Brooklyn Law School Teams With Deloitte To Teach Law Students Essential Business Skills

Career Climbers / 8th January 2018

Brooklyn Law School, in collaboration with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory (Deloitte) and John P. Oswald, President and CEO of Capital Trust Group and a member of the Law School’s Board of Trustees, is today holding its sixth annual “Business Boot Camp,” a four-day intensive training program designed to enhance the business and financial savvy of its students and to better meet the needs of today’s evolving global business marketplace. A “mini MBA” course, the Boot Camp has been developed and taught by top business professionals and the Law School’s corporate and business law faculty and graduates. Since launching in 2013, more than 500 students have completed the course, for which they earn credit.

Led by Professor Michael Gerber, an internationally recognized expert in bankruptcy law, Business Boot Camp offers students instruction on a range of issues that business professionals regularly encounter and increasingly lawyers must be familiar with, including developing a business plan, reading financial statements, valuing assets, raising capital, and meeting business goals while complying with the law. Throughout the course, presentations and panel discussions will feature industry experts and alumni who will focus on a host of issues ranging from cybersecurity to how to buy and sell a business.

“The classic law school experience teaches students to ‘think like a lawyer.’ That is essential, but there are times when practicing lawyers need to reach outside the traditional legal toolkit and also think like a business person,” said Gerber. “There are common issues that all business professionals confront, and Brooklyn Law School’s Business Boot Camp introduces students—even those who have never studied business, finance or economics—to the vocabulary and framework they will need to help clients deal with those issues.”

Designed to complement and enhance Brooklyn Law School’s corporate, commercial, and tax law courses, the Business Boot Camp syllabus is modeled in part on training that Deloitte has provided to first-year associates at major law firms. The curriculum traces the evolution of a hypothetical business from its founding and initial capitalization to its going public and acquisition of another company. The course is designed to teach students the vocabulary and skills needed to understand and implement clients’ business objectives, and better enables students to launch their own entrepreneurial careers.

“Our current and prospective students understand that, in today’s complex and layered business environment, arming themselves with highly relevant business skills better prepares them for dealing with corporate and entrepreneurial businesses alike,” said Nick Allard, President and Joseph Crea Dean and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. “Today’s business leaders are facing greater legal and financial challenges than ever before and they have every right to expect their lawyers to be familiar with the basic business and financial concepts that are critical to the success of their enterprises. At Brooklyn Law School, we are determined to jump-start our graduates’ careers by exposing them to the basic business skills their future clients will highly value.” 

“Developing business acumen and becoming financially literate are critical to success in today’s globally connected world,” said Anthony Campanelli, a Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory partner at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, who helped launch and develop the course. He, along with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory US Anti-money Laundering and Economic Sanctions Practice Leader Fred Curry, principal, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP, a 2003 graduate of Brooklyn Law School who has also been involved since the program’s inception, will address students on the first day of Boot Camp.

More than 50 Brooklyn Law School alumni will lead interactive breakout sessions and share their experiences as successful practitioners and entrepreneurs. These alumni include partners in major law firms, CEOs, and general counsels of established companies and startups. The program culminates with a Q&A session with Dennis Block, Brooklyn Law School class of 1967, Senior Chairman of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions practice, and Trustee of the Law School. Block, who has earned a reputation as one of the foremost M&A lawyers in the country and for whom the school’s Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law is named, has taught M&A courses as an Adjunct Professor for the last 18 years.

“Whether you graduate from Brooklyn Law School and go into business or practice business law, what you learn at Business Boot Camp is that there are two kinds of business lawyers: the deal makers and the deal breakers,” said Liz Holland, Class of 1993, Chief Executive Officer of Abbell Associates LLC, who will speak to students and participate in an alumni panel on the purchase and sale of a business. “Deal makers last long and prosper, and Business Boot Camp encourages productive deal making.”

Oswald, a 1984 graduate of the Law School, who is also a certified public accountant, generously supports the program and said his goal is to inspire young lawyers to expand their business vocabulary and acumen to deliver the services that corporate clients now demand and law firms must provide to thrive in today’s increasingly competitive and challenging market.

“The legal services job market, like the legal industry itself, is evolving and being reshaped by technology and ever-tighter budgets,” said Oswald. “Business Boot Camp better equips our students to compete for career opportunities and be more practice-ready when they graduate.”

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