325.01 Corporate Finance

This course is designed to familiarize law students with the principles of corporate finance. In the world of corporate finance, the distinction between lawyers and investment bankers has blurred. Whether negotiating a merger agreement, acquisition, or divestiture, rendering a fairness opinion, preparing for an appraisal hearing, litigating securities class action or derivative suits, issuing new securities, taking a firm private via an LBO or public via an IPO, corporate lawyers and investment bankers work side-by-side. Lawyers without an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance are at a distinct disadvantage. This course will also provide important tools for litigators to work with financial expert witnesses and calculate damages. Even students who do not plan to venture into the corporate world will benefit from this course. The financial principles covered are essential for lawyers intending to do estate or tax planning, litigate divorces, or draft the compensation agreements for business entities of all types.
Topics include: the time value of money; the relation between risk and return; the workings and efficiency of capital markets; behavioral finance; valuing perpetuities and annuities; valuing corporate securities (stock, bonds, and options); valuing businesses as a going concern; optimal capital structure and dividend policies; debt covenants and other lender protections; basic financial accounting; derivatives; and the application of these principles to legal practice.

Spring 2019

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Final Exam
Practical exercises
Elisabeth D. de Fontenay
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.325.01.Sp19
Email list: LAW.325.01.Sp19@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - JD-LLM-LE
Course Areas of Practice