LLM Guide to Stanford
These are courses that may be of interest to LLM or SPILS students.
- Get out of the law school! Run away, run away! But seriously now, there's a whole world of Stanford out there, with a much broader community, both in international and intellectual terms. A large part of the joy for many LLMs of their Stanford year was to take classes elsewhere - whether it's b-school, d-school, engineering, you name it. It takes a bit of organization but it's worth it and up to 6 units will count to your LLM requirements, but it doesn't mean you can't go over.
- The LLM program minimum 35 units and maximum 42 units. In any term the minimum is 9 units and the maximum is 14 units. Those maximums are set for a reason, and the minimum is not so much a minimum but a very busy schedule, and it will be hard to believe you can be quite as busy as 9 units will make you until you've done a good part of a term at SLS.
- The more units you go over 9, the less spare time (ie none) you will have to enjoy Stanford life and the more thinly spread you will get, making it infinitely harder to do well in any one subject. That said - don't forget P's get degrees - the Pass safety net is there to allow you to take challenging subjects and focuss on one without getting penalized in the others.
- An option to think of if you really can't get your units down is just auditing classes you can live with not being on your transcript.
- All the above said - plenty of contributors to this site have gone over the unit maximum - way over the unit maximum, and had a lot of fun. I was on 15 units in the Winter quarter, including a 4 unit class in the b-school ripe for dropping, but everytime I crawled into that classroom I laughed and learned so much, I found myself back for the next class. If I'd ever actually thought about how much work in total committing to those 15 units was going to take, I would have never done it.
- You should discuss your selections with your fellow, and in particular if you are thinking of going over the unit maximum. It is possible, although really not advisable to go over the unit maximum in any term, or add/drop past the deadline, by filing a form that can be obtained from the SLS Office of the Registrar (behind the stairs on the ground floor of the office building of SLS). Note that essentially after filing, your form will go straight back to your fellow so best to discuss with them first.
- The above said - do "shop" all the classes you are interested in. That means adding everything that looks interesting up to the maximum on Axess and going to those classes as well as anything else you like the look of and can fit in for the first two weeks. You then "drop" what you don't like and if necessary "add" what you do, on Axess before the add/drop deadline. This way you may well end up nearer 14 units than 9 but at least you'll know that you really want to do those classes.
I don't think anyone has a clear answer to this, not least of all the contributors to this website - but here's a few things to think about:
- Stanford Law grades everything pretty much as Honors (usually top third of the class or what the Brits would call a 2:1) or Pass. Restricted credit or Fail takes serious effort. The top two or three in classes that are big enough will get what's called a "Class Prize" and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world would call a 1st.
- You need to balance covering all the courses you want to with what is achievable in terms of grades. What is very hard for practising attorneys is to not try as hard in some subjects so that you can focus your energy on a subject you have a good chance in getting honors at. How you select that needs to be a balance of apptitude for the subject, the competition presented by your class-mates, and the examining style of the class.
- If you're job hunting in the US, realistically speaking you're going to need to have one or two honors or non-law school equivalents on your CV not counting your colloquium. It is unlikely that an employer will care about your grades for your colloquium - they are going to be less interested in how you performed against other LLMs in a program of 20 people, than how you performed against JDs and other Stanford grads.
- So pick what is a stretch but a workable compromise between curiosity and grade ability in terms of your work load - and focus on one or two classes a term for honors. The rest you can rely on a pass for. Most people gunning for honors keep to the 9 units, but that's a bit more difficult for the LLMs who only have one year. But there are LLMs who have got three or four honors grades each quarter - judicious class selection and serious talent were involved, but it is doable.
- The classes in which contributors to this website got honors were not necessarily the ones they had comprehensive knowledge in, it was more about the style the professor was looking for as well as knowledge. Creative flair, or what practising lawyers would otherwise call winging it, definitely has a place in some subjects. So look at the past papers early, take advantage of office hours, do extra preparatory essays if the professor will look at them.
- Non Law School Classes: The main portal for non-law school courses is the Vice Provost for graduate education's page. You may take courses outside the law school provided you comply with your program requirements (see here and/or talk to your fellow) and the requirements of the school you take the class in.
- The SLS Course Schedule and Descriptions are here.
- This is the search engine for all Stanford courses - it's not very intuitive to use but contains every possible class and you can narrow to Law or GSB on the drop down menu on the right.
- Hard copies of student feedback on courses and professors can be found in the Crown Law Library on the second floor on the shelves on the left and right in front of the restrooms/lift.
- Old exam papers can be found on line here - checking them is another good way to select courses!
Law School classes are ordered for ease by General, Corporate and IP related classes but that's by no means a hard and fast rule. This also isn't a complete selection by any means- it is just a grouping of classes LLMs have enjoyed in particular.
Accounting | LAW 226 | Terms: Win | Units: 3
This is an introductory course in Financial Accounting. In general terms, financial accounting is the process of measurement and disclosure of the financial condition and results of operations in business entities. The course is aimed at developing students' ability to read, understand, and use corporate financial statements. To this end, the course will provide an introduction to: (1) essential accrual accounting concepts, principles and conventions; (2) the mechanics of preparation and presentation of the accounting records and financial statements prepared by a business; (3) the use and misuse of accounting information; and (4) elementary financial analysis of financial statements. The course will include business cases for class discussion, and extra review/problem sessions as and if requested by participants.
Comment (bit of an understatement but there we are): "For an M&A lawyer it is extremely useful to learn how to read companies' financial statements."
Statistical Inference in Law| #468 | Ho |3 Units | Spring| Mon, Wed 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Comment: "The course very interesting and you are taught to use the freeware statistical software R. But do buy an introductory guide to R and try to get a look at a problem set before the add/drop deadline, the work load does substantially ramp up after class 4. It really is nearer a 4-5 unit class than 3".
The Role of the Modern General Counsel | Law 325/GSBGEN 544 | Cooperman | Units: 2 | [Winter | T 16:15-18:15 ][Not currently clear when it will be taught]
The news is filled with reports of one corporate crisis after another - names like BP, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hewlett-Packard, AIG, Siemens and issues like bribery, antitrust violations, insider trading, backdating, procurement fraud, health and safety violations, breach of privacy, consumer class actions and the like. And often the cry is heard - where are the company's lawyers? This course, introduced last year, explores the evolution of the role of the general counsel of major American public companies and, more broadly, the expanding role of in-house counsel. These are the lawyers in the trenches, on the front lines of American businesses. \n\n\nEach week, we'll review another dimension of the general counsel's job. We'll review the different ways in which general counsels manage large corporate legal departments and direct functional legal areas like litigation, IP, corporate and securities, M&A, environmental and employment law. We will also examine the professional responsibilities and legal obligations of the general counsel -- including the delicate and sometimes conflicting reporting relationships to the CEO and the board of directors -- and consider how an in-house legal department fits into a corporation's organizational structure and how it supports the company's operating units on a day-to-day basis. We will explore the general counsel's role in internal investigations, shareholder derivative suits, regulatory investigations and compliance programs, and government affairs. We will also consider current practices in how in-house lawyers select, collaborate with and evaluate outside counsel.\n\n\nThe class will meet weekly and we will invite several current and former general counsels of major corporations to join us occasionally for our discussions. Each student will be expected to participate actively in class discussions, and will be required to complete two projects, each in collaboration with three other students and submitted as a team, presenting how the team would address a complex set of legal and business issues. The course grade will be based 1/3 on class participation and 1/3 on each of the two team projects.
Instructors: Daniel Cooperman (ex-GC of Oracle and Apple), with Prof. Kramer? (was Grundfest)+ many superstar guest speakers.
Comment: "This course is a must if you intend to pursue an in-house career. You do not just read about a major corporate crisis - you hear it first-hand from the lawyers who handled it. Expect this class to be heavily oversubscribed, but if there is one class that is worth my tuition fees, this is it."
NB It looks like Koob isn't teaching this year: [Advanced Antitrust: Litigating an Antitrust Case | #358 | Koob | 3 Units | Spring | MW 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
We will examine in depth four pivotal antitrust cases: Polygram Holdings, Microsoft, Leegin and Oracle. We will study the record created in the lower courts and then analyze how the court came to the conclusions it did. Students will write an amicus brief and argue a motion for preliminary injunction or an appeal.
Comment: "It's a lottery class but I would walk over broken glass to get into it. Chuck Koob was a founding partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett offices in Palo Alto and DC, as well as being joint head of Litigation and Antitrust. A lovely, brilliant teacher and a spectacularly gifted attorney as well as raconteur. He genuinely cares that his students take away a useful working knowledge of what he is teaching."]
LAW 449: Sovereignty, Globalization, and Technological Change (Not clear it will be run this year)
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail
Comment: "By far the most exciting and challenging class, fantastic readings and he is just a very fascinating person."
Quantitative Methods: Finance | LAW 467 | Siciliano, F. | Terms: Win | Units: 2
This course covers some of the central ideas in modern finance with a particular focus on the time value of money. Topics include present value and future value analysis, discounting, net present value, "IRR", bond valuations, and a critique of other project valuation methods. Along with a brief overview of "market fundamentals" and an introduction to the vocabulary of modern "popular finance" (as found in such publications as the Wall Street Journal), additional topics include diversification, the risk-return trade-off, portfolio performance measurement, and market efficiency. Issues of arbitrage and tax considerations are considered as time allows.
The course is intended to provide students with very little or no background in finance with the essential vocabulary, tools, and insights to spot "finance related issues" in various legal practice areas. The problem sets, class discussions, and applied hypotheticals should allow students to develop the skills necessary to ask the right questions when confronted with problems that involve elements of modern finance. Special Instructions: You are expected to have little or no background in finance or related areas prior to taking this course. Required math skills are very modest (low-level high school algebra, at most) and students will rely mainly on the use of Excel and/or financial calculators for simple calculations.
Comment: "If you don't have strong math skills for taking corp. finance (as me) it gives you a glance of how companies make business decisions."
This is a course about the freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association under the First Amendment. It builds upon Constitutional Law I by examining intensively these two areas of individual rights. Two-thirds of the course will be about freedom of speech. We will ask why government regulates speech (to prevent harms? to protect sensibilities? to redistribute power? to advance the interests and ideas of the politically powerful?), how government regulates speech (by aiming at messages? by aiming at markets? by aiming at when and where speech takes place? by conditioning subsidies?), and what justifications are ever sufficient for limiting speech. We will include consideration of the institutional press and new technologies including the Internet, as well as the rights of private organizations to determine their membership and organization. One-third of the course will be about religion. We will ask how the far the twin constraints of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses relate, looking especially at notions of neutrality, voluntarism, separation, and accommodation. We will also explore the implications of religious convictions for democratic politics.
Comment: "In the past taught by the wonderful former Dean Kathleen Sullivan, now named partner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan; it looks like Professor McConnell is taking over. However to quote his profile, "Widely regarded as one of the nation’s top judges and most distinguished constitutional law scholars" and "Before joining Stanford in 2009, McConnell served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit." The course gets into some of the most sensitive topics of US Constitutional Law and I found it fascinating".
Negotiation | #615 | Johnson | 4 Units | Autumn | TTh 19:15-21:15
As a lawyer, you will probably negotiate more than you do anything else. You will negotiate not just over cases, but any time that you need or want something that you cannot get alone. You will negotiate with your boss, your clients, your colleagues, and all of their counterparts (plus the lawyers) on the other side. You will negotiate with "the system" -- whether it is the courts, agencies, other governmental bodies, and the structures of society. You will also continue to negotiate with your family, your friends, even yourself. This course is designed to: (1) develop your understanding of negotiation, and your awareness of yourself as a negotiator; (2) give you some tools and concepts for analyzing, preparing for and conducting negotiations; (3) enhance your negotiating skills through frequent role plays, reflection, and feedback; and (4) teach you how to keep learning from your own negotiation experience. In addition to negotiation skills and theory, you will be introduced to issues of representation, ethics, and the place of negotiation in our legal system. The Negotiation Seminar is an intense, interactive course. We will meet for approximately four hours each week, and will require weekly preparation of readings, simulations, and written assignments. More here.
Comment: "Everyone who took Negotiations classes in the Law School have enjoyed them, and Johnson's class in particular, which meets twice a week rather than once, allowing for a reduced gap between the classes and greater opportunity to do simulations has had favorable reviews."
Mediation | LAW 638 | Notini, J. | Terms: Spr | Units: 3
In recent years, individuals and their lawyers have increasingly turned to mediation to resolve disputes. In mediation, the parties to the dispute, who may be represented by lawyers, are in charge of the outcome. With the assistance of a mediator they may be able to reach agreements at any stage in a dispute, in some cases avoiding litigation altogether, in other cases agreeing when he case is on appeal. This course will introduce you to the theory and practice of mediation. You will learn about the mediation process primarily by experiencing it in roleplay and hands-on exercises. The course also includes readings and discussions, brief lectures, demonstrations, student presentations, and videotapes. You will mediate disputes based on actual cases, and be coached in small groups by Bay Area mediators.
Comment: "The course is very hands-on and includes roleplays and regular training sessions with Jessica as well as with outside coaches; focused on trying things out and learning by doing; mediation theory is not much of a topic, with the notable exception of the process of decision making)."
Modern Capital Markets and the Financial Crisis - The Evolution and Regulation of Dark Financial Matter | #590| Grundfest | 4 Units | Winter | WThF 09:30-10:50
Money: Shadow Banking, Dark Financial Matter and the Future of Finance.
This course introduces law students to the structure of the shadow banking system and related financial markets. Emphasis is placed on the securitization process, the swaps markets (including credit default swaps, total returns swaps, interest rate, and currency swaps), repo agreements, forwards, futures, and related institutions such as clearing houses and exchanges. The course will consider the role that these markets played in the recent and ongoing financial crisis, their potential implications for future crises, and several of the regulatory initiatives proposed by the Dodd Frank Act. Much of the course will operate through the lens of a series of case studies including the Greek debt crisis, Harvard's loss of $500 million in the swaps market, the AIG bailout, and JPMorgan's loss of $2 billion in its hedge book.
Comment: "One of those classes you just have to attend. You're not necessarily going to learn anything if you've regularly been reading the FT - but a remarkable professor and a significant class. Turn up just to see the show."
Securities Regulation and Capital Formation - How Corporations Raise Capital in the U.S. | #591| Grundfest | 4 Units | Spring | WThF 09:30-10:50
Capital Formation and Securities Regulation
This course analyzes the regulations governing the capital formation process in the United States. The course explains the process by which companies register securities with the SEC in order to go public, and the reporting obligations that arise once companies are publicly traded. The course also analyzes the process by which companies raise capital through private placements (the dominant capital formation process in Silicon Valley), restrictions on the resale of privately placed securities, and the securities law liabilities that arise in these transactions. The course also addresses the processes by which foreign issuers commonly raise many billions of dollars in the US markets without registering their offerings with the SEC, Chinese reverse mergers which have led to a spate of litigation, and recent legislation allowing "crowdfunding" of certain enterprises. Much of the course will operate through the analysis of case studies, in particular, a close analysis of the Facebook and Google IPOs, and private placement and secondary market transaction histories preceding those public offerings.
Time permitting, we will also analyze the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which, among other matters, requires that publicly traded firms properly account for and disclose bribes paid to foreign government officials), and disclosures related to the use of conflict minerals and to contracts with foreign governments in the extractive industries, i.e., oil and gas drilling.
Comment: "The more much signficant of the two Grundfest classes in terms of signficance for practice, and much harder to get honors in. But again, not exactly missable."
Corporate Reorganization | #248| Ray | 3 Units | Spring | Monday 16:15-19:15
This course examines the reorganization of a financially distressed company under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Among other things, the course follows a fictitious company through several stages of a business turnaround and financial restructuring, including an out-of-court workout, a chapter 11 filing, selected chapter 11 operating issues, and the negotiation, formulation and confirmation of a plan of reorganization. In addition, the course follows current developments relating to bankruptcy, primarily through reports in the media. For example, in recent years the course has examined developments in actual chapter 11 cases (e.g., General Motors, Chrysler Corporation, and Lehman Brothers) and the effects of bankruptcy on specific industries (e.g., airlines, financial services and real estate).
Comment: "Stephan Ray is a senior shareholder at Stutman, Treister & Glatt, the preeminent bankruptcy boutique law firm in LA. He flies up from LA every week to take SLS students through a very practical introduction to the intricacies of the Bankruptcy Code. Absolutely fantastic course and very much up to date with what is going on in terms of developments in the law."
There are many contexts in which lawyers need an understanding of finance. For example, many of the disputes that give rise to litigation center on the financial valuation of firms and the securities they issue. In addition, an understanding of firms' capital structures and the design of corporate securities is necessary in analyzing many legal issues, especially those arising in corporate transactions, executive compensation, and bankruptcy proceedings. This course is designed to provide students with a rigorous conceptual understanding of finance and to give students the analytical tools needed to make financial decisions and value financial securities. The course stresses problem solving and includes problem sets, cases, and a midterm and final examination. The course is designed to be accessible to students with a fairly limited mathematical background. In general we will not assume any knowledge of mathematics beyond high-school algebra. Special instructions: This course is not open to JD/MBA students or students with substantial prior background in finance.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail
Instructors: Ishii, J. (PI)
Comment: "The material is extremely helpful for any transactional lawyer. It is quite a lot of work in the beginning but then it gets better."
Deals I | #273 | Daines | 3 Units | Winter | TTh 14:15-15:45
Deals II | # 275 |Daines | 3 Units | Spring | T 16:15-18:15
This course applies economic concepts to the practice of structuring contracts. The course extends over two quarters, meeting three hours per week the first quarter and two hours per week the second quarter. Students enrolled in the course must take both quarters. All of the first quarter will be spent in a traditional classroom setting, discussing economics articles and case studies of actual contracts that illustrate the concepts described in the articles. During the second quarter, we will explore the connection between economic theory and contracting practice by studying specific current deals. Students, divided into groups, will study a deal beginning in the first quarter. Then, during the second quarter, each group will give a presentation of its deal to the class. The following week, a lawyer or other participant in the deal will come to class to lead a discussion of the deal. When it works, the students' and the practitioners' analyses are mutually enlightening. We study new deals each year. Deals that we have studied over the years have included movie financings, biotech alliances, venture capital financings, cross-border joint ventures, private equity investments, and corporate reorganizations.
NB: This class used to be taught by Klauser - who had practiced (at Gibson Dunn), now taught by Daines who hasn't (former 3rd year Goldmans banker).
Derivatives |#299 | Summe | 2 Units |Autumn |T 16:15-18:15
The course will examine the legal, regulatory, trading and risk management aspects of the $600 trillion national over-the-counter, or privately negotiated, derivatives market. Derivatives have been blamed for causing or at least contributing to the current economic crisis. This course will offer students the opportunity to understand how various derivative products are designed, traded and risk-managed and what role regulators play in the derivatives industry. In addition, students will focus on understanding key legal contracts that underpin the global derivatives industry, in particular focusing on the ISDA© Master Agreement and Credit Support Annex, as well as documentation supporting credit derivatives. Students will also consider the shifting regulatory landscape for financial institutions and hedge funds, as well as assess decisions to bail out various financial institutions. In particular, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the government conservatorship of AIG will be examined.
Comment: "Professor Summe has a great deal of practical experience and the course comes highly recommended."
International Deal Making | #407 | Franklin | 2 Units | Autumn |M 16:15-18:15
Stanford School of Law (SLS) offers this course (recommended and publicized for business students in the Stanford Graduate School of Business) specifically focused on the application of legal and business knowledge to real world transactions in the international context. This is a practical course for students who are interested in applying their knowledge to deal structuring, identifying and resolving legal and business concerns, negotiations, documentation and deal closing. The caselets (short-form cases), developed by the instructor (JD/MBA/CPA) from his 25 years' experience in deal-making in China and Asia, raising $9 billion in equity and debt, often place the student inside the negotiating room and challenge the student to strike deals with senior private and public officials. This course is structured as an intense large seminar with a maximum of 30 law and 10 business students, mixed into groups for class work and presentations. More here.
Comment: "A practice focussed course that lots of people enjoy and don't find particularly arduous. If you've done International M&A and/or deals in China then it possibly isn't for you (because you'll be bored), but definitely worth shopping. Final exam is a take home paper which is worth bearing in mind (can be easier to get honors) ."
Banking Law | #378 | Cole | 3 Units | Autumn |TTh 09:30-11:00
This course will examine the legal and regulatory system governing financial institutions, with an emphasis on banks. It will do so by exploring the underlying economics of banking, and the ongoing effort to reform financial regulation. Questions addressed will include: Why do we regulate financial institutions? What dangers do we want to avoid? How well does the current regulatory system achieve what we want to achieve? What alternative approaches can be taken? What are the costs and benefits of the current system, and those of the alternatives? .
Note this comment relates to the forunner class "LAW 533: The Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions" which is no more - so audit with care: "The class establishes a few fundamental conceptions about banking institution regulations. These conceptions turn out indispensable in any educated analysis of past financial crises and pointing the way forward. The class discussions are fun, no-nonsense, intellectually challenging, and well organized. Many of my classmates share this view."
Solving Legal Problems in the Business World - LAW 341, SPRING Note - not clear from the schedule whether it will be offered again.
Comment: "Taught by Steven Julsgaard, former GC of Genentech; the course focuses on biotechnology issues but what he teaches and the stories he shares may be applied broadly and across industries; he focuses on sharing his insights re the lawyer/business executive relationship and covers issues which will most likely come up in any company, e.g. product liability, trade secret misappropriation, patent infringement, dealing with contract disputes etc."
Entertainment law is not, in and of itself, a separate legal discipline. Instead, the practice of entertainment law lies at the intersection of various traditional legal disciplines, such as contract, tort, copyright, trademark, antitrust, secured transactions, etc., and applies those disciplines to a unique business setting. This course is intended to approach the study of entertainment law from a practical perspective, applying the principles of traditional legal disciplines to avoid problems and find solutions in various facets of the entertainment industry. To accomplish the necessary background, it studies the entertainment industry from both a macro level (i.e., the organization of the motion picture, television and music business, including the function of studios, producers, networks, record companies, agencies, managers, lawyers and labor unions) and a micro level (i.e., examining actual agreements in order to understand the principal components of motion picture talent, production and distribution contracts, television series contracts, music and book publishing contracts).
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail
Instructors: Eskenazi, B. (PI); Fields, B. (PI)
Comment "Great introduction to the world of entertainment law, focusing on film and music; well structured and organized; great contract samples and effective group assignments; the course includes - and I hear that this was the case in the last years as well - a class trip to LA."
This course focuses on the counseling considerations that surround the exploitation of intellectual properties in foreign markets through licensing, litigation, or both. The course surveys the principal legal systems and international treaty arrangements for copyright, patent, trademark and neighboring rights, as well as questions of jurisdiction, territoriality, national treatment and choice of law. No science or engineering background, aptitude or interest is required for this course.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail
Instructors: Goldstein, P. (PI)
Comment: "Paul Goldstein's courses Copyright and IP International - best classes ever and I love his style."
LAW 489: Copyright, the Internet, and Industry (Not clear if it will be run this year, note also the new class - LAW 478: IP Advanced Topics: The Future of Online Music and Online Video"
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail
Comment: "Also for the Internet oriented guys I highly recommend Copyright, the Internet and Industry from Tom Rubin, who is a chief copyright counsel at Microsoft. He started teaching the class this year and everybody agreed the class was 5 out of 5. While Goldstein's classes give you the base and general understanding of the field, Rubin's class is focused on current topics and recent trends."
Data Privacy Law | #485 | Determann | 3 Units | Spring | Th 16:15-19:15
More and more companies and government agencies find themselves in the press and courtrooms for data privacy and security law violations. Given the rapidly increasing technological options to collect and commercialize personal data, this area of the law is rapidly growing. Law students should therefore, be prepared for the challenges of data protection laws. More here.
Comment: "Practitioner taught courses are usually a good bet from an LLM perspective. Dr Lothar Determan received his legal education in Germany and now is a partner in Baker & McKenzie's Palo Alto Practice. He is "ranked as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA, Legal 500 USA and Super Lawyers, and was selected by the San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top ten copyright lawyers in California" and it should be a good course."
What you can study:
This is the main list of courses available to non-GSB students: https://gsbapps.stanford.edu/nongsbreg/courses/
and this tells you how to register https://gsbapps.stanford.edu/nongsbreg/index.html However bear in mind that you can petition and probably persuade most professors to let you take a course if you have some relevant background. The full list of electives is here:
Timeframe for applying is tight:
You have a week from the start of term to get the form completed, signed by the professor or an email from the professor approving you joining the class, and submitted. We've known people miss the deadline by a few hours and get blocked from the class. Many of the classes below are very popular will fill up before the end of the previous quarter. That said, a lot of the b-school professors like having Law School students in the classes, as it tends to add a different perspective so they are usually holding places open specifically for non-GSB students.
But make time if you can:
Taking a class in the b-school will give you access to a much wider international group of people, and a completely different perspective. MBAs will inevitably be likely to be your clients in the future and it is good to hear what they have to say and be there to pick up legal issues. It's also usually light relief compared to law school, being primarily experiential and not exam based.
OB 374 - Interpersonal Dynamics - PRE-QUALIFICATION IS REQUIRED 10 DAYS BEFORE COURSE BEGINS - See here for more details
This course attempts to increase students personal and conceptual understanding of interpersonal and small-group behavior. It seeks to improve students skills in diagnosing interpersonal and intragroup activities, as well as to lead each person to a better understanding of how he or she affects others. While selected articles, books, and group exercises are used to stimulate discussion, major learning material is generated by the participants. Students learn how they function in small groups and how they relate to others from feedback and reaction of other class members. More here.
Term: Autumn, Winter, Spring | Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Comment: "Affectionately known as "Touchy Feely" and by the tag line "everybody cries" it is super tough to get into for non-GSB, as this is one of the most popular classes for 2nd year MBAs and MBAs get priority for this class. That said, LLMs have got onto the course in the past and got a lot of of the program, but it is definitely tough going. This article might be of interest to people thinking about taking the class."
Conflict is inherent in organizations. Conflict arises whenever independent parties—individuals, departments, organizations—must secure an agreement. Parties involved face a decision between competitive and cooperative solutions: Will competition bring a favorable result or will it escalate to dysfunctional levels? Will cooperation foster a valuable working relationship or will it leave an underlying problem unresolved? This course presents a variety of frameworks for analyzing conflicts and techniques for resolving conflicts. Many dimensions of conflict are discussed, including relevant psychological, interpersonal, organizational, and cultural dynamics. This course reviews strategy and tactics in various conflict resolution procedures, including bargaining, distributive and integrative negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. A conceptual understanding is of little use, however, without an understanding of how to put strategy and tactics into practice. To this end, considerable emphasis will be placed on exercises and role-play simulations of conflicts designed to develop students' negotiation skills.
Comment: "Taught in the Winter Quarter by the legendary Professor Bendor this comes highly recommended if you want to take a negotiations class outside the Law School. It's based around two, two hour classes a week, half of which is one-on-one or team negotiations, which you're ranked on the following class, and half of which is discussing tactics and how things went in the previous negotiation. It's competitive, heavy on game theory and lots of fun. Two papers, feedback forms after class but no exam. Good value for 4 units." Note from the looks of the Explore Courses database, this class may now be being taught by a different professor only in the Spring
GSBGEN 528: Creativity, Problem Solving, and Innovation
This course is designed to expose second-year MBAs to research on creativity in problem-solving. The course has straightforward practical goals: it will explore ways in which individuals, groups, and organizations can become more creative, in useful ways. In order to do this effectively, we will study hardnosed research on problem-solving. We will not read articles entitled "The five-fold path to creativity." If there really were recipes or algorithms for reliably increasing creativity, I would certainly teach them. (Or more likely, I wouldn't need to: they would routinely be taught in the core curriculum of every MBA program.) Instead, we will study what cognitive and social scientists have discovered about novelty and effectiveness in problem-solving.
Instructors: Bendor, J. (PI)
Comment "I've no idea about this course or whether it's available to non-GSB students, but it is being taught by Professor Bendor who may no longer be teaching OB 381. It sounds interesting, and as far as I'm concerned I wouldn't really care what he was teaching, I would just turn up. Professor Bendor is hard to describe, but sufficeth to say, he's the only professor who I've seen given a 15 minute standing ovation at the end of a class."
Taught in the Autumn and Spring quarters, this is a great two unit course on audience analysis, communicator credibility, message construction and delivery. This practical course helps students at all levels of communication mastery develop confidence in their speaking and writing through weekly presentations and assignments, lectures and discussions, guest speakers, simulated activities, and videotaped feedback. There is also a 4 unit, more in depth course GSBGEN 315. Strategic Communication.
Comment: "This is a great, easy commitment course that will really change the way you prepare slides and give presentations. The constant video feedback is a real wake up call".
STRAMGT 562: Intellectual Property: Financial and Strategic Management
In today's competitive marketplace, smart companies--from Fortune 500 firms to early stage start-ups--rely on innovation to keep them one step ahead of the game. This class will help students understand the value of firms' intellectual property (IP), by thinking strategically about how to effectively leverage the knowledge, trade secrets, patents, technologies, trademarks, structures and processes that are critical to many businesses. The class will focus on the state-of-the-art, best practices related to IP management, and how they are shaped by the legal, economic, strategic, regulatory and market factors. Through a combination of case studies, class discussion and guest speakers, we will cover a variety of issues shaping a successful IP strategy in today's global business environment. Ms. Efrat Kasznik is a valuation expert with close to twenty years of management consulting experience, focusing on IP valuation and strategy. She specializes in performing valuations of intellectual assets for a range of purposes, including M&A, financial reporting, technology commercialization decisions, tax compliance, transfer pricing, litigation damages and business liquidations. Ms. Kasznik is the founder and President of Foresight Valuation Group, an IP consulting firm providing valuation, litigation and strategy services. Prior to founding FVG, she held partner level positions with leading litigation and management consulting organizations.
Term: Autumn Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Pass/Fail
Instructors: Kasznik, R. (PI)
FINANCE 320: Debt Markets
This course is intended for those who plan careers that may involve debt financing business or other investments, or involve trading or investing in debt instruments and their derivatives, including money-market instruments, government bonds, repurchase agreements, interest-rate swaps, mortgage-backed securities (MBS), corporate bonds, and credit derivatives. We will emphasize institutional features of the markets, including trading, pricing, and hedging. There is a special focus on distressed debt. Most lectures will start with a cold-called student presentation of an un-graded short homework calculation. There will also be a series of graded homework, an in-class mid-term, and about six 10-minute or 15-minute graded 'pop quizzes.'
Term: Winter Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Instructors: Duffie, J. (PI)
Comment: "When the man says it is intended for those who plan careers in derivatives and debt - it means you need to have an appreciable amount of experience before you come into the class, and you need to be prepared for a hugely demanding class that will really push you. That said, the man is a living legend and the class is legendary."
Comment: "I was very satisfied with the experience. It gave me the opportunity to meet and work with MBA and PhD students. The Prof. was very good and the dynamic of the class was very interesting. The final examination consisted on a research paper and I was on a team with a JD and PhD in Electromechanical Engineering. The research we did was on how M&A deals are affected by fluctuations in exchange rates."
FINANCE 330: Investment Management: Asset Allocation and Asset/Manager Selection
This course covers strategic and tactical asset allocation in investment portfolios as well as specific asset and manager selection. We consider challenges that are unique to the various asset classes that comprise broad-based portfolios, including: public equities, fixed income securities, private equity (both buyout and venture capital), hedge funds, and real assets (real estate, energy, timber, and commodities). We also consider challenges that are specific to various geographies (domestic versus developed international versus emerging markets) across the various asset classes. The portfolio optimization framework employed considers the perspective of different types of investors that vary along such dimensions as risk preference, liquidity preference/investment horizon, tax status, social objectives, and special asset-specific relationship, information or skill advantages.\n\n \n\nMore specifically, our framework considers: tradeoffs between seeking diversification to control risks, and making concentrated bets where there appears to be outsized return prospects (whether due to one-off proprietary investment opportunities or the market appearing to value certain sectors improperly); tradeoffs between passive investment (at low administrative cost and complexity) and active investment designed to produce premium returns (despite the incremental cost and complexity); distinctions between investing as principals and delegating to managers, and the importance of aligning incentives among all parties; the importance of liquidity in driving the pricing, risk and expected returns to various asset classes and the importance of identifying which parties are natural suppliers of liquidity and which the natural demanders; the importance of effective underwriting and ongoing monitoring of investment opportunities; the importance of tax considerations in the pricing and expected returns to various asset classes; and the importance of identifying which parties form the natural clienteles in each asset class.\n\n \n\nFor a number of the sessions, we will invite domain experts to add spice and depth to a portion of the class discussion.
Term: Spring. Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Instructors: Pfleiderer, P. (PI); Wolfson, M. (SI)
FINANCE 346: Institutional Money Management
The object of this course is to study the money management industry from the perspective of the user --- an investor who wants to invest money. This course will study the main components of the money management industry: mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and venture capital funds. It will also examine important users of the industry such as non profits, endowments and defined benefit pension funds. The emphasis of the course will not be on how fund managers make money, but rather on how the industry is organized, how managerial skill is assessed, how compensation is determined, and how economic rents are divided between managers and investors. The course will explore how competitive market forces interact with managerial skill and other market frictions to give rise to the observed organization of the industry.
Term: Autumn Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Student Option LTR/PF
Instructors: Berk, J. (PI)
Comment: "I recommend this much, Jonathan Berk is an amazing teacher."
MS&E 472: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders' Seminar
Entrepreneurial leaders share lessons from real-world experiences across entrepreneurial settings. ETL speakers include entrepreneurs, leaders from global technology companies, venture capitalists, and best-selling authors. Half-hour talks followed by half hour of class interaction. Required web discussion. May be repeated for credit or audited for no credit. See http://etl.stanford.edu/ for more details.
Comment: "Great, easy class that brings world class names to Stanford. Go for one seminar, go to all of them, it's part of the Stanford experience."
MS&E285 - Negotiation (CEE 151 & ME 207)) Warning: Apply quarter before, very tough to get into.
Negotiation styles and processes to help students conduct and review negotiations. Workshop format integrating intellectual and experiential learning. Exercises, presentations, live and field examples, and individual and small group reviews. Application required before first day of class; see Coursework. Total enrollment limited to 50 students.
Comment: "Stan Christensen teaches this course Negotiation and Sustainable Development in the MS&E school and also is Managing Director and a founder of Arbor Advisors, a boutique investment bank focusing on the technology sector. He has nearly twenty years of experience in both transactional and operations roles and has worked on hundreds of transactions. Before starting Arbor, he was the General Manager of Eazel, a Linux-based software startup and also a long standing senior member of the Harvard Negotiation Project. It's an interesting class with a very different angle to other negotiation classes run at Stanford."
Unofficial Stanford Blog course guide
Still looking for an awesome class to lighten two quarters of capital markets? Not sure what else is out there? Try the Unofficial Stanford Blog course guide.
The weekly Energy Seminar, chaired by Professor Sally Benson and managed by the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford, informs the Stanford community about a wide range of energy and climate change issues and perspectives. The Energy Seminar is held on Wednesday afternoons, 4:15-5:15, throughout the academic year and the upcoming schedule is available on the Future Seminars page.
"One hour a week and a two page paper reflection paper at the end for one credit".