U.S. Business Law Academy
1. Program Focus
The U.S. Business Law Academy is an engaging educational and cultural experience, with select topics in U.S. legal institutions and business law taught by preeminent scholars from Columbia’s world renowned faculty. It is intended as a broad yet challenging introduction for motivated students rather than a rigorous course of advanced academic or professional training.
2. Why Attend
The academy provides an accessible introduction to the Socratic Method, one of the foundations of U.S. legal education. Senior Columbia Law School administrators advise students about international LL.M. programs and career strategies, offering excellent preparation for those considering further studies in a leading global graduate program. The program also includes networking events, as well as visits to professional and cultural sites across New York City.
3. Who Should Attend
The U.S. Business Law Academy is designed primarily for foreign-trained law students, as well as practitioners and other professionals, with an interest in U.S. business law and legal institutions. It offers excellent preparation for those considering further studies in a leading global graduate program.
4. Program Dates
The U.S. Business Law Academy will take place over three weeks with programming scheduled to run from Sunday, July 10 through Friday, July 29, 2016. A program orientation and welcome event will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, July 10.
5. Program Location
The U.S. Business Law Academy will be hosted on the iconic campus of Columbia University in New York City. The program’s courses will be held in the classrooms of Columbia Law School with non-academic activities scheduled at professional and cultural sites across New York City.
6. Academic Structure
The three-week program will feature an introductory survey of three select topics related to U.S. legal institutions and business law, each taught by a preeminent scholar from Columbia’s world renowned faculty. There will be no exams, however, in the manner of U.S. legal education, faculty will use the Socratic Method and students should anticipate being called upon to speak aloud in class. (Special arrangements may be available, upon request, for students who require an official assessment in order to receive home school credit.)
7. Non-academic Programming
In addition to academic lectures, the U.S. Business Law Academy will include visits to professional and cultural sites in New York City; social and networking events; and presentations by senior administrators regarding international LL.M. programs and international career strategies.
• Introduction to U.S. Legal Institutions
Professor Alexandra Carter, Clinical Professor of Law
• Corporations and Corporate Governance
Professor Robert Jackson, Professor of Law; Co-Director, Ira M. Millstein Center
• Deals: An Introduction to the Law and Economics of Transactions (Download a course description here)
Professor David Schizer, Dean Emeritus and the Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics
* Courses and faculty are projected as of November 2015 and subject to change.
9. Socratic Method and Class Preparation
All courses will employ an accessible version of the Socratic Method, one of the foundations of U.S. legal education, through which instruction is imparted by a “question and answer” dialogue between the teacher and students. Class preparation thus includes not only completing the reading assignments, but also being ready to think and speak critically about them in class. Course materials and reading assignments will be provided by email 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the program.
10. Cost (with and without accommodation)
The overall program and housing fee for the US Business Law Academy is $7,000. This covers the costs of the academic program and materials, non-academic programming, program lunches when an outside speaker is present, and single-occupancy housing in Columbia University student residence halls. It is highly recommended that participants take advantage of the housing offered on the Columbia University campus. Participants may, however, elect to make their own housing arrangement. The program fee without housing is $4,750. Columbia University will not charge an additional fee for J-1 visa sponsorship, but participants should be aware that visa application fees may be required by the US consulate at the time of your visa application.
11. Application and Admission
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, as they are submitted, for so long as space in the program remains available. Admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis starting in January, 2016. Applications received after the program has been filled will be placed on a Wait List.
12. Deposit and Program Fee Payments
To hold a place in the program after having received notice of admission, candidates must submit a deposit of $500 within two weeks. This deposit is non-refundable, and will be credited towards the overall program fee. Candidates must then pay the balance of their fees by May 1 (or two weeks after receiving notice of their admission, whichever is later). Additional information will be requested at that time for visa purposes, and candidates may be subject to a US Embassy visa fee of $300.
13. Early Bird Discount
Candidates who submit an application by March 1, and then make a non-refundable deposit within two weeks of receiving notice of admission, will receive a $1,000 “Early Bird” discount on the balance due on their overall program fee. (If a Group Discount is also applicable, the larger of the two discounts will be applied.)
14. Group Discount
If six or more applicants affiliated with the same law school all submit their applications by April 1, and then inform Columbia Law School that they have organized themselves into a group, each will individually receive a $1,500 reduction on the balance due on their overall program fees. Other candidates from the same law school may, thereafter, receive the same discount upon on request.
15. Group Benefits
Groups of ten or more students are entitled to free housing for an accompanying faculty or administrator, and larger groups may receive special assistance with campus meal plans, airport transportation, etc. School administrators and others assisting student groups are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs for additional information.
16. Program Schedule
The US Business Law Academy will present a total of three courses, each consisting of a total of sixteen hours of classroom instruction presented over the course of four consecutive days. Lectures will be presented each class day for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. Lunch will be provided one or two days per week, when senior administrators present non-academic talks on Columbia Law School’s LLM program; international career strategies; and other topics. Fridays will be reserved for non-academic visits to law firms, courts, financial institutions, and/or other sites of professional and cultural interest throughout New York City.
Program participants will have access to accommodations located in student residence halls on or adjoining Columbia University’s iconic New York City campus. All rooms will be single-occupancy, with shared bathroom facilities. Subject to availability (space is limited), rooms are available from Saturday, July 9 through Sunday, July 31. While special arrangements may be possible for groups, we regret that we cannot accommodate early arrivals or late departures for individuals.
Several lunches, on days when a guest speaker addresses the program, will be provided by the US Business Law Academy at no additional cost. Program participants will be responsible for other meals, and will have access to Columbia University’s student cafeterias and a wide range of area restaurants and markets. Special arrangements for groups may be available on request.
Participants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States will most likely require a J-1 visa (and not a tourist or business visa) to participate in the program. The Office of International Programs, in conjunction with Columbia University’s International Scholars and Students Office (ISSO), will advise admitted students about these requirements on an individual basis. Columbia University will not charge an additional fee for J-1 visa sponsorship, but participants should be aware that visa application fees may be required by the US consulate at the time of your visa application.
Individual participants are responsible for arranging their own air transportation to and from New York, and also between the New York City airport and Columbia University. Upon prior request, and at the applicants’ expense, Columbia Law School may provide assistance in arranging transportation. Special arrangements for groups may also be available on request.
21. Academic Credentials
All participants in the US Business Law Academy who satisfy class attendance and participation expectations will receive a formal Statement of Attendance from Columbia Law School, bearing the signature of the Dean for International and Comparative Law programs.
22. Exam Policy
The US Business Law Academy courses do not generally include examinations. The Law School may make special arrangements for individuals who need official assessment of their performance in the Law Program for home school credit or other purposes. Please be sure to contact the Office of International Programs prior to May 1 if you wish to receive an official assessment of your participation.
23. Attendance and Participation
Consistent class attendance and active participation are central to the Socratic Method of teaching, which is the basis of the US Business Law Academy and, more generally, much of US legal education. Students in the US Business Law Academy are expected to attend all class sessions and, in those sessions, to be prepared to engage in reasoned legal discourse when called upon by the instructor. Receipt of a Statement of Attendance is contingent on a participant’s satisfaction of these requirements.
24. Academic Credit
Columbia Law School does not award credit for participation in the US Business Law Academy. Interested individuals are encouraged, however, to ask their home institutions whether they can receive credit there for participation in the US Business Law Academy.
25. Required Background
The US Business Law Academy will focus on U.S. business law and legal institutions, and is intended to provide participants with a broad educational and cultural experience rather than a rigorous course of academic or professional training. Participants must therefore have the basic grounding generally attained by those who have completed the initial years of a first university degree. More broadly, however, the courses will be structured so as to be both accessible and interesting to students with a wide range of backgrounds. The program is designed primarily for foreign-trained law students, but we also welcome graduate students, practicing lawyers, academics and other professionals.
Applications are welcome from any individual who either has a first law degree from outside the United States, or is currently in a recognized program of study leading towards such a degree. Interested individuals with other academic credentials may petition for special consideration.
27. English Language Proficiency
All instruction in the US Business Law Academy will take place in English, and students must have English language proficiency sufficient to allow for a productive experience in the Program. On the application form, candidates will be asked to document such proficiency by either citing scores from the TOEFL or other generally recognized standardized test; providing the name of their home school or another academic institution that will be able to certify their English language proficiency; or requesting alternative arrangements. (Native English speakers are exempt from this requirement.)
28. Application Process
Individual application forms to the US Business Law Academy are available on the US Business Law Academy website. Completed applications will be reviewed as soon as they are submitted, on a rolling basis, for so long as spaces in the program remain open.
A complete application will consist the following:
1. A short personal information form (use Adobe Reader to open and complete the application form)
2. A Curriculum Vitae (CV)
The application form and CV should be sent as separate attachments to a single email sent to IntlProgramsManager@law.columbia.edu
29. Alteration and Cancellation Policy
Columbia Law School reserves the right to alter or cancel this program. Cancellation may occur due to unforeseen international events that could substantially inhibit program attendance or operations, under-enrollment, or other unforeseen circumstances. In the event that the program is canceled, the Law School will return all program and housing deposits and fees.