Business Associations

As part of a continuing series on Spring 2020 semester courses that relate to innovation and business, this post spotlights Business Associations.

Business Associations (“BA”) is one of a handful of elective courses the law school offers every semester, a signal of the material’s foundational importance. Professor Joe Yockey will teach the course in Fall 2019, and Professor Maya Steinitz in Spring 2020.

Business Associations focuses on the rules and policies surrounding some of the most common types of business organizations, information that will help students interested in business-centered legal fields as they prepare for both litigation and transactional practices. Professor Yockey noted, however, that the course is not just for students interested in practicing business or corporate law. “Regardless of what type of law you’re practicing, it’s very common for business law issues to come up in areas like torts, property, and criminal law,” he said.

In addition, Professor Yockey observed that business law issues permeate society more broadly. “Private companies impact everything we do in terms of what we wear, the food we buy, and where our friends and family work,” Professor Yockey explained. “And there’s been more discussion lately about the corporation’s role in politics, religion, and other social issues. Put simply, understanding the legal issues that govern a partnership or corporation’s behavior is an important part of being an informed citizen.”

Cecelia MacDonald, a 3L, found the course very practical. “After each case, Professor Yockey would ask how we could have drafted the agreement better to avoid the litigated issue. We also went through the pros and cons of each type of business and what would fit a potential client the best.”

Students with limited experience in business law prior to taking the course have found BA to not only be extremely accessible, but also helpful in connecting law to the real world. Greg Hummel, a previous BA student, did not have any background in business before taking BA, and found the course helped him connect what he learned in Torts and Contracts to the business world.

BA is a prerequisite for all of the upper-level business law courses, including Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, and Securities Regulation.

​last updated November 24, 2019 


Course Description

Structure, characteristics of both large publicly and closely held corporations; distribution of powers among management, directors, shareholders; fiduciary duties that limit those powers; enforcement of such duties by shareholder suits; may include basic principles of agency, partnership, and limited partnership law.

Thurs, Fri 2:00-3:30