Friday, January 11, 2013

Business Boot Camp

This month, Brooklyn Law School conducted a Business Boot Camp to teach law students valuable skills for succeeding in the business world. The course which Professor Michael Gerber teaches is the first of its kind and involved over 200 students. Developed and taught by top business professionals and the School’s corporate and business law faculty, the program provided students with the skills and basic business literacy they will need to serve their clients. The classic law school experience is designed to teach law students to think like lawyers. However, practicing lawyers often need to think like business persons. Issues that confront business professionals include how to develop a business plan, how to keep track of money, how to value assets, how to raise the capital necessary to run their companies, and how to meet their business goals while also complying with the law.

The goal of the BLS Business Boot Camp is to introduce students to these issues from the business person’s perspective, and provide students with the vocabulary and framework they will need to communicate effectively with clients and evaluate their needs. The Business Boot Camp is being taught by a team of business and finance professionals from Deloitte Financial Advisory Services in collaboration with BLS faculty and alumni. The syllabus is based in part on an intensive course that Deloitte developed for first-year law firm associates, and includes topics such as the development of business plans; types and sources of financing; capital budgeting; valuation; how to read a financial statement; and the purchase and sale of businesses. Students participating in the Boot Camp do not need a background in finance or business law, as the Boot Camp is designed to help provide that background.

“As every seasoned lawyer knows, there are times when lawyers need to reach beyond their legal training to effectively advise and represent their clients,” said Professor Michael Gerber, who chairs the faculty group that helped to develop the course. “The ability to think like a business person as well as a lawyer is extremely useful, and we designed this course to enable students — even those who have never studied business, finance or economics — to do just that.”

The BLS Library has a number of items in its collection to assist law students in gaining basic business literacy including The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms by financial expert David L. Scott who defines more than 6,000 terms from all aspects of business in clear, understandable language. It covers the entire spectrum of business terminology. In clear language it defines over 6,000 terms drawn from the areas of investing, finance, marketing, law, real estate, management, economics, accounting, insurance, and international business. The dictionary is an indispensable reference for business professionals and investors at all levels of expertise.

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