Business Law Center

U.S. Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch

Rated as one of the best Business and Corporate Law programs in the nation by PreLaw Magazine in Fall 2018, the mission of the Center for Business Law is to prepare future leaders to understand business issues facing business entities, engage in research on the role and impact of government in the regulation of business, and to foster public debate regarding the role of government in the regulation of businesses.

Our Business Law Curriculum

The CWRU Business Law program begins with “LLEAP 3,” a required 2L course that provides students the opportunity to do a deep dive into either litigation or the world of business transactions through an intensive simulation-based curriculum. CWRU is the only law school with this type of required skills course.

In the second or third year, CWRU students can participate in “Fusion,” an interdisciplinary certificate program that teams law students with business and engineering students across campus.

The law school has two clinics in which third-year students get to sit "first chair" in representing business clients. In the Community Development Clinic, directed by Professor Matthew Rossman, students represent business and nonprofit entities in formation of their businesses, obtaining tax-exempt status, and serving as general counsel. In the IP Venture Clinic, students represent entrepreneurs to launch an early-stage venture and protect their intellectual property.

Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s Business Law Program also includes a range of other business law courses on topics including: Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Securities, Law, Theory and Practice in Financial Markets, Chinese Business Law, International Business Transactions, International Tax, Franchise Law, International Arbitration, Venture Finance & Transactions, and Alternative Dispute Resolution, among others.

The Business Law Program features a renowned roster of expert faculty including (among others) Juliet Kostritsky, the Director of the Business Law Center and Everett D. and Eugenia S. McCurdy Professor of Contract Law; Dr. Anat Alon-Beck, an expert in corporate law, regulatory structures, and entrepreneurship and former Jacobsen Fellow in Law and Business at New York University School of Law; Charles Korsmo, an expert in corporate who practiced in the New York offices of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; and Robert Rapp, former Partner at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP and expert in advanced securities regulation and the intersection of law and financial markets. Finally, the Center for Business law (CBL) offers programs that focus on important business topics. Illustrative topics include: IP Protection – Myth vs. Reality and Recent Trends of Raising Corporate Capital through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

Students who focus their studies in this area can graduate with a Business Law Concentration. Students can also earn an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management and a JD from the law school simultaneously under our Dual Degree Program.

Foreign Concurrent Business Law Degree

Garo Yaghsezian (‘19) spent last year at the University of Paris - Dauphine obtaining a concurrent degree in a program unique to CWRU Law School.  Not only did he earn a French LLM degree in international business law at the same time as his JD at Case for no extra cost, he also received a job offer at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in their Paris office.  “If it wasn't for the double degree program, I would not have been able to make this goal a reality,” said Yaghsezian in an e-mail from Paris. Kramer is a New York-based global law firm with twenty practice areas.  Yaghsezian is one of several CWRU law students who have used the law school’s unique Concurrent Business Law Degree Program in Paris as a stepping stone for their dream job.  After her year in Paris, Kristina Moore (‘17) went on to an Associate position in the International Arbitration practice at Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the world.  Similarly, 3L Douglas Pilawa (’19), obtained an Associate position in Squire Patton Boggs’ International Arbitration Practice after he returned from his year at University of Paris. 
Case Western Reserve also has concurrent degree programs at Middlesex University in London and Comillas University in Madrid.  

Business Law Colloquium

Focused on the intersection of business and law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s novel Business Law Colloquium provides students with an overview of the substantive business skills needed to develop and maintain a successful business law practice. Co-taught by Professor Juliet Kostritsky (who practiced corporate/banking law at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy) and featuring business leaders, corporate general counsels, and business school professors, the Colloquium includes seminars on practical topics such as reading a balance sheet and income statement, corporate ethics, public offerings, valuation, professionalism, networking, and corporate governance. Participants include Colleen Batcheler (General Counsel of ConAgra), Janet Miller (former General Counsel at University Hospitals), Cathy Kilbane (former General Counsel of Sherwin Williams), Geri Presti (former general counsel at Forest City Enterprises) and Ann Harlan (former General Counsel of Smuckers), as well as current and former law firm partners and practitioners.

Business Law Internships

The law school has summer and semester-long externships in a variety of business placements, ranging from NBC Studios to the Cleveland Browns’ front office.

Canada-US Law Institute Business Law Case Competition

In addition, the law school’s Canada-US Law Institute sponsors an annual International Business Law Case Competition, in which four-person teams comprised of two law and two business school students compete against law/business school teams from across the United States and Canada.

Lectures and Conferences Sponsored by the Center for Business Law and Regulation and Financial Integrity Institute

Outside the classroom, students at Case Western Reserve University are exposed to a variety of business law-related lectures and conferences sponsored by the Center for Business Law and Regulation.  The Law School also recently launched a Financial Integrity Institute,” directed by Professor Richard Gordon, who served for fourteen years as senior counsel at the International Monetary Fund. The Institute is a think tank for developing best practices in countering business corruption.

A Track Record of Large Firm Placement

Cleveland is home to some of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country and Case Western Reserve University, with the top overall Bar Pass rate in the State, has a history of extraordinary success in placing its grads in major law firms in Cleveland, as well as other big cities across the country.

This fall, BakerHostetler, the 39th largest firm in the country, hired six CWRU law students as summer associates.  One of the CWRU students received BakerHostetler’s Paul D. White Scholarship, an additional $7,500 stipend awarded to a minority law student. A total of 56 BakerHostetler attorneys are CWRU graduates.

Last year, Jones Day, the 5th largest U.S. law firm, hired five CWRU law students as summer associates. Forty Jones Day attorneys in Cleveland, New York, and Washington, DC are CWRU alumni.

Meanwhile, 28 graduates of CWRU are attorneys at Squire Patton Boggs, the 16th largest law firm in the U.S.  The managing partner of the firm’s flagship Cleveland Office is a CWRU graduate, Michelle Connell.  In the past year, Squire hired a CWRU 3L and two recent CWRU graduates as associates in the firm’s top-ranked International Arbitration practice group.

Other large firms in Cleveland with a significant number of CWRU attorneys include Tucker Ellis (41 CWRU grads), Benesch Friedlander (40 CWRU grads), Ulmer & Berne (33 CWRU grads), Calfee Halter (30 CWRU grads), Thompson Hine (27 CWRU grads), Reminger Co., LPA (27 CWRU grads), Vorys (25 CWRU grads), McDonald Hopkins (22 CWRU grads), and Hahn Loeser (18 CWRU grads).