ANALYSIS: Classes that future restructuring attorneys should consider – Bloomberg Law | Vette Leader

So you’ve just completed your summer employee program and received an offer to work with the company’s bankruptcy and restructuring team. You may be wondering what law school courses to take in your senior year of law school to prepare for your freshman year of practice. The practice in Chapter 11 touches on almost every area of ​​law, but some key issues are more beneficial than others.

While your law firm will no doubt have attorneys who cover many of the topics listed below, law school classes can increase your awareness of issues in these areas and increase your sense of when the assistance of attorneys in other departments may be needed. Bankruptcy is also a cyclical practice, so it pays to think ahead of what your sub-specialty might be if Chapter 11 work is slow, and some of these courses might pique your interest and help you hone your skills.

Assuming you’ve already covered contracts, property, and business organizations – all of which are fundamental – as well as an introduction to bankruptcy classes, here are some courses to consider, which I’ve ranked in order of helpfulness:

Secured Transactions. You may have already enrolled in a course covering Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code secured transactions in preparation for the bar exam. But even if your case law no longer examines this, secured transactions are an essential subject of bankruptcy practice, particularly with regard to the perfection and precedence of security interests. The legal analysis skills acquired through studying Article 9 will also serve you well when working with the Insolvency Code.

Training and restructuring/advanced insolvency seminar. These seminars guide you through the Chapter 11 process and go beyond the basic concepts. You will learn about negotiations and strategies with creditors, the solicitation and voting process, and the various requirements for approval of a plan of reorganization.

Oral advocacy (clinics for litigation/litigation practice/mediation/negotiation). While your firm’s most experienced partners will handle high-profile, contentious bankruptcy court hearings, it’s important to start honing your oral advocacy skills. Much of the action in Chapter 11 takes place behind the scenes, and you may receive some negotiation assignments early on (perhaps to settle preference cases or raise objections). Confident and effective communication is essential to being a successful restructuring attorney.

Check with your advisor which courses teach oral defense as sometimes this is not clear from the course title (e.g. Fundamentals of Law).

accounting and finance. While debtors and Chapter 11 committees often hire financial advisors to handle the accounting aspects of a reorganization, an accounting course can help you better understand and communicate with financial advisors, analyze valuation issues, and become familiar with business lingo. classes a corporate finance and real estate financing Familiarize yourself with transactions involved in any major Chapter 11 case. If you like finance, you should also consider banking and securities regulation, discussed below.

Transactional seminars. Transactional work as a bankruptcy attorney varies widely, from compiling agreed assignments to drafting the terms of a reorganization plan. A transaction-oriented seminar—particularly one that focuses on an acquisition or financing transaction—will help you learn how to translate the terms of a deal into contract language.

Banking and Securities Regulation. These courses will familiarize you with the regulatory framework for various financing transactions. A banking supervision class can give you a deeper understanding of the terms of the debtor’s financing documents. While the bankruptcy law provides an exemption from the securities laws for the ex post collection and acceptance of most plans, you may encounter securities regulation problems if you undertake the preliminary collection of a pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan.

health care. This is a specialty with its own unique regulatory environment, financing transactions and business issues. A healthcare law class can familiarize you with the complex legal framework of the healthcare industry. Healthcare makes up a large percentage of the economy, so it’s more than likely that you’ll face a related bankruptcy at some point in your career.

If you are curious about any of the above areas of law, don’t forget to explore them Handy how-to suites on Bloomberg Law as well as the Bankruptcy Basics Toolkit.

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