Florida State / College of Law / Business and Tax Law / Business Law Certificate Program Requirements

Business Law Certificate Program Requirements

The Business Law Certificate Program allows students planning a career in business law and finance to receive specialized training in a set of core areas: publicly traded corporations, closely-held business entities, corporate finance, law and economics, and taxation. The program carries additional requirements beyond those for the J.D. degree, and signals to potential employers that a graduate has advanced training in these core areas. At the same time, to become a well-rounded business lawyer, a student must become well-versed in many other areas of the law outside of the program. The Certificate program has been designed to allow students to craft a broad, well-diversified course of study.

Credit Hours Requirement:
The candidate must successfully complete a total of 91 credit hours for graduation with a Certificate in Business Law (“Certificate”). Of these, 21 credit hours must be courses designated as part of the Certificate Program by the Business Law Committee (Committee).

Grade and Honors Requirements:
All Business Law Certificate program courses must be taken at Florida State University for graded credit. (Please see note #1 at bottom of page.) The Certificate will be awarded only to candidates with an average grade of 74 or above for all program courses.
   
Candidates achieving an average grade of 84 to 88.999 for all program courses will be awarded the Certificate with Honors; 89 to 92.999 will be awarded High Honors; and 93 and above will be awarded Highest Honors.

Tracking Form:
You will be required to fill out the combined Student Registration and Student Progress Tracking Form to pursue the Business Law Certificate Program. You will initially use the form for registration, and to document any requirements you have already completed at the time of registration. You will then need to fill in the form each semester to record your progress toward completion of the program requirements.

Required Core Courses:
The candidate must successfully complete:
1. Corporations
2. Federal Income Taxation
3. The Corporate Finance Component (1 course required)
4. The Law & Economics Component (1 course required)
5. The Small Business Organization and Entity Taxation Component (1 course required)

Not all courses on the Corporate Finance, Law & Economics, Small Business Organizations and Entity Taxation Components, and Elective Courses list are offered on a regular basis — you must consult the current Florida State Law or other relevant course offering list and plan your schedule accordingly.

    1. Corporate Finance Component: (1 course required)
         Corporate Finance
         Securities Regulation
         Secured Transactions
         Bankruptcy
         Financial Regulation Seminar
         Dodd-Frank Act Seminar

In this Component, students are exposed to corporate finance issues from four principal points of view: (1) general perspective (Corporate Finance); (2) regulation of the issuance of securities, of capital markets, and financial intermediaries (Securities Regulation, Dodd-Frank Act Seminar, and Financial Regulation Seminar); and (3) debt financing through the use of collateral, as well as securitization issues (Secured Transactions and Financial Regulation Seminar); and (4) restructuring of capital structure and orderly liquidation of corporate assets (Bankruptcy).

    2. Law & Economics Component: (1 course required)
          Law and Economics
          Law and Economics Seminar
          Law and Economics: Special Topics
          Corporate Law and Finance Seminar
          Empirical Methods for Lawyers
          Introduction to Business and Finance (formerly Analytical Methods for Lawyers)
          Law and Economics of Insurance
          Antitrust
          Behavioral Law and Economics
          Economic Regulation of Business Seminar
          Corporate Governance Seminar
          Topics in Advanced Corporate Governance
          Game Theory & Business Ethics Seminar
          Game Theory for Business Lawyers Seminar
          Advanced Tax Topics

Economics plays an important role in business law and tax. In this Component students are introduced to law and economic concepts from three principal points of view: (1) a general perspective: (Law and Economics, Law and Economics Seminar, Analytical Methods for Lawyers, Empirical Methods for Lawyers, Behavioral Law and Economics); (2) as applied directly to corporate law and finance (Corporate Law and Finance Seminar, Corporate Governance Seminar, Corporate Governance Seminar, and Game Theory & Business Ethics Seminar); and (3) as applied to regulated industries and market regulation (Antitrust, Law and Economics of Insurance, Economic Regulation of Business Seminar).

    3. Small Business Organization and Entity Taxation Component: (1 course required)
          Closely-Held Business Organization (Please see note #2 at the bottom of page)
          Business Planning
          Real Estate Finance
          Taxation of Business Entities

In this Component students are introduced to a number of special corporate law, finance and tax issues relevant to closely held business organizations and complex real estate transactions.

Elective Courses:
The remainder of the 21 required credit hours must be fulfilled by taking additional courses on the Corporate Finance, Law & Economics, Small Business Organizations and Entity Taxation Components list and/or selections from the following Elective Courses:
    
     Commercial Law:
          Commercial Law
          Commercial Paper
          Consumer Law
          Contract Drafting
          Sales and Leases
          Bankruptcy Policy Seminar
    
     Regulated Industries:
          Banking Law
          Insurance Law
          Law and Risk Management
          Oil and Gas Law
          Telecommunications Law

     Tax:

          U.S. Taxation of International Transactions
          Tax Procedure
          Tax-Exempt Entities
          Federal Tax Research
          Advanced Taxation of Business Entities
          Estate & Gift Tax
          Advanced Issues in Estate Planning
          State & Local Taxation
          Advanced Tax Topics
          Tax Crimes
          Tax Ethics
          Tax Policy Seminar

      International Business Transactions and Trade:
          International Business Transactions
          International Trade Law and Policy
          International Trade Simulation
          China Trade Simulation
          International Arbitration
  
     
Other Business Courses:
          Accounting and the Law
          Anatomy of a Deal
          Business, Economics and Tax Law Research
          Drafting Legislation for Emerging Countries Seminar
          Mergers & Acquisitions
          Negotiations
          Sustainable Business: Transactions & Strategy
          The Anatomy of a Crisis: the Real Estate Meltdown
          White Collar Crime

Note:
1: Exception for Transfer Students: if you have taken Corporations and Federal Income Taxation before
transferring, you can use those courses to meet the Certificate requirements, as long as you received at least a C+.

2: Closely Held Business Organizations was formerly called Unincorporated Business Entities. So if you
have taken Unincorporated Business Entities that is sufficient to meet the Small Business Organization and Entity
Taxation Component.