Wintersession for 1Ls

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The Counselor and the Client: The Corporate Context

This six-hour course, taught over three sessions, is designed to introduce first-year JD students to the commercial, regulatory and institutional environment of contemporary business transactions, and the role of attorneys in advising and facilitating those transactions. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanisms, processes and personalities that accompany everyday commercial transactions and will be acquainted with the vocabulary used in business and other organizations. The purpose of the course is to provide a greater understanding of the business context in which lawyers function.  The course is intended for all students whatever their ultimate focus and is not designed particularly for students who intend to practice corporate law.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 9:30-11:30 am, and 2-4 pm;
Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 2-4 pm


Faculty and Instructors

Professor James D. Cox, Brainerd Currie Professor of Law
Professor James Cox joined the faculty of Duke Law School in 1979, where he specializes in the areas of corporate and securities law.  He has authored texts including Financial Information, Accounting and the Law; Cox and Hazen on Corporations; and Securities Regulations Cases and Materials (with Hillman & Langevoort). Professor Cox has also published extensively in the areas of market regulation and corporate governance as well as having testified before the U.S. House and Senate on insider trading, class actions, and market reform issues.

Professor Elisabeth de Fontenay
Professor Elisabeth de Fontenay joined the Duke Law faculty in 2013, where she teaches Business Associations, Corporate Finance, and Private Equity & Hedge Funds. Her broad research agenda focuses on how market actors behave in the less-regulated spaces of the financial markets. Her work has examined questions such as the ongoing decline in U.S. public companies and the rise of private capital, private equity firms' role in the debt markets, public versus private financial markets, and value creation by transactional lawyers and elite law firms. Prior to coming to Duke Law, she practiced as a corporate associate at Ropes & Gray in Boston, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, debt financing, and private investment funds.

Brendan Oldham, T '12
Mr. Oldham is an associate in the Washington, DC office of Hogan Lovells, where he advises public and private companies on a wide range of corporate and securities matters as a member of the firm's corporate group. He received his B.A. cum laude from Duke University in 2012, and his law degree cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2016.

Jenna Watson, T '04
Ms. Watson is Vice President and Counsel for Corporate Transactions at Viacom, Inc. She previously practiced with Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC. She is a 2004 graduate of Duke University and received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 2008.

William Yavinsky, T ‘05
Mr. Yavinsky is a partner at Hogan Lovells, based in Washington, DC.  His practice focuses on U.S. and international business transactions, including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as well as advice on general business matters from initial company organization through maturity.  He is a 2005 graduate of Duke University and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.