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Twin Cities Campus

Business Law Minor

Law School
Curtis L. Carlson School of Management
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits in this minor: 15
The business law minor is available to undergraduate degree-seeking students at the University of Minnesota. The minor provides an opportunity for students to explore issues and concepts at the intersection of law and business. Legal regulation of firms and markets is pervasive. Students interested in a career in business should understand how law structures business entities and the environments in which they operate and how law both enables and constrains innovation. Students will learn analytical techniques that will be helpful in business settings and that can prepare them for further study in a law school, an MBA program, or other graduate program. Among the topics that students can explore through the minor are: the formation and regulation of business entities, the challenges of operating in a regulated market, rules applicable to fields in which many students will work (e.g., insurance, banking, consumer services, and manufacturing), and the intricacies of creating and managing intellectual property. Students who complete the minor will be in a better position to innovate; identify, define, and solve problems; and communicate effectively in interactions with lawyers as they navigate through regulatory requirements that all businesses inevitably confront. The minor thus provides a portal to new ways of thinking and new forms of knowledge. Required and elective courses in the minor are offered through the Carlson School of Management and the Law School. Transfer course substitutions may be considered for business designated courses (FINA, MGMT, BLAW). No substitutions will be made for LAW designated courses and no more than 2 courses may be transferred into the minor. All advising is through the Undergraduate Program Office in the Carlson School of Management, room 2-190 Hanson Hall (lawminor@umn.edu; 612-624-3313). Undergraduates enrolled in graduate-level courses will be graded separately from graduate students.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
A GPA above 2.0 is preferred for the following:
  • 3.00 already admitted to the degree-granting college
  • 3.00 transferring from another University of Minnesota college
  • 3.00 transferring from outside the University
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Minor Requirements
Introduction
Note: undergraduates must complete Law 3000 with a grade of C or higher before enrolling in other Law School courses as part of the minor. Students should therefore plan ahead and complete this course as early as possible.
LAW 3000 - Introduction to American Law and Legal Reasoning (3.0 cr)
Business and Accounting Concepts
Students must take one (and only one) of the following business and accounting concepts courses.
FINA 3001 - Finance Fundamentals (3.0 cr)
or LAW 5076 - Essentials of Business for Lawyers (3.0 cr)
or MGMT 3001 - Fundamentals of Management (3.0 cr)
or MGMT 3004 - Business Strategy (3.0 cr)
Elective Courses
Students should complete their remaining credits from a selection of courses listed below. Please note that not all courses are offered each year, and students enrolled in Law School degree programs receive first preference in the registration process. Appropriate Law School courses not on the list below may be taken to fulfill minor requirements, with permission from the student’s advisor in the minor program.
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· BLAW 3058 - The Law of Contracts and Agency (4.0 cr)
· BLAW 3059 - Real Estate Law (2.0 cr)
· LAW 3050 - Law of Business Organizations (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5061 - Financial Regulation (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5062 - Energy Law (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5078 - Legislation and Regulation (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5100 - Taxation I (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5102 - Mergers and Acquistions (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5103 - Data Privacy Law (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5211 - Federal Securities Regulation (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5214 - Insurance Law (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5224 - Patents (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5601 - International Business Transactions (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5608 - Trademarks (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5613 - Copyright (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5624 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
· LAW 5908 - Independent Research and Writing (1.0-2.0 cr)
 
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LAW 3000 - Introduction to American Law and Legal Reasoning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02419 - Law 3000/Law 5000
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Law pervades all areas of modern life. Yet it remains mysterious to those without legal training. This course will equip you to better answer such questions by exploring the tools that lawyers use to interpret and apply the law. Students will learn to think like lawyers through a series of contemporary case studies that require reading, writing, thinking, and problem solving like a lawyer. Cases will be drawn from topics such as contracts, torts, civil procedure, property, business law, criminal law, sports law, privacy, and law and science.
FINA 3001 - Finance Fundamentals
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00196
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Financial management principles. Money/capital markets, risk/return/valuation triad, capital budgeting. Capital structure, financial leverage. Cost of capital, financial performance measures, dividend policy, working capital management, international financial management/derivatives. prereq: ACCT 2050, SCO 2550 or equivalent statistics course
LAW 5076 - Essentials of Business for Lawyers
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02309
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course will teach you how to: (1) Understand basic accounting principles; (2) Read an annual report and analyze financial statements; (3) Look beyond numbers to gauge the financial performance and strength of an entity; (4) Employ cash flow analysis to value a business or determine the potential financial rewards of an investment opportunity; and (5) Understand the strategic questions that business managers must confront in governing their companies. The course surveys foundational concepts, analytical techniques and practices related to finance, accounting and strategic management issues lawyers confront when working with business executives either as an outside consulting attorney or as an inside corporate counsel. It may also consider other concepts used by business executives, including organizational behavior, marketing and quantitative analysis. The aim of the course is to help law students better appreciate the broader business context of legal decision-making so that they can contribute more effectively as a member of a firm’s top management team or as outside counsel.
MGMT 3001 - Fundamentals of Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Aspects/characteristics of organizations, their members. Why people/groups feel/behave as they do. Processes/methods that improve behavior/attitudes/effectiveness of members. Member/manager skills. Guest speakers, group presentations, films.
MGMT 3004 - Business Strategy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01692
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Business strategy. How business firms set and pursue their goals. Key categories of strategic issues and concepts/frameworks managers use to analyze and address those issues. Attention to specific firms and situations. prereq: CSOM, soph or jr
BLAW 3058 - The Law of Contracts and Agency
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Origin of law, its place in and effect on society; history and development of law; system of courts; legal procedure. Law of contracts as the basic law affecting business transaction. Laws affecting the sale of goods and contracts and the law of agency.
BLAW 3059 - Real Estate Law
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Every business owner or manager inevitably will be involved with purchasing, selling, owning, leasing, zoning, taxing, mortgaging and financing real estate. This course provides the basic tools to understand all aspects of real estate and to spot issues that require legal counsel.
LAW 3050 - Law of Business Organizations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02167
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course surveys the leading forms of legal business association governing the formation of business entities, including the laws of agency, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Emphasis is put on the methods lawyers use to interpret statutes and cases.
LAW 5061 - Financial Regulation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02387
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course will be a high-level overview of several different areas of financial regulation: banking regulation, insurance regulation, and elements of securities regulation (particularly broker-dealer and investment company regulation).
LAW 5062 - Energy Law
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02388
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course provides an introduction to US energy law. The first portion of the course introduces the nation's primary sources of energy: coal, oil, biofuels, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear, wind, solar, and geothermal energy. In doing so, it explores the physical, market, and legal structures within which these energy sources are extracted, transported, and converted into energy. The second portion of the course turns to the two major sectors of our energy economy--electricity and transportation--and the full range of federal and state regulation of each sector. The third portion of the course explores case studies of hot topics in energy law and policy that highlight the complex transitions taking place in the energy system. These topics include electric grid modernization, electric vehicles, risks and benefits associated with hydraulic fracturing and deepwater drilling for oil and gas, and the continued role of nuclear energy. In addition to traditional textbook reading and class discussion, the course will include industry, government, and nonprofit guest speaker presentations. Grading will be based on a final exam given at the end of the semester as well as class discussion and weekly written postings on the TWEN site for the course.
LAW 5078 - Legislation and Regulation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02441
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course explores lawmaking in the administrative state. Topics include: the legislative process, delegation of legislative authority to administrative agencies, the rulemaking process, statutory interpretation by courts and agencies, and judicial review of agency decisions. The course will focus on how statutes structure and constrain judicial and administrative decisionmaking.
LAW 5100 - Taxation I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02389
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This basic course in federal income taxation introduces the student to the Internal Revenue Code and the income taxation of individuals through the following topics: definition of income, relevant accounting concepts, exclusions, deductions, income splitting, sales and dispositions of property, amortization, capital losses, and current issues of tax policy.
LAW 5102 - Mergers and Acquistions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02648
Typically offered: Every Fall
This class will cover the theory behind, the Federal and state law governing, and the practice of, mergers and acquisitions. Our main focus will be what a transactional lawyer would want and need to know as to why mergers and acquisitions might occur and how and why companies or shareholders would embrace or disfavor them, how the transactions are documented and how disclosure requirements are met, and what the present cases say.
LAW 5103 - Data Privacy Law
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02390
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Every single day, the newspaper contains stories—plural intended—about data privacy and security. Whether they concern the National Security Agency, Facebook, or a data breach at a small business, the handling of personal information has become a central concern of our time. In response, a complex law of data privacy has emerged, and now it is a fast growing area of legal practice. This course will equip students to counsel clients about an array of federal, state, and international legal requirements—while also analyzing them critically and thinking about the societal challenges posed by new information technology. Assessment will include group projects and a take-home final.
LAW 5211 - Federal Securities Regulation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02662
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course covers concepts and problems in the regulation of securities transactions under the Securities Act of 1933, the basic federal statute governing rights, duties, and remedies in connection with the financing of business operations through the distribution of securities to the public. Topics covered will include the definition of a security and the exemptions from federal registration (crucial knowledge for the small business advisor), the registration process, the contents of the prospectus, civil liabilities, and the applicability of the 1933 Act to secondary transactions (sales of securities by persons other than the issuing entity). Because of the expansive scope of federal securities law and the draconian nature of the penalties imposed even for 'innocent' violations, knowledge of this material is vital not only for business lawyers who advise large corporations but also those whose business clients are closely held. The course will not focus, however, on litigation strategy or technique. Classes are problem-oriented.
LAW 5214 - Insurance Law
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Insurance is omnipresent in the practice of law because insurance is the primary means by which companies and individuals deal with risks. Lawyers, of course, often make a living either by counseling clients about how to plan for risks or by serving clients whose risks have developed into losses. This course will introduce students to fundamental principles of insurance law and regulation. It will survey the nature and function of insurance, insurance contract formation and meanings, and insurance regulation. We will also look at specific legal issues relating to different lines of insurance, such as property, life, health, and liability insurance.
LAW 5224 - Patents
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02175
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course offers an overview of patent law for both those students intending to specialize in patent prosecution and those whose general practice may include patent litigation and licensing. Topics to be covered include the requirements for patentable subject matter; standards of novelty, utility, and non-obviousness; statutory bars; conception, priority, enablement, and written description requirements in patent procurement; direct and vicarious patent infringement; claims interpretation.
LAW 5601 - International Business Transactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02392
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
International Business Transactions is a three-credit course whose main focus of discussion and study is the private law aspects pertaining to international business transactions, rather than issues of national and international trade regulation. Thus, the course is primarily concerned with private international business law. We examine three basic methods of doing business abroad, namely, the sales of goods (export) transaction, licensing and franchising, and foreign direct investment. The course materials touch upon substantive law in areas as diverse as commercial transactions and the uniform commercial code, antitrust, intellectual property, conflict of laws, civil procedure, contracts, bankruptcy, taxation, and international law. While knowledge or background in these areas is certainly helpful it is not necessary for success in the course and for dealing with the issues raised in the readings or in class.
LAW 5608 - Trademarks
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02395
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course will consider how marketers secure and enforce trademark rights. Trademarks are the indicators that consumers rely upon to determine the origin of goods and services. The course will focus on U.S. federal trademark law, but will also look at state and international trademark law as well as related areas such as false advertising, publicity rights, and cybersquatting. This course will provide a solid foundation for students interested in practicing trademark law (application, enforcement, licensing, or litigation) or more general intellectual property law. It will also be useful to attorneys who do any work with trademark-dependent industries such as retail sales, advertising, or media and entertainment. Finally and more generally, trademark law offers excellent case studies of the interaction between law, culture, and technology, and of the evolution of traditional doctrine under pressure from rapid changes in surrounding circumstances.
LAW 5613 - Copyright
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02396
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course provides a detailed introduction to the basic law of copyright—traditional copyright subject matter, the concept of originality and authorship, copyright transfers (and terminations of transfers), infringement, and fair use. The course coverage excludes patent law, except in brief overview, and only touches briefly upon related areas of intellectual property law. Copyright (and copyright-like schemes) have increasingly become a necessary tool of the general practitioner as a result of the explosive growth in economic value of information-based products, like computer software and digital networks and databases. The lawyer ignorant of basic copyright principles will be increasingly handicapped in many areas of practice, such as negotiating technology transfers, drafting contractual rights, developing schemes of protection and privacy, distinguishing criminal from non-criminal behavior, and in litigation.
LAW 5908 - Independent Research and Writing
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students may earn 1 or 2 credits (and in exceptional circumstances, 3 credits) for researching and writing a note, article, memo, or other paper on a legal topic. At least 3,750 words are required for one credit, at least 7,500 for two credits, and at least 11,250 for three credits. To register, the student should confer with a supervising faculty member, draft a description of the proposed project, and complete the online Independent Research form. LAW 5908 is for students who are not enrolled in the Law School, as well as MSPL candidates. Other law school degree candidates should enroll in LAW 7606 or LAW 7608 instead of LAW 5908.