This seminar considers the law of Russia and other successor states of the former Soviet Union with a focus on commercial transactions. It will familiarize students with major legal issues in the process of law reform in the region; it will not offer a comprehensive survey of that law. Particular attention will be paid to the commercial sector and to issues encountered by foreign investors in the region. After reviewing the sources of pre-revolutionary Russian law and the legal system of the Communist period (1917–91), we will study the building blocks of modern Russian commercial law and will consider divergent examples of other CIS states. Sample transactions will be considered in the areas of real estate, securities, secured finance and natural resource development and exploitation. A number of guest presentations have been planned, by lawyers, Western investment advisers, a judge from the Russian Constitutional Court and a senior parliamentarian from Georgia. Students will be expected to present a paper on a topic closely related to the course materials. Alternatively, some students will be able to participate in a legislative drafting project with the Parliament of Georgia dealing with commercial law issues, potentially including the elaboration of a new joint-stock company law. Knowledge of the Russian language is helpful.