Sunday, October 1, 2023
RWU Law looks forward to the next installment of the Integrating Doctrine & Diversity Speaker Series:
HOW DOES DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND BELONGING PEDAGOGY FIT IN BUSINESS ISSUES AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS CLASSES? LEADING WITH DEIB IN WILLS, TRUSTS, ESTATES, INSURANCE, CONTRACTS, AND TAXATION LAW CLASSES
Wednesday, October 4 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Zoom Webinar Registration here.
Details about the Featured Speakers & Program here.
Friday, August 18, 2023
Emory's Center for Transactional Law and Practice has extended the deadline for proposal submissions for the 8th Biennial Conference on the Teaching of Transactional Law and Skills, scheduled for October 6-7, 2023. Quoting from the email message from Sue Payne, Katherine Koops, and Kelli Pittman:
We know that mid-August is a busy time. Therefore, by popular demand, we are extending the deadline for submitting a proposal through August 31st. Submit your proposal here.
We are also extending the deadline for you to nominate a colleague or yourself for the Tina L. Stark Award for Teaching Excellence through August 31st. Submit your nominations here.
I know many of you have valuable things to offer at this conference, which always is among my favorites. I have picked up wonderful ideas for my teaching--things I do not hear in other conferences. I hope you will submit a proposal and attend.
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
It's been little while since I posted here, but long-time readers of theis blog will not be surprised by the topic. I am happy to say that, after a lot of work with an exceptional co-author who shares my concerns, Professor Samantha Prince from Penn State Dickinson Law, we have an article documenting the problems with mislabeling LLCs and providing a variety of solutions. I have been writing on this for nearly 15 years, and unfortunately, not a lot has changed.
The article, An LLC By Any Other Name Is Still Not A Corporation, is now available on SSRN, here, and has been submitted for publication. In the meantime, we welcome thoughts and comments.
Here is the abstract:
Business entities have their own unique characteristics. Entrepreneurs and lawyers who represent them select an entity structure based on the business’s current and projected needs. The differing needs of each business span across myriad topics such as capital requirements, taxation, employee benefits, and personal liability protection. These choices present advantages and disadvantages many of which are built into the type of entity chosen.
It is critically important that people, especially lawyers, recognize the difference between entities such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). It is an egregious, nearly unforgivable, error in our view to call an LLC a “limited liability corporation.” In part, this is because lawyers should try to get things right, but it is also because conflating the two entity types can lead to unpredictable outcomes. Perhaps more important, it could lead to incorrect and unjust outcomes. A prime example lies within the veil piercing context.
Lest you think that this is not a prevalent occurrence, there are nearly 9,000 references to the phrase “limited liability corporation” in court cases. Practicing attorneys are not the only people messing this up. Judges, legislators, federal and state agency officials, and media pundits are also getting it wrong. Most recently, Justice Samuel Alito scribed an op-ed that was published in the Wall Street Journal where he misused the term. Even the TV show Jeopardy! allowed as correct the answer, “What is a limited liability corporation?,” during one episode.
Enter artificial intelligence. AI relies on information it can find, and therefore AI generators, like ChatGPT, replicate the incorrect term. With a proliferation of users and programs using ChatGPT and other AI, the use of incorrect terminology will balloon and exacerbate the problem. Perhaps one day, AI can be used to correct this problem, but that cannot happen until there is widespread understanding of the distinct nature of LLCs and a commitment to precise language when talking about them.
This article informs of the looming harms of misidentifying and conflating LLCs with corporations. Additionally, it presents a warning together with ideas on how to assist with correcting the use of incorrect terminology in all contexts surrounding LLCs.
Friday, July 28, 2023
Greetings from SEALS, where I've just left a packed room of law professors grappling with some thorny issues related to ChatGPT4, Claude 2, Copilot, and other forms of generative AI. I don't have answers to the questions below and some are well above my pay grade, but I am taking them into account as I prepare to teach courses in transactional skills; compliance, corporate governance, and sustainability; and ethics and technology this Fall.
In no particular order, here are some of the questions/points raised during the three-hour session. I'll have more thoughts on using AI in the classroom in a future post.
- AI detectors that schools rely on have high false positives for nonnative speakers and neurodivergent students and they are easy to evade. How can you reliably ensure that students aren't using AI tools such as ChatGPT if you've prohibited it?
- If we allow the use of AI in classrooms, how do we change how we assess students?
- If our goal is to teach the mastery of legal skills, what are the legal skills we should teach related to the use of AI? How will our students learn critical thinking skills if they can rely on generative AI?
- How should we keep up with the rapid pace of change?
- How will adjuncts use AI with our students if they are already integrating it into their practice? Alternatively, will adjuncts see the use of AI as cheating?
- If students use papers as writing samples, should there be attestations indicating that they are AI free? Same question for journals/law reviews.
- Can clinicians and others use generative AI to help with access to justice? If so, how can we ensure that the information is reliable and not a hallucination??
- How should schools assess faculty coming up for promotion and tenure? Will junior faculty feel pressured to rely on AI to be more productive?
- Can generative AI be helpful with students with disabilities and neurodivergent students? AI tools can help with creating study schedules, note taking (organizing by topic), time management, summarizing large articles, staying on task, academic support tool, ascertaining how long will tasks take, planning meals and more. If a policy prohibits the use of generative AI in the classroom, should its use be a reasonable accommodation?
- Do we as faculty members have the growth mindset to deal with this change? Or will we teach the way we always do, which may do a disservice to our students. How do we prepare our students to deal with generative AI in practice?
- Do you need a uniform policy or should each professor have their own policy? Should the default policy be that students cannot use it for work that gets academic credit unless the professor has specifically opted in?
- Should we embrace AI especially for students who can’t write? Is using ChatGPT any different from using a calculator? Is it any different from asking a partner for a template so you don't have to start from scratch?
- Should we use more in-class exams? Should they be closed book? Do we need more oral presentations? How might this affect space planning at exam time?
- Should class participation count for more than it already does?
- If you're not familiar with generative AI tools, where should you start?
How many of these questions have you asked yourself, your colleagues, or your dean? If you have some best practices or thoughts, please share them in the comments.
July 28, 2023 in Compliance, Conferences, Contracts, Corporate Finance, Corporations, Current Affairs, Ethics, Law Firms, Law Reviews, Law School, Lawyering, Marcia Narine Weldon, Teaching, Technology, Web/Tech, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, July 16, 2023
I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Leadership. This year, members of the have been hosting a series of Zoom forums on teaching. The remaining forums (although more may be scheduled) are set forth below.
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 – 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST – Joan Heminway, Interim Director, Institute for Professional Leadership and Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law, The University of Tennessee College of Law ,and Martin Brinkley, Dean and Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina School of Law
Monday, September 25, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST – Lee Fisher, Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law
Wednesday, October 18, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST – Kellye Testy, President and CEO, LSAC, and Hillary Sale, Associate Dean for Strategy, Georgetown University
You can register for a session by clicking on the link for that session. As you can see, I am cohosting Wednesday's forum, which will feature two adjunct professors who have worked with full-time faculty to design and implement law school leadership courses.
Business law and leadership are naturally related. The Section on Leadership may be something you are interested in following. If so (and you are a law professor at an AALS member school), you can register to be a member of the section here after logging into your AALS account.
Friday, July 7, 2023
Depending on who you talk to, you get some pretty extreme perspectives on generative AI. In a former life, I used to have oversight of the lobbying and PAC money for a multinational company. As we all know, companies never ask to be regulated. So when an industry begs for regulation, you know something is up.
Two weeks ago, I presented the keynote speech to the alumni of AESE, Portugal’s oldest business school, on the topic of my research on business, human rights, and technology with a special focus on AI. If you're attending Connecting the Threads in October, you'll hear some of what I discussed.
I may have overprepared, but given the C-Suite audience, that’s better than the alternative. For me that meant spending almost 100 hours reading books, articles, white papers, and watching videos by data scientists, lawyers, ethicists, government officials, CEOs, and software engineers.
Because I wanted the audience to really think about their role in our future, I spent quite a bit of time on the doom and gloom scenarios, which the Portuguese press highlighted. I cited the talk by the creators of the Social Dilemma, who warned about the dangers of social media algorithms and who are now raising the alarms about AI's potential existential threat to humanity in a talk called the AI Dilemma.
I used statistics from the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum on potential job displacement and from Yale's Jeffrey Sonnenfeld on what CEOs think and are planning for. Of the 119 CEOs from companies like Walmart, Coca-Cola, Xerox and Zoom, 34% of CEOs said AI could potentially destroy humanity in ten years, 8% said that it could happen in five years, and 58% said that could never happen and they are “not worried.” 42% said the doom and gloom is overstated, while 58% said it was not. I told the audience about deepfakes where AI can now mimic someone's voice in three seconds.
But in reality, there's also a lot of hope. For the past two days I've been up at zero dark thirty to watch the live stream of the AI For Good Global Summit in Geneva. The recordings are available on YouTube. While there was a more decidedly upbeat tone from these presenters, there was still some tamping down of the enthusiasm.
Fun random facts? People have been using algorithms to make music since the 60s. While many are worried about the intellectual property implications for AI and the arts, AI use was celebrated at the summit. Half of humanity's working satellites belong to Elon Musk. And a task force of 120 organizations is bringing the hammer down on illegal deforestation in Brazil using geospatial AI. They've already netted 2 billion in penalties.
For additional perspective, for two of the first guests on my new podcast, I've interviewed lawyer and mediator, Mitch Jackson, an AI enthusiast, and tech veteran, Stephanie Sylvestre, who's been working with OpenAI for years and developed her own AI product somehow managing to garner one million dollars worth of free services for her startup, Avatar Buddy. Links to their episodes are here (and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast).
If you’re in business or advising business, could you answer the following questions I asked the audience of executives and government officials in Portugal?
- How are you integrating human rights considerations into your company's strategy and decision-making processes, particularly concerning the deployment and use of new technologies?
- Can you describe how your company's corporate governance structure accounts for human rights and ethical considerations, particularly with regards to the use and impact of emerging technologies?
- How are you planning to navigate the tension between increasing automation in your business operations and the potential for job displacement among your workforce?
- How does your company approach balancing the need for innovation and competitive advantage with the potential societal and human rights impact of technologies like facial recognition and surveillance?
- In what ways is your company actively taking steps to ensure that your supply chain, especially for tech components, is free from forced labor or other human rights abuses?
- As data becomes more valuable, how is your company ensuring ethical data collection and usage practices? Are these practices in line with both domestic and international human rights and privacy standards?
- What steps are you taking to ensure digital accessibility and inclusivity, thereby avoiding the risk of creating or enhancing digital divides?
- How is your company taking into account the potential environmental impacts of your technology, including e-waste and energy consumption, and what steps are being taken to mitigate these risks while promoting sustainable development?
- What financial incentives do you have in place to do the ”right thing” even if it’s much less profitable? What penalties do you have in place for the “wrong” behavior?
- Will governments come together to regulate or will the fate of humanity lie in the hands of A few large companies?
Luckily, we had cocktails right after I asked those questions.
Are you using generative AI like ChatGPT4 or another source in your business 0r practice? If you teach, are you integrating it into the classroom? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
July 7, 2023 in Business School, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Ethics, Human Rights, Intellectual Property, Lawyering, Legislation, Management, Marcia Narine Weldon, Science, Teaching, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, June 29, 2023
8th Biennial Conference on the Teaching of Transactional Law and Skills
PREPARING FUTURE LAWYERS TO DRAFT CONTRACTS, DO DEALS, AND TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS
October 6-7, 2023 | Atlanta, GA
Call for Proposals and Nominations for
Call for Proposals
Emory’s Center for Transactional Law and Practice is delighted to open the Call for Proposals for its eighth biennial conference on the teaching of transactional law and skills. We welcome your proposals related to our theme – “Preparing Future Lawyers to Draft Contracts, Do Deals, and Take Care of Business.”
By design, our theme is broad. We see it as encompassing everything from how to teach the nuts-and-bolts of contract drafting through how to help students understand and advance a deal. In addition, we would like to know what you are doing to familiarize students with business and finance. On a more abstract level, consider leading a discussion about how to define the core values and guiding principles foundational to a successful transactional law practice. Or reporting your success encouraging students to engage in self-reflection about their professional identities as deal lawyers.
Each session will be 60 minutes long. Given this time limitation, each session will be limited to one or two presenters who have submitted one proposal on a single topic. In other words, we will not split a session between two proposals or create panels, as we have done in the past. As a result, and in the interest of assuring that each presenter gets an opportunity to shine, we will likely accept fewer proposals.
We will begin accepting proposals on Thursday, June 15, 2023. A link to the submission portal will be provided on June 15th. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on August 15th.
As in prior years, some of the conference presentations and related materials will be published in Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, a publication of the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law of The University of Tennessee, a cosponsor of the conference.
Conference Location and Schedule
Hosted by Emory University School of Law, all of the Conference proceedings and meals – including the optional Friday night dinner – will take place at the newly-renovated Emory Conference Center Hotel.
Join us at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, October 5, for a welcome reception in the Hotel bar. The conference sessions will begin on Friday, October 6, at 9:00 a.m., and end on Saturday, October 7, at 2:00 p.m.
On Friday evening, we invite you to attend an optional dinner at the Hotel. As part of the festivities at the dinner, we will announce the winner of the 2023 Tina L. Stark Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Transactional Law and Skills.
Call for Nominations – Tina L. Stark Teaching Excellence Award
Emory’s Center for Transactional Law and Practice is delighted to open its Call for Nominations for the 2023 Tina L. Stark Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Transactional Law and Skills. Think about nominating yourself or someone else to honor their work as a transactional law and skills educator. For more information about the Award, review the announcement here.
We will begin accepting nominations on Thursday, June 15, 2023. A link to the nomination submission portal will be provided on June 15th. The nomination deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on August 15th.
Registration for Conference/Optional Tina L. Stark Award Dinner
Both attendees and presenters must register for the Conference and pay the appropriate registration fee: $250 (general); $200 (adjunct professor and new professor). Note: A new professor is someone in their first three years of teaching.
The registration fee includes drink sat the welcome reception on Thursday; breakfast, snacks, and lunch on Friday; and breakfast, snacks, and lunch on Saturday. You may attend the optional Friday evening dinner at an additional cost of $60 per person.
Registration for the Conference and the optional dinner event will open June 15th.
Travel Arrangements and Hotel Accommodations
Attendees and presenters are responsible for their own travel arrangements and hotel accommodations. Special hotel rates for conference participants at the Emory Conference Center Hotel are$173 per night.
To make a reservation at the special conference rate, call the Emory Conference Center Hotel at 800.933.6679 and mention “The Emory Law Transactional Conference.” Note: The Hotel’s special conference rate expires at the end of the day on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
We look forward to seeing you in October!
Sue Payne | Executive Director
Katherine Koops | Assistant Director
Kelli Pittman | Program Coordinator
Monday, June 26, 2023
The University of Tennessee College of Law's business law journal, Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, recently published my essay, "The Fiduciary-ness of Business Associations." You can find the essay here. This essay--or parts of it, anyway--has been rattling around in my brain for a bit. It is nice on a project like this to be able to get the words out on a page and release all that tension building up inside as you fashion your approach.
The abstract for the essay is included below.
This essay offers a window and perspective on recent fiduciary-related legislative developments in business entity law and identifies and reflects in limited part on related professional responsibility questions impacting lawyers advising business entities and their equity owners. In addition—and perhaps more pointedly—the essay offers commentary on legal change and the legislative process for state law business associations amendments in and outside the realm of fiduciary duties. To accomplish these purposes, the essay first provides a short description of the position of fiduciary duties in U.S. statutory business entity law and offers a brief account of 21st century business entity legislation that weakens the historically central role of fiduciary duties in unincorporated business associations. It then reflects on these changes as a matter of theory, policy, and practice before briefly summarizing and offering related reflections in concluding.
Although I always welcome thoughts on my work, I am especially interested in your thoughts on this essay. It relates to all three of my activities as a law professor--my scholarship, teaching, and service. And I know that fiduciary duty waivers and opt-ins have different impacts in different business sectors . . . . So, let me know what you think.
June 26, 2023 in Corporate Governance, Corporations, Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Joan Heminway, Lawyering, Legislation, LLCs, Management, Partnership, Research/Scholarhip, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (4)
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Earlier tonight, I had the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to--in some small way--let a teacher-mentor know how much she means to me and has meant to my career. Specifically, I had the privilege of presenting an award to the amazing woman who taught me in the foundational law courses that I have needed most in my careers as a practitioner and an instructor. That amazing woman is NYU's Professor Helen Scott. The award was a surprise, making things all the more fun.
I know some BLPB readers also are Helen's former students. Others are fans of hers for other reasons. For all, I am copying in below the tribute I offered in conveying the award to Helen at the 2023 Impact Investment Legal Working Group & Grunin Center Annual Conference hosted at my alma mater, NYU Law. Feel free to add your tributes in the comments. I promise to pass them on.
* * *
Commitment; sustained commitment.
Sometimes, there is someone who impacts your life deeply by merely "being there" in important ways at key times. Helen Scott is one of those people in my life. I do hope many of you are similarly blessed.
We all know Helen is retiring this year--a scary thought for some of us. It was 41 years ago that both of us began our NYU journeys. In 1982, I started my path here as a law student and she as a law professor. Kismet, in some sense, I suppose. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to say a few words about her here before she saunters off into retirement.
I took both Corporations and Securities Regulation with Helen. By the time I found myself in her classroom as a second-year law student, I already had been working for about six months as a law clerk in the corporate finance group of a midtown firm—a job I kept until graduation. But it was in Helen's courses that everything came together for me. She made both courses truly engaging and tied them into the reality of law practice as much as possible.
Her unflagging dedication to teaching was obvious. Among other things, she was one of the only tenure-track professors during my law school career here at NYU Law who brought actual documents into the classroom and classroom discussions. She also brought interoffice envelopes filled with candy into class at the end of the semester, flinging the contents up the aisles of the classroom for all to grab.
Her obligations to her students—even back then, in her early years of teaching—extended to activities outside the classroom. She would go to lunch with small groups of interested students. Members of my study group were interested! We considered the expense of joining her for lunch at the Washington Square Diner (an affordability issue for at least some of us back then) an investment. Those lunches were above and beyond the call of academic duty. They cemented my desire to do what Helen had done, to become what my husband refers to as her “Mini Me.” But Helen's support for me and my career did not stop there.
I was married in August 1985, a few months after graduation and about a month after taking the bar exam. Helen and Ira were there to support me and my husband. As Helen knows, their wonderful wedding gift of a down comforter kept us warm over many years! We had it re-stuffed and re-sewn before we finally gave up on it.
In the years to follow, there were touch-base visits during several of Ira's board meetings in Boston (Where I was practicing at the time)—times to discuss lawyering and family. Helen and Ira's children are a few years older than ours, but close enough in age where she could share quality information. During one visit, she bought my children ice cream at Quincy Market. She was their hero!
When I told Helen I wanted to teach law, she offered encouragement, but also “tough love.” She even critiqued the structure and content of my job talk . . . over the telephone! For those in academia, you will know why that is so appreciated and so difficult.
But this story is not just about Helen and me. Helen has similarly impacted many others—I suspect both law and business students—in their lives and careers. I have had the pleasure of working with a number of NYU Law fellows through and outside the Grunin Center who echo in similar fashion, but in different ways, the strength of Helen's devotion to building their knowledge bases and fostering their continued professional development. I aspire to have the same kind of impact with my law and business students.
You may wonder where all this is going . . . .
In recognition of Helen’s extraordinary, sustained commitment to NYU Law, the Grunin Center, and her students (including me), I am delighted and honored to be able to present Helen with the inaugural Grunin Center Sustained Commitment Award. Helen’s career exemplifies sustained commitment. I know you will agree that she is truly deserving of this honor.
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Here are some scary statistics that I shared from the most recent ALM Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey.
If you’re a law firm leader or work with legal professionals in any capacity, please read the report and take action. If you can’t get rid of the billable hour (which would solve a lot of issues), think about how you allocate work, respond to unreasonable client demands, and reward toxic perfectionism and overwork.
✅ 71% of the nearly 3,000 lawyers surveyed said they had anxiety
✅ 45% said their morale has not changed since the pandemic
✅ 38% said they dealt with depression
✅ 31% struggled with another mental health issue
✅ 44% said they knew co-workers who struggled with alcoholism
✅ 15% said they knew someone in the profession who died by suicide in the past two years
✅ Over 50% of said they “felt a sense of failure or self-doubt, lost emotion, felt increasingly cynical and negative, and had decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment”
✅ A third said they felt “helpless, trapped, detached, or alone in the world.”
✅ More than 60% said they felt overwhelmed, irritable and exhausted or struggled to concentrate
✅ 28.1% used all of their vacation time, but only 31.1% said they could fully disconnect
✅ More than 76% of lawyers blamed their work environment for these problems
✅ 68% cited billable hour pressures
✅ 67% cited the inability to disconnect
✅ 54% cited lack of sleep
✅ 51% of lawyers said they would feel comfortable talking to an offsite professional
✅ Only 33% said they thought that they could take a leave of absence to address their mental health
✅ More than 72% indicated that remote work improved their quality of life
✅ 60% said that some amount of remote work improved their physical well-being.
😮 50% of the lawyers surveyed indicated that the profession is in a mental health crisis.
I see these issues with my students and with the lawyers I coach. Everyone may not have the passion I have to change the profession, but we can all do our part. So what can you do about it? Here are some resources to get you started.
Friday, May 5, 2023
A few months ago, I asked whether people in the tech industry were the most powerful people in the world. This is part II of that post.
I posed that question after speaking at a tech conference in Lisbon sponsored by Microsoft. They asked me to touch on business and human rights and I presented the day after the company announced a ten billion dollar investment in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. Back then, we were amazed at what ChatGPT 3.5 could do. Members of the audience were excited and terrified- and these were tech people.
And that was before the explosion of ChatGPT4.
I've since made a similar presentation about AI, surveillance, social media companies to law students, engineering students, and business people. In the last few weeks, over 10,000 people including Elon Musk, have called for a 6-month pause in AI training systems. If you don't trust Musk's judgment (and the other scientists and futurists), trust the "Godfather of AI," who recently quit Google so he could speak out on the dangers, even though Google has put out its own whitepaper on AI development. Watch the 60 Minutes interview with the CEO of Google.
Just yesterday, the White House held a summit with key AI stakeholders to talk about AI governance.
Between AI-generated photos winning competitions, musicians creating songs simulating real artists' voices, students using generative AI to turn in essays that fool professors, and generative AI's ability to hallucinate (come up with completely wrong answers that look correct), what can we as lawyers do? Are our jobs at risk? Barrons has put out a list. IBM has paused hiring because it believes it can gain efficiencies though AI. Goldman Sachs has said that 300 million jobs might be affected by this technology. I'm at a conference for entrepreneurs and the CEO of a 100-million dollar company said that he has reassigned and is re-skilling 90% of his marketing team because he can use AI for most of what they do.
Should we be excited or terrified? I've been stressing to lawyers and my students that we need to understand this technology to help develop the regulations around it as well to wrestle with the thorny legal and ethical issues that arise. Here are ten questions, courtesy of ChatGPT4, that lawyers should ask themselves:
- Do I understand the basic principles and mechanics of AI, including machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, to make informed decisions about its use in my legal practice?
- How can AI tools be used effectively and ethically to enhance my practice, whether in legal research, document review, contract drafting, or litigation support, while maintaining high professional standards?
- Are the AI tools and technologies I use compliant with relevant data protection and privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, and do they adequately protect client confidentiality and sensitive information?
- How can I ensure that the AI-driven tools I utilize are unbiased, transparent, and fair, and what steps can I take to mitigate potential algorithmic biases that may compromise the objectivity and fairness of my legal work?
- How can I obtain and document informed consent from clients when using AI tools in my practice, ensuring that they understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives associated with these technologies?
- What are the intellectual property implications of using AI, particularly concerning AI-generated content, inventions, and potential copyright or trademark issues that may arise?
- How can I assess and manage potential liability and accountability issues stemming from the use of AI tools, including understanding the legal and ethical ramifications of AI-generated outputs in my practice?
- How can I effectively explain and defend the use of AI-generated evidence, analysis, or insights in court, demonstrating the validity and reliability of the methods and results to judges and opposing counsel?
- What measures should I implement to supervise and train my staff, including paralegals and support personnel, in the responsible use of AI tools, ensuring that ethical and professional standards are maintained throughout the practice?
- How can I stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in AI technology and best practices, ensuring that I continue to adapt and evolve as a legal professional in an increasingly technology-driven world?
Do you use ChatGPT or any other other generative AI in your work? Can you answer these questions? I'll be talking about many of these issues at the Connecting the Threads symposium and would love to get your insights as I develop my paper.
May 5, 2023 in Compliance, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Ethics, Financial Markets, Human Rights, Jobs, Lawyering, Legislation, Management, Marcia Narine Weldon, Teaching, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, March 13, 2023
This just in from friend-of-the-BLPB Christina Sautter:
The Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center seeks visiting or adjunct professors for the 2023-2024 academic year to teach Business Associations I (fall and spring) and Business Associations II (spring). Additional courses, such as Mergers & Acquisitions or Securities Regulation will also be considered. Interested individuals should email Pamela Hancock at [email protected] for more information, as well as to obtain a link and instructions for uploading a CV and cover letter.
LSU is committed to providing equal opportunity for all qualified persons in admission to, participation in, or employment in the programs and activities which the University operates without regard to race, creed, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, or veteran's status. LSU is committed to diversity and is an equal opportunity/ equal access employer. LSU believes diversity, equity, and inclusion enrich the educational experience of our students, faculty, and staff, and are necessary to prepare all people to thrive personally and professionally in a global society.
Monday, February 27, 2023
I teach business law courses that involve planning and drafting in connection with business transactions. I know many of you do, too. My question is, how do you teach your students to find drafting precedents (if that is part of your teaching) for transactional business law projects/tasks? Do you advise students to use forms or to walk back provisions in fully negotiated agreements?
In our capstone 3L planning and drafting course at UT Law, Representing Enterprises, I let students take their own path in finding drafting precedents and ask them to report out their process to the class. We talk through the pros and cons of their individual approaches, which I capture on the whiteboard. My board notes from a recent class (during which we talked through how students located precedent bylaws for a closely held--preferably Tennessee--corporation) are included below.
Although Bloomberg Law was a popular resource for students who shared their process in this particular class meeting, the Securities and Exchange Commission's website and Google also got some love. In the ensuing discussions, a student also mentioned Westlaw's Practical Law as a resource, although that's not reflected in this picture.
In other advanced business law planning/drafting courses, I invite representatives from Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw into my classroom to train my students in how to find precedent documents (and other transactional resources) using their database's search tools. One student involved in the discussion reflected in the photo above was enrolled in one of those advanced courses with me in the fall (and also had been a student in our transactional business law clinic). He was among the folks who started his search process with Bloomberg Law. His classmates told me he had been teaching them some of what he had learned in my course and the law clinic! #peerteaching--loved it!
How do you help students find drafting precedents (and in what business law and legal education contexts)? I am always willing to learn new methods and tricks.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Belmont University (my employer) is seeking an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Legal Studies.
This professor will sit across campus from me, in our College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences ("CLASS"), but I will likely interact with them because my Business Law 1 and 2 classes feature in the legal studies major, in addition to the business majors on campus. Happy to discuss Belmont University with anyone who may be interested.
You can apply for the position (by March 15) here.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Warning: this post addresses suicide.
I was supposed to post yesterday about a different topic but I'm posting today and not next week because someone needs to read this today.
Maybe it's you. Maybe it's your "strong" friend or colleague.
I found out yesterday that I lost a former student to suicide. She lit up every room she walked into and inspired me, her classmates, and everyone she met. I had no idea she was living in such darkness. Lawyers, law students, compliance professionals, and others in high stress roles are conditioned to be on top of everything. We are the strong ones that clients and colleagues rely on. We worry so much about the stigma of not being completely in control at all times, that we don't get help. We worry that clients won't trust us with sensitive or important matters. We worry that we won't pass the character and fitness assessments to get admitted to the bar.
The CDC released a report this week showing an alarming rise in depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety among our youth. The report noted that:
- Female students and LGBQ+ students are experiencing alarming rates of violence, poor mental health, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- The rates of experiencing bullying, sexual violence, poor mental health, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors indicate a need for urgent intervention.
According to nami.org, one of the most respected organizations on the mental health:
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14
Those statistics don't surprise me. I have a family member who lost his first friend to suicide at age 12 and has lost almost ten others in the past ten years to suicide or overdoses. I have other family members who have been hospitalized repeatedly for mental health crises and others who refused to get help and were homeless. When people ask my why I care so much about my students and coaching clients, this is why. It's personal for me.
It's why I got mental health first aid certified when the University of Miami offered the training to staff and professors and why I'm often the only lawyer in the room at conferences and trainings with social workers, neuroscientists, and therapists who are getting their certifications. I stay in my lane, of course. But I want to understand more and I want to do my part to help change the profession because lawyers are in the top 10 for rates of suicide. We have disproportionately higher rates of depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Although I've been a happy lawyer for over thirty years, I know I'm a unicorn.
So here are some resources. This list could be pages long so I've compiled links that also refer to other resources:
If you are a parent, especially of young children, get educated as soon as you can so that you can spot the signs early and support your children so they don't end up in these statistics. Ask your school administrators if they are familiar with the CDC's What Works in Schools Program. Tell your school board and elected officials that mental health is a priority and vote for candidates who understand this as the public health crisis that it is. Sit down with your kids and watch The Social Dilemma. It may not change their addiction to social media, but it will help you understand why this generation is suffering so much that school districts have filed suit about the mental health impacts.
If you're a law student, check out the resources above. Don't get your health advice from TikTok or Instagram unless it's from a trained professional (although I did do a TikTok video telling people to get help).
If you're a law professor, do you know where to send your students if they come to you seeking help? I have the cell phone number of our Dean of Students and I know I can reach out to her at any time if I'm worried about a student. I also share my family's story with my students so they feel safe asking for my guidance. I don't act as their therapist, but it's my job to prepare the students for the difficulties of the profession, and not just how to redline a document or argue a motion.
If you're a law firm partner, consider investing in real training for your lawyers and your staff. Don't just bring in someone to talk about mindfulness or diversity, equity, and inclusion once a year so you can check that box off. Invest in long-term, consistent, evidence-based training and coaching for your staff and lawyers at all levels (yes, managing partners too). Look at and reconfigure your billable hours requirements and layoff plans. Are they realistic? Are they really necessary? If you're comfortable, share your personal story of dealing with mental health challenges with your associates so they know you're human and have some empathy even as you have them billing over 2000 hours to get a bonus.
If you're a general counsel, ask your firms about what they do to protect and preserve mental health, just like you ask about DEI initiatives.
This is resource list is clearly just a start. What resources or tips do you have for those who are struggling in the profession? What will you today? If you do nothing else, share this message with others. It could be a matter of life or death for someone you know.
Saturday, January 21, 2023
As some of you may have heard, following on the success of the Yada Yada Law School, administered by friend-of-the-BLPB Greg Shill, a group of law faculty are getting together to teach classes in the waystar/ROYCO School of Law this semester. Classes start this week. Class meetings will be held weekly, on prescribed days, at 6pm-7pm Pacific/8pm-9pm Central/9pm-10pm Eastern. The first two sessions are as follows:
Tuesday, January 24:
Professor Diane Kemker
Introduction: Using “Succession” (And Scripted Entertainment) to Teach Law: How and Why
[Assignment: Required: any/all of “Succession,” Seasons 1-3; Optional/recommended: any/all of “Yellowstone,” Seasons 1-5]
Wednesday, February 1:
Professor Megan McDermott
Greg Needs a Lawyer. Is He Getting an Ethical One?
[Assignment: Season 3, Ep. 2]
I will be presenting on February 16 on What the Roys Should Learn from the Demoulas Family (But Probably Won't), a lesson on corporate law fiduciary duties.
General information is provided in the syllabus included below. A full schedule of class sessions will be available soon. I will publish that, too. I hope many of you will plan on attending.
“Succession and the Law”
About the course
This is a completely unofficial course for lawyers and law professor fans (or anti-fans!) of the HBO show, “Succession.” It has been organized for informal educational/entertainment purposes only! Over the course of the spring semester, as we await the premiere of Season 4, we will look back at past episodes from a legal point of view. Depending on when Season 4 begins, we may also schedule some additional group “watch parties” and real-time discussion groups.
We have assembled a terrific group of faculty from across the country and across a variety of disciplinary specialties.
We are Prof. Diane Kemker and Prof. Susan Bandes, the organizers of our fun course on “‘Succession’ and the Law.” Diane has a background in professional responsibility and wills and trusts, and Susan is one of the nation’s most-cited experts in criminal law and procedure. Both of us have a longstanding interest in the use of popular culture for legal pedagogy. In the spring of 2023, Diane will be a Visiting Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law, from which Susan retired/took emeritus status in 2017.
Meeting time: 6pm-7pm Pacific/8pm-9pm Central/9pm-10pm Eastern
Meeting day: Our class will meet on a weekly basis by Zoom. Please note that we will meet on different nights of the week in different weeks, but always at the same time.
Meeting ID: 867 8356 0319
We have created a Facebook group, waystar/RoyCo School of Law, to support the class. It will be a place for ongoing discussion of the show, of our sessions, and related issues. To be added, please send a Direct Message to Diane Kemker.
Professor Diane Kemker ([email protected])
Visiting Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law and Southern University Law Center
Dean and Gerri Kellman Professor of Professional Responsibility, waystar/RoyCo School of Law
Professor Susan Bandes ([email protected])
Centennial Distinguished Professor of Law, Emerita, DePaul University College of Law
Greg Hirsch Professor of Affectionate Litigation
Professor Anat Alon-Beck
Associate Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Professor Karyn Bass-Ehler
Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General's Office
Professor Gillian Calder
University of Victoria (Canada) Law
Professor Joan MacLeod Heminway
Interim Director of the the Institute for Professional Leadership, Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law
The University of Tennessee College of Law
Roy/Demoulas Distinguished Professor of Law and Business
Professor Lenese Herbert
Professor of Law
Howard University School of Law
Professor Rebecca Johnson
Associate Director, Indigenous Law Research Unit
Director, Graduate Program
University of Victoria (Canada) Law
Professor Richard McAdams
Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School
Professor Megan McDermott
Associate Teaching Professor
University of Wisconsin School of Law
Honorary Fellow at the Collingwood Centre for Ethics and Civility (Eastnor, England)
Professor Benjamin Means
Professor of Law and John T. Campbell Chair in Business and Professional Ethics
University of South Carolina School of Law
Professor Douglas Moll
Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, L.L.P. Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center
Professor Robin Wagner
Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers
NRPI Adjunct Lecturer of Employment Law
All meetings are at 6pm-7pm Pacific/8pm-9pm Central/9pm-10pm Eastern
Saturday, January 14, 2023
An ambitious question, yes, but it was the title of the presentation I gave at the Society for Socio-Economists Annual Meeting, which closed yesterday. Thanks to Stefan Padfield for inviting me.
In addition to teaching Business Associations to 1Ls this semester and running our Transactional Skills program, I'm also teaching Business and Human Rights. I had originally planned the class for 25 students, but now have 60 students enrolled, which is a testament to the interest in the topic. My pre-course surveys show that the students fall into two distinct camps. Most are interested in corporate law but didn't know even know there was a connection to human rights. The minority are human rights die hards who haven't even taken business associations (and may only learn about it for bar prep), but are curious about the combination of the two topics. I fell in love with this relatively new legal field twelve years ago and it's my mission to ensure that future transactional lawyers have some exposure to it.
It's not just a feel-good way of looking at the world. Whether you love or hate ESG, business and human rights shows up in every factor and many firms have built practice areas around it. Just last week, the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive came into force. Like it or not, business lawyers must know something about human rights if they deal with any company that has or is part of a supply or value chain or has disclosure requirements.
At the beginning of the semester, we discuss the role of the corporation in society. In many classes, we conduct simulations where students serve as board members, government officials, institutional investors, NGO leaders, consumers, and others who may or may not believe that the role of business is business. Every year, I also require the class to examine the top 10 business and human rights topics as determined by the Institute of Human Rights and Business (IHRB). In 2022, the top issues focused on climate change:
- State Leadership-Placing people at the center of government strategies in confronting the climate crisis
- Accountable Finance- Scaling up efforts to hold financial actors to their human rights and environmental responsibilities
- Dissenting Voices- Ensuring developmental and environmental priorities do not silence land rights defenders and other critical voices
- Critical Commodities- Addressing human rights risks in mining to meet clean energy needs
- Purchasing Power- Using the leverage of renewable energy buyers to accelerate a just transition
- Responsible Exits- Constructing rights-based approaches to buildings and infrastructure mitigation and resilience
- Green Building- Building and construction industries must mitigate impacts while avoiding corruption, reducing inequality, preventing harm to communities, and providing economic opportunities
- Agricultural Transitions- Decarbonising the agriculture sector is critical to maintaining a path toward limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees
- Transforming Transport- The transport sector, including passenger and freight activity, remains largely carbon-based and currently accounts for approximately 23% total energy-related CO2 global greenhouse gas emissions
- Circular Economy- Ensure “green economy” is creating sustainable jobs and protecting workers
The 2023 list departs from the traditional type of list and looks at the people who influence the decisionmakers in business. That's the basis of the title of this post and yesterday's presentation. The 2023 Top Ten are:
- Strategic Enablers- Scrutinizing the role of management consultants in business decisions that harm communities and wider society. Many of our students work outside of the law as consultants or will work alongside consultants. With economic headwinds and recessionary fears dominating the headlines, companies and law firms are in full layoff season. What factors should advisors consider beyond financial ones, especially if the work force consists of primarily lower-paid, low-skilled labor, who may not be able to find new employment quickly? Or should financial considerations prevail?
- Capital Providers- Holding investors to account for adverse impacts on people- More than 220 investors collectively representing US$30 trillion in assets under management have signed a public statement acknowledging the importance of human rights impacts in investment and global prosperity. Many financial firms also abide by the Equator Principles, a benchmark that helps those involved in project finance to determine environmental and social impacts from financing. Our students will serve as counsel to banks, financial firms, private equity, and venture capitalists. Many financial institutions traditionally focus on shareholder maximization but this could be an important step in changing that narrative.
- Legal Advisors- Establishing norms and responsible performance standards for lawyers and others who advise companies. ABA Model Rule 2.1 guides lawyers to have candid conversations that "may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client's situation." Business and human rights falls squarely in that category. Additionally, the ABA endorsed the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ten years ago and released model supply chain contractual clauses related to human rights in 2021. Last Fall, the International Bar Association's Annual Meeting had a whole track directed to business and human rights issues. Our students advise on sanctions, bribery, money laundering, labor relations, and a host of other issues that directly impact human rights. I'm glad to see this item on the Top 10 list.
- Risk Evaluators- Reforming the role of credit rating agencies and those who determine investment worthiness of states and companies. Our students may have heard of S&P, Moody's, & Fitch but may not know of the role those entities played in the 2008 financial crisis and the role they play now when looking at sovereign debt. If the analysis from those entities are flawed or laden with conflicts of interest or lack of accountability, those ratings can indirectly impact the government's ability to provide goods and services for the most vulnerable citizens.
- Systems Builders- Embedding human rights considerations in all stages of computer technology. If our students work in house or for governments, how can they advise tech companies working with AI, surveillance, social media, search engines and the spread of (mis)nformation? What ethical responsibilities do tech companies have and how can lawyers help them wrestle with these difficult issues?
- City Shapers- Strengthening accountability and transformation in real estate finance and construction. Real estate constitutes 60% of global assets. Our students need to learn about green finance, infrastructure spending, and affordable housing and to speak up when there could be human rights impacts in the projects they are advising on.
- Public Persuaders- Upholding standards so that advertising and PR companies do not undermine human rights. There are several legal issues related to advertising and marketing. Our students can also play a role in advising companies, in accordance with ethical rule 2.1, about persuaders presenting human rights issues and portraying controversial topics related to gender, race, indigenous peoples, climate change in a respectful and honest manner.
- Corporate Givers- Aligning philanthropic priorities with international standards and the realities of the most vulnerable. Many large philanthropists look at charitable giving as investments (which they are) and as a way to tackle intractable social problems. Our students can add a human rights perspective as advisors, counsel, and board members to ensure that organizations give to lesser known organizations that help some of the forgotten members of society. Additionally, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer note that a shared-value approach, "generat[es] economic value in a way that also produces value for society by addressing its challenges. A shared value approach reconnects company success with social progress. Firms can do this in three distinct ways: by reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and building supportive industry clusters at the company's locations." Lawyers can and should play a role in this.
- Business Educators- Mainstreaming human rights due diligence into management, legal, and other areas of academic training. Our readers teaching in business and law schools and focusing on ESG can discuss business and human rights under any of the ESG factors. If you don't know where to start, the ILO has begun signing MOUs with business schools around the world to increase the inclusion of labor rights in business school curricula. If you're worried that it's too touchy feely to discuss or that these topics put you in the middle of the ESG/anti-woke debate, remember that many of these issues relate directly to enterprise risk management- a more palatable topic for most business and legal leaders.
- Information Disseminators- Ensuring that journalists, media, and social media uphold truth and public interest. A couple of years ago, "fake news" was on the Top 10 and with all that's going on in the world with lack of trust in the media and political institutions, lawyers can play a role in representing reporters and media outlets. Similarly, lawyers can explain the news objectively and help serve as fact checkers when appearing in news outlets.
If you've made it to the end of this post, you're either nodding in agreement or shaking your head violently in disagreement. I expect many of my students will feel the same, and I encourage that disagreement. But it's my job to expose students to these issues. As they learn about ESG from me and the press, it's critical that they disagree armed with information from all sides.
So can the next generation of lawyers save the world? Absolutely yes, if they choose to.
January 14, 2023 in Business Associations, Business School, Compliance, Conferences, Consulting, Contracts, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Ethics, Financial Markets, Human Rights, International Business, International Law, Law Firms, Law School, Lawyering, Management, Marcia Narine Weldon, Private Equity, Shareholders, Stefan J. Padfield, Teaching, Technology, Venture Capital | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
As a law professor, I find December a very confusing month. On the one hand, exams are given and papers are in, and grading them and determining course grades loom large. These activities consume inordinate amounts of time and are stressful, adding to the stress of holiday preparations (a real thing some of us do not acknowledge). And then there always is the need to work in medical appointments that did not make it into one's schedule during the fall semester. The negative energy can be overwhelming.
Yet, on the other hand, class preparation is done. Scheduling things gets a bit easier since class meetings are no longer happening. The many hours of grading even have some bright moments--moments in which you are confident someone really "gets it" (whatever "it" is) There is some joy in the gift-buying and wrapping, menu-planning and cooking, and certainly in gift-giving. And there is gratitude that those medical appointments are finally happening, and that any necessary follow-ups can be organized and implemented.
The little happy surprises are, however, the best--like the wonderful homemade gingerbread pictured above, a gift from a young woman I met almost four years ago because of a talk I gave to honors undergraduates on crowdfunding. She had this cool idea for a nonprofit, and I introduced her to one of our law clinic faculty members. (He got cookies, too!)
I try to focus on the little joys. They make a difference in my sense of fulfillment and productivity. I do not fully understand why. But I continue to pursue answers.
Along those lines, I recently had the privilege of participating in a campus leadership event that offered me some food for thought. I reflect on it in this blog post for Leading as Lawyers, the blog hosted by the Institute for Professional Leadership at UT Law (of which I am the Interim Director). The post is about lawyer leadership. Each of us as law professors is a leader. We are leaders in the classroom in our law schools, in the communities in which we live and work, and in our family and personal lives more generally. According to the research cited by the speaker at that event, choosing to be happy by focusing on enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose, even in stressful times, is important. It can change the course of one's leadership and life (and the lives of others) in positive ways.
The cookies from my nonprofit entrepreneur friend (and those pictured below--with some of hers--that were made by one of my fellow Tuesday-night yogis in a special semi-private class I take at a local yoga studio) are symbolic. I enjoy cookies. They are meaningful representations that put a smile on my face. The represent the fulfillment of some of my current limited "wants"--sustained and deep relationships among them. And they are evidence that I understand and am pursuing my recognized purpose, which includes using my "corporate law powers" to help others. Yay for all that (and for cookies generally)!
I wish all much happiness and good fortune in 2023. Pursue enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose. Take pleasure in the many fruits of your labors, including your relationships with students. Happy New Year!
[Editorial note: I have been trying to publish this on and off for the past day or so. Ultimately, I had to create this post on my phone, since my computer and TypePad do not want to play ball with each other right now. I hope this will resolve itself soon, since the photo editing function is not as nuanced on a handheld (or maybe I am just inept. Lol. Please forgive!]
Monday, December 12, 2022
My classroom teaching for the semester is over. I am in "grading mode"--not my favorite way of being. But final assessments must be completed! (Wishing you well in completing yours.)
Before I left the classroom, however--specifically, in the last class meeting for my corporate finance students--I did have some fun. I saved my last class session in the course to address what my students wanted me to cover. I asked for the topics in advance. They covered a range of corporate finance topics, from litigation issues (Theranos, FTX, and current hot legal claims) through common mistakes to avoid in a corporate finance practice to survival tips for first-year law firm associates. Weaving all of that together in a 75-minute class period was a tall task.
My ultimate vehicle was to come up with a list of maxims--short-form guidance statements--that would allow me to address all of what my students had asked me to cover. I came into class with just a few maxims to get us started and cover the basics. But the conversation was very engaged and got rich relatively quickly. As we riffed off each other's questions and comments, my little list grew to a robust thirteen maxims!
Before I erased the white board and left the classroom, I took a picture of each of the two white board panels generated from our conversation. Those pictures are included below. Despite my handwriting, I am hoping you can see what we came up with real-time. If not, set forth below is our jointly created list of principles (edited slightly), many of which apply equally outside a corporate finance practice.
- Act based on legal analysis (rules applied to facts), rather than speculation or assumptions.
- Pay attention to licensure and competence--your reputation is at issue.
- People--networking, human resources--are critical to practice.
- Fraud is real; be on the lookout for it, and do what you can to protect clients from it.
- The same is true for for breaches of fiduciary duty.
- Take an issue as far as you can before consulting.
- Learn when to decide and when to consult.
- Keep abreast of changes in law, business, etc. relevant to your practice.
- Don't check your common sense at the door (with a hat tip to GWK--George W. Kuney, one of my colleagues).
- Time is important--show up on time, meet deadlines, etc.
- Manage your time away from the office; don't forget personal care/wellness. (Drugs--including caffeine--are not the answer.)
- Hand colleagues and clients your best work (within the allotted time).
- Take time to enjoy your colleagues, clients, and work--there is great joy in this practice.
Which of these maxims resonate most with you? Which of them would you amend by adjustment or addition? What maxims do you share with your students? Leave thoughts in the comments!
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Yesterday, I taught my Corporate Finance students about public offerings (focusing on initial public offerings--IPOs) and exempt offerings of securities. The front end of this course focuses on the instruments of corporate finance and the back end focuses on a number of different corporate finance transactional contexts. Although Business Associations is a prerequisite for the course, Securities Regulation is not. As a result, the 75 minutes I spend on public and exempt offerings is less doctrinally focused and more practically driven (unsurprising, perhaps, given the fact that my Corporate Finance course is a practical applied experiential offering).
Students prepare for the class session by reading parts of the SEC's website on going public and exempt offerings and reviewing an IPO checklist created and modified by me from a timetable/checklist I generated while I was in full-time law practice. Each student also must bring to class and be prepared to discuss a news article or blog post on public securities offerings. I share general knowledge and we dialogue about insights gained from the discussion items they bring to class. It usually turns out to be a fun and engaged class day, and yesterday's class meeting proved to be no exception.
I captured the board work on my phone and have pasted the photos in below. (I should note that I use a much more detailed public offering timeline in Securities Regulation, which I have memorialized in a series of PowerPoint slides. But the whiteboard version depicted below seems to be at about the right level of detail for the students in this course.) I am curious about how my coverage of public and exempt securities offerings might compare to what others give to this material in similar courses. Feel free to share in the comments.