Students Learn Business Basics at Annual AUWCL Bootcamp
Jan. 8, 2019
Students new to the world of business took a deep dive into financial fundamentals during American University’s third annual Business Basics Bootcamp, held Jan. 6-7, 2020.
The two-day bootcamp, presented by the Business Law Program, introduced 1L, 2L, and 3L students to essential business concepts and skills, including interpreting financial statements, distinguishing amongst a variety of business entities, and understanding financing for business ventures.
The course was led by Professor Hilary Allen, whose areas of expertise include banking law, securities regulation, financial regulation, corporate finance, and business associations. Other lecturers included Professor Ben Leff, director of the JD/MBA Dual Degree Program, and Professor Steven Shapiro, director of the Hospitality and Tourism Law Program. Jacob Sciandra '13, director of Financial Services Regulatory Practice at PwC, also taught a session.
“The idea behind this course is to familiarize you with things that may be tangential in your business law classes, but they’re not the legal focus,” Allen told attendees. “My aim is to ensure you have some basics that will help you in work, not just your law school studies. This is the type of stuff I wish I had known when starting working at a law firm.”
The course was comprised of seven intensive classroom sessions on varying business topics, including “Introduction to Capital Markets and Institutions/Financial System,” “Introduction to Tax,” “Contract Drafting Exercise,” “Excel Skills,” “Key Corporate Documents,” “Introduction to Accounting and Financial Statements,” and “Transaction Closing Exercises.”
The second day also included an overview of AUWCL’s Business Law Program Director and Professor David Snyder, who told students to approach the curriculum with the question: “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
“As you think about that question, there are a variety of ways you can do business law as a lawyer,” he said. “There’s the traditional route—corporate and securities, and commercial law and banking. These are largely transactional practices. But there are plenty of ways to practice business law, especially if you’re planning to stay in Washington where there’s a whole regulatory side to the business law practice.”
The bootcamp concluded with an alumni panel and networking reception. Panelists Nor Powanda '15, counsel for Global Trade at SES Satellites; Steve Gardner ’91, chief counsel for the Commercial Law Development Program at the Department of Commerce; Christina Ravelo ’18, associate at Ropes & Grey; Loren Ponds ’02, member of Miller & Chevalier; and Neff Smith ’10, counsel for the Assessments & Legislation Unit at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, discussed their own law school journeys and their professional work experiences with students.
Learn more about the AUWCL Business Law Program here.