Principles of 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 become 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, and lawyers without an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance are at a distinct disadvantage. Moreover, this course will provide important tools for litigators in identifying, preparing, and cross-examining financial expert witnesses. Even students who do not plan to venture into the corporate world will benefit from this course. The principles covered are essential for lawyers intending to do estate or tax planning, litigate divorces, or write the bylaws and compensation agreements for partnerships or closed corporations. Finally, this course will serve 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.
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 (stocks, bonds, and options); optimal capital structure and dividend policies; basic financial accounting; assessing the value of going concerns; and forensic finance, or how these principles are applied in the practical practice of law. Although the materials will stress the intuition of these principles, students will be expected to acquire a working knowledge of how to apply the analytical tools of finance to real-world problems.
The course will be taught over the second half of the first semester on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:40. The first class will be on Thursday, October 19 and run through Thursday, November 30.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.