The Business Law Conferences at the University of Maryland School of Law regularly address cutting-edge issues on a variety of business-related topics. Speakers and panelists include nationally recognized lawyers, judges, and scholars active in public and private practice, where legal issues are pervasive and increasingly complex. Past conferences topics have included the establishment of separate business courts, the role of mutual funds in the financial system and their relationships to investors and issuers, and the trend among numerous courts toward the imposition of a common law duty running from a corporation’s board of directors to the corporation’s creditors. Recent forums have also focused on the Enron scandal and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, with Senator Paul Sarbanes of Maryland speaking at the latter.
Papers by conference speakers also appear in the Business Law Program's journal, The Journal of Business and Technology Law.
The University of Maryland School of Law Business Law Program and the Business Law Society co-sponsor the Business Law Mentoring Initiative. At the heart of this initiative are our students, and its purpose centers on first year law students gaining a better understanding and appreciation for the myriad of activities undertaken in the course of a day by practicing—and non-practicing—lawyers working in the world of business and commerce.
By spending the day with alumni and friends who are practicing business lawyers or those who are actively engaged in business, we believe that our law students gain invaluable insight, exposure, and guidance to help them in choosing their law school courses and considering their career options. This initiative is a win-win in that our law students benefit, while our volunteer mentors are given the opportunity to influence and help shape the future legal and business careers of our students.
The Business Law Mentoring Initiative typically is held during the spring semester. The initiative has received incredible support from alumni and friends of the law school, with approximately 40 mentors participating in the 2011 initiative. We are very grateful for the tremendous support of all participants, including the organized support we receive from the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Maryland State Bar Association Business Law Section Council and the Bar Association of Baltimore City Business Law Committee.
Each academic year we strive to hold a panel discussion with local and national practitioners to give students exposure to "stories from the front lines" about the practice of business law from different perspectives. This event helps students assess their interest in business law and interact professionally with people in their future field. Past panels have addressed the challenges of advising business clients in an economic downturn and the impact of mergers and acquisitions on businesses and their communities.
Each academic year we sponsor a public lecture by a nationally-recognized professional in the business law field. This lecture is designed to inform our students, alumni and larger law school community on cutting edge or timely business issues and to offer a forum for dialogue and debate. Past lectures have featured H. David Kotz, Inspector General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Burton B. "Buck" Goldstein, the University Entrepreneur in Residence and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina.