Levin College of Law
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What Every Lawyer Should Know About Business

Course Number: LAW 6930 Credits: 1

This course offers an introduction to the business aspects of practicing law. After graduation, you get a law degree. After a successful bar exam, you are licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. Yet (traditionally), neither prepare you to run a business – and this is true whether you are planning to join a firm, run your own practice, or parlay your law degree into a broader business career. As a lawyer, you are necessarily a business person: selling your skills to a firm or selling your skills to the public, or both. This course aims to survey some of the business fundamentals of practicing as a lawyer, as well as some of the ethical considerations implicated. Some topics include: how might you structure your firm? How is the firm you are thinking about joining structured? What are the reward, tax, and control issues, given the various possible structures? Beyond firm structure are more practical questions: How do you break into a particular market? How can you leverage recent legal market dynamics? When and how should you specialize? How do you brand and, quite separately, how do you market? How do you build your client base? How can you and how should you build your online presence? How can you reduce your unpaid work that tends to consume small businesses? How do you understand the ethical implications of these decisions?