brown, Director of Sustainable Development and Community Engagement, Praxair

April 17, 2015 in Business Associations, Business School, Conferences, Corporate Governance, CSR, Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Haskell Murray, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Understanding the Modern Company │ London │ May 9, 2015

Recently, I received the following conference announcement via e-mail:

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Understanding the Modern Company

Organised by the Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London,

in cooperation with University College London

Saturday 9 May 2015, 09.00 to 17.00

Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Queen Mary University of London

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

London WC2A 3JB

From their origin in medieval times to their modern incarnation as transnational bodies that traverse nations, the company remains an important, yet highly misunderstood entity. It is perhaps not surprising then that understanding what a company is and to whom it is accountable remains a persistent and enduring debate across the globe.

Today, the company is viewed in a variety, and often contradictory, ways. Some see it as a public body; others view it as a system of private ordering, while still others see it as a hybrid between these two views. Companies have also been characterized as the property of their shareholders, a network, a team, and even akin to a natural person. Yet the precise nature of the company and its role in society remain a modern mystery.

This conference brings together a wealth of scholars from around the world to explore the nature and function of companies. By drawing from different backgrounds and perspectives, the aim of this conference is to develop a normative approach to understanding the modern company.

SPEAKERS

Professor William Bratton, University of Pennsylvania

Professor Christopher Bruner, Washington & Lee University

Professor Karin Buhmann, Roskilde University

Dr Barnali Choudhury, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Janet Dine, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Luca Enriques, University of Oxford

Professor Brandon Garrett, University of Virginia

Professor Martin Gelter, Fordham Law School

Professor Paddy Ireland, University of Bristol

Dr Dionysia Katelouzou, King’s College London

Professor Andrew Keay, University of Leeds

Professor Ian Lee, University of Toronto

Dr Marc Moore, University of Cambridge

Dr Martin Petrin, University College London

Professor Beate Sjåfjell, University of Oslo

Professor Lynn Stout, Cornell University

To register, please visit: www.bit.ly/QM-Modern-Company

April 6, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporations, Haskell Murray | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Developing Areas of Capital Market and Federal Securities Regulation at Vanderbilt Law School

Vanderbilt

After teaching my early morning classes, I will spend the rest of the day at Vanderbilt Law School for their Developing Areas of Capital Market and Federal Securities Regulation Conference.

This is Vanderbilt's 17th Annual Law and Business Conference and they have quite the impressive lineup, including Commissioner Daniel Gallagher, Jr. of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

I am grateful to the Vanderbilt faculty members who invited me to this event and others like it. Vanderbilt is only about 1 mile from Belmont and I have truly enjoyed getting to know some of the Vanderbilt faculty members and their guest speakers.

March 27, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporate Finance, Corporations, Haskell Murray, Securities Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Avantages de Participation à des Conférences Internationales Interdisciplinaires (Benefits of Attending Interdisciplinary International Conferences)

Greetings from Lyon, France, where I am presenting a work-in-process at an international conference on microfinance and crowdfunding organized by the Groupe ESC Dijon Borgogne (Burgundy School of Business) Chaire Banque Populaire en Microfinance.  As the only legal scholar, the only U.S. researcher, and the only presenter with an orange-casted arm (!), I stand out in the crowd.  So what is a one-armed U.S. law professor like me, with limited French language skills, doing in a place like this on my spring break?  Among other things, I am:

  • Broadening my academic and practical view of the world of business finance;
  • Making new connections, personally and substantively;
  • Getting different, pointed feedback on my ongoing crowdfunding work; 
  • Offering assistance and new perspectives (U.S.-centric, legal, regulatory, etc.) to scholars and industry participants from a spectrum of countries; and
  • Securing potential partners and resources for future projects.

Although most of the participants speak English, I am still living at the edge of my socio-lingual comfort zone.  It helps that I am an off-the-charts extrovert.  Regardless, however, the benefits of attendance have been immediate and meaningful.

Questions for our readers:

Do you participate in interdisciplinary research conferences?  

If not, why not?  

If so, what scholarly traditions were emphasized?  What did you find most beneficial . . . or most difficult?

Have you attended international research conferences?  

If not, is it because of cost, personal discomfort, or another reason?  

If so, how (if at all) have you benefitted from your attendance?  What insights can you offer those considering doing the same?

March 18, 2015 in Conferences, Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

“We Just Can’t Get Enough of Business Associations”

My seventy business associations students work in law firms on group projects. Law students, unlike business students, don’t particularly like group work at first, even though it requires them to use the skills they will need most as lawyers—the abilities to negotiate, influence, listen, and compromise. Today, as they were doing their group work on buy-sell agreements for an LLC, I started drafting today’s blog post in which I intended to comment on co-blogger Joan Heminway’s post earlier this week about our presentation at Emory on teaching transactional law.

While I was drafting the post, I saw, ironically, an article featuring Professor Michelle Harner, the author of the very exercise that my students were working on. The article discussed various law school programs that were attempting to instill business skills in today’s law students. Most of the schools were training “practice ready” lawyers for big law firms and corporations. I have a different goal. My students will be like most US law school graduates and will work in firms of ten lawyers or less. If they do transactional work, it will likely be for small businesses.  Accordingly, despite my BigLaw and in-house background, I try to focus a lot of the class discussion and group work on what they will see in their real world.

I realized midway through the time allotted in today’s class that the students were spending so much time parsing through the Delaware LLC statute and arguing about proposed changes to the operating agreement in the exercise that they would never finish in time. I announced to the class that they could leave 10 minutes early because they would need to spend at least another hour over the next day finishing their work. Instead most of the class stayed well past the end of class time arguing about provisions, thinking about negotiation tactics with the various members of the LLC, and figuring out which rules were mandatory and which were default. When I told them that they actually needed to vacate the room so another class could enter, a student said, “we just can’t get enough of business associations.” While this comment was meant to be a joke, I couldn’t help but be gratified by the passion that the students displayed while doing this in-class project.  I have always believed that students learn best by doing something related to the statutes rather than reading the dry words crafted by legislators.  My civil procedure students have told me that they feel “advanced” now that they have drafted complaints, answers, and client memos about Rule 15 amendments.

I am certainly no expert on how to engage law students, but I do recommend reading the article that Joan posted, and indeed the whole journal (15 Transactions: Tenn. J. Bus. L. 547 (2014). Finally, please share any ideas you have on keeping students interested in the classroom and prepared for the clients that await them. 

 

February 12, 2015 in Business Associations, Business School, Conferences, Corporations, Delaware, Joan Heminway, Law School, LLCs, Marcia Narine, Negotiation, Teaching, Unincorporated Entities | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hot Off the Press: Heminway and Narine on Teaching Business Law!

With Marcia's blessing, I am promoting a recently published transcript of a conference panel on which she and I presented last spring.  The title of the published transcript?  "Representing Entities: The Value of Teaching Students How to Draft Board Resolutions and Other Similar Documentation."  Here's the top line from the SSRN abstract:

This edited transcript comprises a panel presentation and related Q&A at "Educating the Transactional Lawyer of Tomorrow," Emory University School of Law's biennial transactional law conference held June 6-7, 2014. The transcript includes Professor Heminway's talk and a separate presentation by Professor Marcia Narine on "How to Make Transactional Law Less Terrifying and a Bit More Interesting." The panel, "Transactional Drafting: Beyond Contracts," features approaches to teaching transactional business law courses. 

Enjoy!

February 9, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporations, Joan Heminway, Marcia Narine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Conferences

I am a list maker.  I make daily to do lists, grocery lists, research plans, workout schedules (that quickly get jettisoned) and  complicated child care matrices necessary in two-career families.  How else am I supposed to remember and keep on my radar all of the things that I am supposed to be doing now, or doing when I have time, or things that I can't forget to do in the future?  One area where I feel deficient is in planning my conference travel/attendance. It always feels either a little ad hoc (ohh I got an invitation and I never say no to those!) or a little out habit (once you have presented at a conference it is easier to be asked to participate in future panels). Rarely does it feel like a part of an intentional plan for the year where I set out to prioritize conference A or break into conference B.  

Realizing that this year there are 3 corporate law events within 10 days of each other is seriously making me reconsider my approach.  I need a conference list-- a way to plan for the coming year, prioritize opportunities and frankly, schedule grandparent visits (read: child care) when I need to travel for more than a night or two.  

Below is my running list of annual or nearly annual events, but I know that I am missing big pieces of the conference puzzle.  Please contribute in the comments so we can create a list of some standard corporate law events (great for new teachers, great for those looking to expand their research circles, etc.).  Updated to reflect suggestions in comments & put in approximate order of timing.

 

-Anne Tucker

February 4, 2015 in Anne Tucker, Business Associations, Call for Papers, Conferences, Law and Economics, Securities Regulation, Teaching, Unincorporated Entities | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Disruption in Dublin

I have just returned from Dublin, which may be one of my new favorite cities. For the fifth year in a row, I have had the pleasure of participating as a mentor in the LawWithoutWalls (“LWOW”) program run by University of Miami with sponsorship from the Eversheds law firm. LWOW describes itself as follows:

LawWithoutWalls, devised and led by Michele DeStefano, is a part-virtual, global, multi-disciplinary collaboratory that focuses on tackling the cutting edge issues at the intersection of law, business, technology, and innovation.  LawWithoutWalls mission is to accelerate innovation in legal education and practice at the same time.  We collaborate with 30 law and business schools and over 450 academics, students, technologists, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business professionals, and lawyers from around the world. We seek to change how today’s lawyers approach their practice and how tomorrow’s lawyers are educated and, in so doing, sharpen the skills needed to meet the challenges posed by the economic pressures, technologization, and globalization of the international legal market. We seek to create the future of law, today. Utilizing a blend of virtual and in-person techniques, LawWithoutWalls offers six initiatives: LWOW Student Offerings,LWOW LiveLWOW INC., and LWOW Xed.  

 I first joined the program as a practitioner mentor and have now served as an academic mentor for two years. Each team has students from law or business school who develop a project of worth addressing a problem in legal education or the legal profession. Mentors include an academic, a practitioner, an entrepreneur, and an LWOW alum.

In the LWOW Live version, the students and mentors meet for the first time in a foreign city (hence the trip to Dublin) and then never see each other in person again until the Conposium, a Shark-Tank like competition in April at the University of Miami, where they present their solution to a venture capitalist, academic, and practitioner in front of a live and virtual audience.

Over the period of a few months the students and mentors, who are all in different cities, work together and meet virtually. Students also attend mandatory weekly thought leader sessions. Past topics have included developments in legal practice around the world and the necessity of a business plan. For many law students, this brings what they learned in Professional Responsibility and Business Associations classes to life. At the Dublin kickoff, audience members watched actual live pitches to venture capitalists from three startups, learned about emotional intelligence and networking from internationally-renowned experts, and started brainstorming on mini projects of worth.

This year, I am coaching a virtual LWOW Compliance team working on a problem submitted by the Ethics Resource Center. My students attend school in London and Hamburg but hail from India and Singapore. My co-mentors include attorneys from Dentons and Holland and Knight. The winner of the LWOW Compliance competition will present their solution to the Ethics Resource Center in front of hundreds of compliance officers. In past years, I have had students in LWOW Live from Brazil, Israel, China, the US, South Africa, and Spain and mentees who served as in-house counsel or who were themselves start-up entrepreneurs or investors. Representatives from the firms that are disrupting the legal profession such as Legal Zoom serve as mentors to teams as well. In the past students have read books by Richard Susskind, who provides a somewhat pessimistic view of the future of the legal profession, but a view that students and mentors should hear.

As I sat through the conference, I remembered some of the takeaways from the AALS sessions in Washington in early January. The theme of that conference was “Legal Education at the Crossroads.” Speakers explained that firms and clients are telling the schools that they need graduates with skills and experience in project management, technology, international exposure, business acumen, emotional intelligence, leadership, and working in teams. Law schools on average don’t stress those skills but LWOW does. Just today, LWOW’s team members were described as "lawyers with solutions." I agree and I’m proud to be involved in shaping those solutions.

 

January 22, 2015 in Books, Business School, Conferences, Entrepreneurship, Ethics, International Business, Law School, Marcia Narine, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Top 25 tweets for business lawyers from AALS

Greetings from Dublin. Between the Guinness tour, the champagne afternoon tea, and the jet lag, I don’t have the mental energy to do the blog I planned to write with a deep analysis of the AALS conference in DC. I live tweeted for several days and here my top 25 tweets from the conference. I have also added some that I re-tweeted from sessions I did not attend. I apologize for any misspellings and for the potentially misleading title of this post:

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Next week I will write about the reason I'm in Dublin.

January 15, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, CSR, Delaware, Financial Markets, Marcia Narine, Securities Regulation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

15th annual workshop on Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship

The following comes to us from Lee Epstein, the Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. (I should note that I attended this conference a few years ago and, while I ended up taking my scholarship in a different direction, I can highly recommend the workshop to anyone interested in doing empirical legal scholarship.)

The 15th annual workshop on Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship, co-taught by Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin, will run from June 15-June 17 at Washington University in St. Louis. The workshop is for law school faculty, lawyers, political science faculty, and graduate students interested in learning about empirical research and how to evaluate empirical work. It provides the formal training necessary to design, conduct, and assess empirical studies, and to use statistical software (Stata) to analyze and manage data.

Participants need no background or knowledge of statistics to enroll in the workshop. Registration is here. For more information, please contact Lee Epstein.

January 8, 2015 in Conferences, Stefan J. Padfield | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Animal Law Is (Or At Least Can Be) Business Law

I just left the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting this morning.  I came back to a flat tire at the airport, but let's not dwell on that . . . .  The conference was a good one, as these zoo-like mega conferences go.  

I presented at the conference as part of a panel that focused on teaching courses and topics at the intersection of animals and the law.  (Thanks for the plug, Stefan!)  Yes, although it is a little known fact, I do teach courses involving animals and the law.  Regrettably, it is a somewhat rare thing for me, since I always have to teach these courses as an overload.  However, I also am the faculty advisor to our campus chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and UT Pro Bono's Animal Law Project (which compiled and annually updates a Tennessee statutory resource used by animal control and other law enforcement officers, as well as other animal-focused professionals, in the State of Tennessee).  In addition, I coach our National Animal Law Competitions team.  These non-classroom activities  give me ample time to teach in different ways . . . .

I will not rehash all of my remarks from the panel presentation here.  In fact, I want to make a very limited point in this post.  While my calling to legal issues involving non-human animals is rooted in large part in being the "animal mom" of a rescue dog and rescue cat, I also participate in educational efforts in this area because I see it as my professional responsibility as a lawyer--and in particular, as a business lawyer.

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January 5, 2015 in Business Associations, Conferences, Corporations, Ethics, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (1)