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 with an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance gain a distinct advantage. This course will also provide important tools for litigators to work with financial expert witnesses and calculate damages.

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; derivatives; and the application of these principles to legal practice.

[This course serves as a prerequisite for Corporate Restructuring and Venture Capital and Private Equity, two courses offered at the Fuqua School of Business and cross-listed in the Law School.]

Spring 2021

Format: SUBJECT TO PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE, THIS COURSE WILL BE OFFERED IN A HYBRID FORMAT. Students may choose to attend in person on a rotating basis or to participate on a fully remote basis.

Grading: The course grade will be based on: (i) a final examination, (ii) class participation, and (iii) quizzes, problem sets, or other short assignments.

Special Notes:


Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Final Exam
Practical exercises
Class participation
Elisabeth D. de Fontenay
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.325.01.Sp21
Email list: LAW.325.01.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - JD-LLM-LE
Course Areas of Practice