Friday, September 23, 2016

"Distraction Sickness"

In January 2015, I wrote about a resolution to take a break from e-mails on Saturdays.

That resolution failed, quickly.

Since then, I have been thinking a lot about my relationship with e-mail.

On one hand, I get a lot of positive feedback from students and colleagues about my responsiveness. On the other hand, constantly checking and responding to e-mails seems to cut against productivity on other (often more important) tasks.

Five or six weeks ago, I started drafting this post, hoping to share it after at least one week of only checking my e-mail two times a day (11am and 4pm). Then I changed the goal to three times a day (11am, 4pm, and 9pm and then 5am, 11am, 4pm). Efforts to limit e-mail in that rigid way failed, even though very little of what I do requires a response in less than 24 hours. On the positive side, I have been relatively good, recently, at not checking my e-mail when I am at home and my children are awake. 

A few days ago, I read Andrew Sullivan’s Piece in the New York Magazine on “Distraction Sickness.” His piece is long, but worth reading. A short excerpt is included below:

[The smart phone] went from unknown to indispensable in less than a decade. The handful of spaces where it was once impossible to be connected — the airplane, the subway, the wilderness — are dwindling fast. Even hiker backpacks now come fitted with battery power for smartphones. Perhaps the only “safe space” that still exists is the shower. Am I exaggerating? A small but detailed 2015 study of young adults found that participants were using their phones five hours a day, at 85 separate times. Most of these interactions were for less than 30 seconds, but they add up. Just as revealing: The users weren’t fully aware of how addicted they were. They thought they picked up their phones half as much as they actually did. But whether they were aware of it or not, a new technology had seized control of around one-third of these young adults’ waking hours. . . . this new epidemic of distraction is our civilization’s specific weakness. And its threat is not so much to our minds, even as they shape-shift under the pressure. The threat is to our souls. At this rate, if the noise does not relent, we might even forget we have any. (emphasis added)

Academics seem to vary widely on how often they respond to e-mails, but I’d love to hear about the experience and practices of others. Oddly, in my experience with colleagues, those who are most prompt to respond to e-mails are usually also the most productive with their scholarship. I can’t really explain this, other than maybe these people are sitting at their computers more than others or are just ridiculously efficient. As with most things, I imagine there is an ideal balance to be pursued.

One thing I have learned is that setting expectations can be quite helpful. With students, I make clear on the first day of class and on the syllabus that e-mails will be returned within 24 business hours (though not necessarily more quickly than 24 business hours). I often respond to e-mails much more quickly than this, but this is helpful language to point a student to when he sends a 3am e-mail asking many substantive questions before an 8am exam.

Our students also struggle with "distraction sickness," and most of them know they are much too easily distracted by technology, but they are powerless against it. Ever since I banned laptops in my undergraduate classes, I have received many more thanks than pushback. The vast majority of students say they appreciate the technology break, but some can still be seen giving into the technology urge and (not so) secretly checking their phones.

Interested in how our readers manage their e-mails. Any tricks or rules that work for you? Feel free to e-mail me or leave your thoughts in the comments.

September 23, 2016 in Business School, Current Affairs, Haskell Murray, Law School, Teaching, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 SEALSB Conference - November 10-12 - Durham, NC

For the fourth straight year, I plan to present at the Southeastern Academy of Legal Studies in Business ("SEALSB") Annual Conference, and I am on the SEALSB executive committee.  SEALSB is one of eight regional associations under the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB), and ALSB is the national organization for legal studies professors in business schools.

More information about the conference can be found here and deadlines are included below. Today is the deadline for early bird registration, best paper submissions, and award nominations. 

Friday, September 16: 

Friday, September 30: 

  • Abstract submission deadline to be a conference presenter

Tuesday, October 11:

  • Hotel cutoff date for group rate (subject to room block availability)

Friday, October 14:

  • Submission of papers (not for award consideration) to be included on USB flash drive. (Otherwise, bring 25 copies to the conference.)

September 16, 2016 in Business School, Conferences, Haskell Murray | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program Positions

HLS

Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program is looking to fill two clinical instructor positions (one with a focus on facilitation and political dialogue) for July 2017.

Details about the positions are available here

September 10, 2016 in ADR, Clinical Education, Haskell Murray, Jobs, Negotiation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 9, 2016

ALSB Promotion and Tenure News: 2016 Edition

Last year, on the suggestion of an ALSB colleague, I did a post on promotion, tenure, and administrative appointment news for legal studies professors in business schools. I continue that series this year, below. I am happy to add to this list, as I am sure it is incomplete. Congrats to all!

Robert Bird (UConn) - promoted to full professor

De Vee Dykstra (South Dakota) - appointed associate dean of Beacom School of Business

Marc Edelman (CUNY) - promoted to full professor and awarded tenure

Josh Perry (Indiana-Kelley School of Business) - appointed to Dean of Undergraduate Affairs

Jamie Prenkert (Indiana-Kelley (Bloomington Campus)) - appointed Associate Vice Provost

Scott Shackelford (Indiana-Kelley) - promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure

 

September 9, 2016 in Business School, Current Affairs, Haskell Murray | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Two Positions at The Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance

I recently received the following information regarding two positions at The Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance. Many readers, I assume, will be familiar with their co-sponsored excellent blog, The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

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Executive Director

The Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance invites applications for the position of Executive Director. Together with the Faculty Director and others, the Executive Director of the Program works on building, developing, and managing the full range of activities of the Program. Under the Faculty Director’s oversight, the Executive Director manages the wide range of the Program’s operations; collaborates with major corporations, law firms, investors, advisers, and other organizations; participates in developing and directing conferences and other events for the Program; and manages the administration and personnel of the program, including fellows, research assistants, and staff. The Executive Director also collaborates with constituent groups and other professionals; participates in fundraising activities; interacts with donors and visitors; and takes on other management roles within the Program as needed. The Executive Director is involved in overseeing the Program’s website and other media outreach efforts, as well as the Program’s blog, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Candidates should have a J.D. or another graduate degree in law, policy, or social science, and 3+ years of experience in a relevant field of law or policy. This is a full-time term appointment.Start date is flexible. Additional information on the Executive Director position, as well as detailed instructions on how to apply, is available through ASPIRE.

Academic Fellow

The Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance invites applications for Post-Graduate Academic Fellows. Candidates should be interested in spending two or three years at Harvard Law School in preparation for a career in academia or policy research, and should have a J.D., LL.M. or S.J.D. from a U.S. law school (or expect to have completed most of the requirements for such a degree by the time they commence their fellowship). During the term of their appointment, Post-Graduate Academic Fellows work on research and corporate governance activities of the Program, depending on their interests and Program needs. Fellows may also work on their own research and publishing, and some former Fellows of the Program now teach in leading law schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a CV, list of references, law school grades, and a writing sample and cover letter to the coordinator of the Program, Ms. Jordan Figueroa, atcoordinator@corpgov.law.harvard.edu. The cover letter should describe the candidate’s experience, reasons for seeking the position, career plans, and the kinds of Program projects and activities in which they would like to be involved. The position includes Harvard University benefits and a competitive fellowship salary. Start date is flexible.

September 8, 2016 in Corporate Governance, Haskell Murray, Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 2, 2016

EpiPen Price Hikes and Corporate Law

In his article, Making It Easier for Directors to "Do the Right Thing?" 4 Harv. Bus. L. Rev. 235, 237–39 (2014), Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine wrote:

[E]ven if one accepts that those who manage public corporations may, outside of the corporate sales process, treat the best interests of other corporate constituencies as an end equal to the best interests of stockholders, and believes that stockholders should not be afforded additional influence over those managers, those premises do very little to actually change the managers’ incentives in a way that would encourage them to consider the interests of anyone other than stockholders. . . . even if corporate law supposedly grants directors the authority to give other constituencies equal consideration to stockholders outside of the sale context, it employs an unusual accountability structure to enable directors to act as neutral balancers of the diverse, and not always complementary, interests affected by corporate conduct. In that accountability structure, owners of equity securities are the only constituency given any rights. Stockholders get to elect directors. Stockholders get to vote on mergers and substantial asset sales. Stockholders get to inspect the books and records. Stockholders get the right to sue. No other constituency is given any of these rights. (emphasis added, citations omitted)

There has been a lot of anger and shock in the reporting over the price increases by EpiPen-maker Mylan. See, e.g., here, here, here, and here, but I think Chief Justice Strine's observation about the general accountability structure of corporate law is at least a partial explanation. (To be sure, there also appears to be an executive compensation story, though the executive compensation structure may be driven by the shareholder-centric accountability structure. That said, Mylan appears to be a Netherlands-incorporate company, and I know very little about the structure of its corporate law.)

The price for an EpiPen has increased a staggering amount since 2007 when pharmaceutical company Mylan acquired the product – wholesaling for $100 in 2007; $103.50 in 2009; $264.50 in 2013; $461 in 2015; $608.61 in 2016.

The general tone of the reporting in the mainstream media is one of outrage.

But isn't this to be expected? Granted, the business judgment rule provides a lot of leeway, and I would not argue that Mylan was "forced" to hike prices, even if Mylan were incorporated in Delaware. But if we give shareholders virtually all of the significant corporate governance tools, isn't it obvious that directors and officers will often seek shareholder interests even when it is harmful to communities? The bigger story here may be that certain norms and the fear of negative press have been able to keep plenty of other companies from following suit.

My article Adopting Stakeholder Advisory Boards, due out next semester in the American Business Law Journal, suggests giving some of the corporate governance accountability tools (such as certain voting rights) to a stakeholder advisory board made up of stakeholder representatives. The article argues that adoption of stakeholder advisory boards should be mandatory for large social enterprises (because they both chose a social entity form and have the resources) and should be voluntarily adopted by other serious socially-conscious companies. An accountability change of this sort might bring public expectations and the corporate law accountability structure into line.

Separately, are there certain industries - like the health care industry - that we want to be less profit-focused than others? For those industries, perhaps requiring (or making attractive through regulations/taxes) the choice of a social enterprise form (like benefit corporation) may make some sense. However, as noted in my article, the benefit corporation accountability structure is quite shareholder-centric, similar to the structure for traditional corporations. Granted, socially-motivated shareholders may exert some pressure on benefit corporations and the benefit corporation law may give them a somewhat better chance to do so, but if we want real change, I think the corporate accountability structure needs to be more completely redesigned.

Personal Note: When I was a child, my mom carried an EpiPen for me, following an incident involving plastic armor, a tennis racket, and whacking a big bee nest. 

September 2, 2016 in Corporate Governance, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Haskell Murray, Shareholders, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Better Meetings, Better Teaching

During the past few days, I have participated in a lot of meetings.

This has led to some thinking on what makes a good meeting.

To me, a useful meeting is one that accomplishes things that could not be handled appropriately by an e-mail. Some meetings are held, I am convinced, because those calling the meetings are not sure that participants read and pay attention to e-mails. This worry could be best addressed, in my opinion, by making expectations regarding e-mail management clear, perhaps coupled with consequences for those who ignore the contents.

That said, e-mail is not appropriate in all cases and here are four categories where in-person meetings can work better than e-mail:

  1. Inspire. Perhaps some can be inspired over e-mail, but it seems much easier to inspire in person. As such, I think some good meetings can be used to inspire participants to achieve organizational goals. But inspiring others, especially sometimes cynical professors, can be difficult to do.
  2. Build Relationships. Sometimes the only times you see certain colleagues are at faculty meetings, so meetings can be a good way to build relationships, especially if folks hang around before and after meetings or if significant time is given for small group discussion.
  3. Engage in Group Discussions. E-mail is pretty good for one-way communication, but as anyone who has been on a group e-mail with hundreds of replies knows, e-mail isn’t great for dynamic group conversation. As such, it may make sense to have meetings when a group needs to converse about working through an issue. That said, preparation for the meeting can often be done alone, and the lion-share of the conversation can be done in small groups.
  4. Engage in Difficult Conversations. When tone is important, e-mail is often inadequate. Thus, in-person meetings may be important for communication of sensitive or controversial information.

When meetings focus on things that cannot be done remotely, I think meetings can be quite useful. Similarly, when teaching, we should think – what is it that students cannot get through an e-mail, the internet, or an online class? We should focus on those things. As such, I am trying to do even more interactive projects and small group discussions in class this semester.

August 26, 2016 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Law School, Service, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Even More Advice for Students

Belmont University starts classes on Wednesday. Below I share a few tips for new students. Josh posted a good list earlier this week, but my list is a bit different, perhaps because I teach primarily undergraduate and graduate business students. None of these is new or earthshattering, but, like many simple things, they remain difficult to put into action.

  1. Be Professional. As I often tell my students, you start building your reputation in school. I have declined business opportunities from former classmates because I remembered how they conducted themselves in school. Be on time, be prepared, be thoughtful, and be honest. We should recognize that people change over time and be open to giving second chances, but, unfortunately, not everyone will be quick to change an opinion they form of you while you are in school.
  2. Get to Know Your Classmates and Your Professors. Building relationships is an important aspect of personal and professional life. It is tempting to just put your head down in school and not spend time trying to form strong bonds. An incredible number of students never meet with their professors or only meet with them right before a project or an exam. Professors and classmates are worth getting to know as an end in and of itself, but can also have tangible benefits like better recommendation letters and client referrals.
  3. Use Laptops Carefully, If At All. There is a growing body of research that shows taking handwritten notes is better for learning the information than typing. For law students, I understand that it can be helpful to have your notes typed to jumpstart your outlines, but, at the very least, disable your internet connection while in class. We are not as good at multitasking as we think.
  4. Outline Early and Do Practice Tests. Staying on top of your outlining will give you a bit of time later in the semester to do practice tests. In graduate school, most students can memorize the course materials, but practice applying the material properly is often what propels students into the "excellent" category.
  5. Work Hard, but Schedule Breaks and Take Care of Yourself. It took me a while to learn this, but you actually perform better when you work hard and take care of yourself. For me, this means at least 7 hours of consistently placed sleep, nutritious meals (including breakfast), exercise at least 4x a week, and one day a week detached from work. Even during law school, I consistently put my books down for one 24-hour period during the week (with an exception for the exam period). Some students need to be reminded to work harder; law school should require the work of a full-time job in my opinion. Other students, however, get caught up in the competition and the rigor, and forget the importance of taking care of themselves.

Hope the fall semester is good to all our readers.

August 19, 2016 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Law School, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

LochMess and Morals Clauses

There has been a lot of debate online about Ryan Lochte (#LochteGate or #LochMess) and whether he and his swimming friends were actually robbed in Rio after their Olympic events had finished. See here, here, and here for some of the commentary. 

Lawyer Dan Eaton opines that Ryan Lochte is unlikely to go to jail, even if he lied.

While I agree that jail time is unlikely based on the facts available at this time, Lochte's endorsements could be at risk. Earlier this year, I blogged about morals clauses in endorsement contracts. If Lochte's contracts include morals clauses (as many do), and if he lied about the robbery, it is possible that he may lose some lucrative endorsements deals. It is still not clear what the motive for lying was (if they did lie). I assume we will learn more in the next few days.   

Update: Speedo and Ralph Lauren dropped (or are not renewing) sponsorship of Ryan Lochte. Spokespeople for both companies cited Lochte's statements about the occurrence in Rio. My wife let me know that some are now calling Lochte "Swim Shaddy."

August 18, 2016 in Current Affairs, Haskell Murray, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Instagram and Valuing Businesses

In the spring of 2012, around the time that Facebook purchased Instagram for roughly $1 billion, I was teaching an M&A class.

At the time, I had difficulty explaining why Facebook would pay that amount of money for a company that was not only not profitable, but also had no revenue. I spoke as someone trained to use multiples EBITDA and as someone who did not (and still does not) have an Instagram account.

Now, over four years later, Forbes estimates Instagram's value at $25billion to $50billion. That valuation still requires some creativity, as Instagram had sales of "only" $630 million in 2015. Instagram, however, has added roughly 100 million new users in the last 9 months and is projected to have revenue of $1.5billion this year. While there is reason to be wary of projections, the projected sales for Instagram in 2018 is an impressive $5billion.

This drives home that valuation is as much art as science, and the conventional valuation methods will not work well for every company. In that deal, I imagine Instagram's technology, brand, and the user base were all large value drivers. With the benefit of hindsight, Instagram is looking like a good acquisition for Facebook, even if the current projections end up being a bit optimistic. 

August 12, 2016 in Business Associations, Current Affairs, Haskell Murray, M&A | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Richmond Law Professor Openings

From an e-mail I received:

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The University of Richmond School of Law seeks to fill two entry-level tenure-track positions for the 2017-2018 academic year, including one in corporate/transactional law.  Candidates should have outstanding academic credentials and show superb promise for top-notch scholarship and teaching.  The University of Richmond, an equal opportunity employer, is committed to developing a diverse workforce and student body and to supporting an inclusive campus community.  Applications from candidates who will contribute to these goals are strongly encouraged. 

Inquiries and requests for additional information may be directed to Professor Jessica Erickson, Chair of Faculty Appointments, at lawfacultyapp@richmond.edu

August 10, 2016 in Business Associations, Haskell Murray, Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 1, 2016

University of Nebraska College of Law - Business Law Professor Position

The University of Nebraska College of Law is hiring, and business law is one of their areas of interest. See the ad below:

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The UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA COLLEGE OF LAW invites applications for entry-level and lateral

candidates for one or more tenure-track or tenured faculty positions. Our needs include courses related

to

• Business Law (e.g., Business Associations; Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Insurance Law,

Bankruptcy, Corporate Restructuring, Nonprofit Organizations, Risk Management / Compliance, or White

Collar Crime)

• Criminal Law (e.g., Federal Criminal Law or White Collar Crime, Criminal Procedure 2, Post-Conviction

Remedies, or Criminal Sentencing);

• Health Care (e.g., Federal Regulation of Health Care Providers, Health Care Finance, Torts,

Administrative Law, Medical Malpractice, Privacy Law, Law and Medicine, Public Health Law, Bioethics

and the Law, and the Law of Provider and Patient);

• Litigation Skills and Related Courses (e.g., Trial Advocacy, Civil Rights Litigation, Pretrial Litigation or

other litigation skills courses, Conflicts of Laws);

• Family Law;

• Education Law; and

• Election Law.

Minimum Required Qualifications: J.D Degree or Equivalent, Superior Academic Record, Demonstrated

Interest in Relevant Substantive Areas. Title of Asst/Assoc/or Full Professor will be based on

qualifications of applicant. Please fill out the University application, which can be found at

http://employment.unl.edu/postings/50660, and upload a CV, a cover letter, and a list of references.

General information about the Law College is available at http://law.unl.edu/. The University of Nebraska-

Lincoln is committed to a pluralistic campus community through affirmative action, equal opportunity,

work-life balance, and dual careers. See http://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination Review of

applications will begin on August 25, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. If you have

questions, please contact Associate Dean Eric Berger, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee,

University of Nebraska College of Law, Lincoln, NE 68583-0902, or send an email to

lawappointments@unl.edu.

August 1, 2016 in Haskell Murray, Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Western Michigan University Business Law Professor Position

Western Michigan University (Haworth College of Business) has an opening for a tenure-track assistant professor of business law. Details below the break.

Continue reading

July 29, 2016 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Business Law Professor Openings

As in past years, I will maintain lists of law professor openings in the business areas (excluding commercial law-only posts) and legal studies professor openings outside of law schools. If your school has an opening that you would like posted, feel free to contact me. 

The law professor openings list uses the PrawfsBlawg spreadsheet, if an alternate link is not provided. Positions added after today will include the date added.

Law School Professor Positions (Business Law Areas)

Legal Studies Professor Positions (Outside of Law Schools, Mostly in Business Schools)

July 29, 2016 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Crowdfunding for the Olympics

As loyal readers may have noticed, I am excited about the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

While the Olympics is sure to be heavily watched, the Games are not that lucrative for many of the participants. The average Olympian supposedly only makes around $20,000 a year from sponsorships and has significant travel, medical, and coaching costs.

On the GoFundMe website alone, there are over 140 campaigns in their "Athletes Competing in Rio" category. Collectively, the campaigns have raised over $680,000.

Here are a few stories about Olympic athletes using crowdfunding. (Inc., Forbes, USA Today).

For those who will be attending the SEALS Conference and are interested in crowdfunding, my co-blogger Joan Heminway is moderating a discussion group on "The Legal Aspects of Small Business Finance in the Crowdfunding Era" on Tuesday, August 9 from 9am-12pm, which promises to be interesting. Most of the Olympic athletes appear to be using gift-based crowdfunding, but in the SEALS discussion group, I will present on a proposal for firms to use equity crowdfunding in connection with building athletic communities that could include Olympic athletes.

July 22, 2016 in Crowdfunding, Haskell Murray, Sports | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thank You Letters

Following on Joan's excellent post about networking letters, I wanted to share a few words about thank you letters.

Attorney Kyle Westaway organizes "thank yous" into four levels:

  • Level 1 — Email saying thanks for the time and insight.
  • Level 2 — Level 1 + this is how your insight impacted my life.
  • Level 3 — Handwritten thank you note.
  • Level 4 — Level 3 + a small gift.

This seems right, and Kyle's entire post is well worth reading at the link above.

A mere thank you e-mail usually isn't worth much, but it is better than nothing (unless the thank you is typo-riddled, and then it might be worse than nothing). The e-mail is worth more if the author recounts meaningful specifics from your conversation or picks up on a way that he/she might be of assistance.

The handwritten note has made a comeback after interviews, but I don't think it has had the same resurgence after networking/advice meetings. This is a shame because generally the interviewer is just doing his or her job, while the person who is honoring your networking/advice request is usually the one bestowing a true gift. Due to the relative rarity, I think handwritten notes are even more appreciated after a networking/advice meeting than after an interview. For handwritten notes, I think it is worth investing in personalized stationery and trying to remember to send the notes right away so that the delay is not elongated.  

As to small gifts, those obviously would not be appropriate after an interview, but might be a really nice touch after a networking/advice meeting. If any readers have good thoughts on appropriate small gifts, please share in the comments or over email. I have always had a hard time thinking of these kinds of gifts. Wine seems like a common choice, but it could be risky unless you know the person drinks alcohol.

Finally, this recent article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Making Gratitude All About You struck a chord. The author suggests praising the recipient rather than just describing how the recipient benefited you or made you felt. Of course, praise should be sincere and can be overdone, but I think the author is onto something.

July 22, 2016 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Joan Heminway, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Benefit Corporation Articles in the ABA's Business Law Today

There are a number of short articles on benefit corporations in today's issue of the ABA's Business Law Today, including one on benefit corporation reporting by me.

My contribution is based on my 2015 West Virginia Law Review article, An Early Report on Benefit Reports, which showed under 10% compliance with benefit corporation reporting, noted problems with the statutory framework, and suggested statutory amendments.

July 21, 2016 in Business Associations, Haskell Murray, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wharton Professor Position in Business Ethics

Untitled

David Zaring, who is a professor at Wharton, has the details over at the Conglomerate.

Wharton is open to JD-only, PHD-only, or JD/PHD candidates for this position.

Applications  can be submitted here and the application deadline is November 1, 2016.

July 19, 2016 in Business School, Ethics, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Drinker Biddle's Analysis of the First 50 Crowdfunding Offerings

Robert Esposito (Drinker Biddle) passed along his firm's interesting report on early crowdfunding offerings. The report is available here. Be sure to download the firm level detail spreadsheet available via the data download on the top right of the page.  

The report shows that social enterprise and breweries/distilleries account for outsized portions of the early offerings. A group of us (including co-blogger Joan Heminway) predicted, at the University of Colorado's business school in July 2013, that social entrepreneurs would gravitate to equity crowdfunding. Separately, in my social enterprise law seminar, I was surprised by how many students presented on breweries that were social enterprises, and looking at this list it appears that there is at least one company (Hawaiian Ola Brewing Corporation - a Certified B Corporation) that falls into both the social enterprise and brewery categories highlighted below. It may be that both areas appeal to younger entrepreneurs who may also be eager to try this new form of capital raising. 

Go read the entire report, but I provide a teaser quote below the dotted line with some emphasis added.

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In general. As of June 30, 2016, 50 companies have filed a Form C with the SEC to offer securities under the Regulation Crowdfunding exemption. Minimum target offering amounts range from $20,000 to $500,000 per offering, with a median of $55,000. All but one of these issuers, however, have disclosed that they will accept offers in excess of the target amount, including 27 issuers that say they will accept investments at or near the maximum permitted offering amount of $1,000,000.  In contrast, 18 of the first 50 issuers elected to cap their offering at just $100,000, with the remainder setting an offering cap of between $200,000 and $500,000.  In the aggregate, if this first wave of retail crowdfundings is successful, 50 small companies will raise an aggregate of $6 to $30 million in new capital to fund their businesses. 

While announced offering durations range from 21 days to one year, the median period that issuers say they will keep their offerings open is just under six months, with about half electing an offering duration between 166 and 182 days.

Eighteen different jurisdictions of incorporation are represented among the first 50 issuers; however, nearly half of the initial filers (24) are Delaware entities. Early data shows that issuers tend to be early-stage startups, with a median issuer age of just 354 days. Nevertheless, nine of the issuers were more than five years old, and the oldest was incorporated in 2003. . . . 

While a total of 12 funding portals have registered with FINRA to date, the early mover Wefunder portal hosts more than half (26) of the first 50 offerings. The StartEngine portal has secured eight offerings, with the remainder split among other portals, including SeedInvest, Next Seed, Flashfunders, and Venture.co

Early Adopters.

  • Social Enterprises. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s Special Topic Report on Social Entrepreneurship, social enterprises account for only 5.7 percent of entrepreneurial activity in the United States. However, early crowdfunding data shows that social enterprises are strongly represented among crowdfunding issuers. Seven issuers, representing 14 percent of the first 50 offerings, are either registered as benefit corporations or benefit LLCs, or are certified by B Lab as B Corps, and at least an additional nine issuers operate within traditional corporate forms with strong social and/or environmental missions. Combined, these issuers represent 32 percent of the first 50 offerings.
     
  • Raise a Glass. Craft breweries, distilleries, and licensed establishments are also disproportionately represented among the first 50 issuers. Eight issuers, representing 16 percent of the first 50 offerings, fall into this category, including 2 distilleries, 2 craft breweries, 2 bars, as well as a frozen alcohol producer and a producer of ginger liqueur. 

July 15, 2016 in Business Associations, Crowdfunding, Delaware, Haskell Murray, Social Enterprise | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Marist College, School of Management - Assistant/Associate Professor of Law/Business Law Opening

I am stealing Haskell's thunder on this one (at his suggestion) to promote this position at Marist College.  Little known facts (other than for folks, like Haskell, who know my family well): my daughter is a Marist Red Fox (that's the school's mascot) having graduated from there with a degree in Media Studies.  It's a lovely small liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, NY.  And its new President is David N. Yellen, the former Dean and Professor of Law (criminal law expert) at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  Here are key points from the position announcement (linked to from the first sentence below):


Marist College invites applications and nominations for the position of Assistant /Associate Professor of Law/Business Law to join the School of Management beginning Fall, 2016.

Duties and Responsibilities:
This tenure track position will involve teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses (including online courses) and maintaining a high level of professional activity through research and service in the candidate’s area of emphasis

Qualifications:
Candidates must have a commitment to excellence in teaching and research and should have a JD degree and previous experience teaching legal related and business law courses in a School of Management and/or Business. Professional experience as a practitioner is also desirable.

Required Applicant Documents:
Resume, Cover Letter, References

Position Open Date:
07/08/2016

July 9, 2016 in Haskell Murray, Joan Heminway, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)