Richmond Law & Business Forum

The Richmond Law & Business Forum is a co-curricular program at the University of Richmond School of Law that helps students learn about the practice of business law and connect with business lawyers.  Directed by Professor Jessica Erickson and supported by a student advisory board, we hold approximately 25 events each academic year, introducing students to different practice areas related to business law, helping students understand key business concepts, and fostering discussions about important business law topics. 

Our signature events are our Business Law over Dinner or Lunch series where 2-3 lawyers in a specific practice area meet with 6-10 students interested in this practice area.  These dinners and lunches allow informal conversation about business law and the practice of law more generally.  In the past, we have had lunches and dinners focused on general transactional law, securities & finance law, intellectual property law, real estate law, business litigation, non-profit organizations, international business law, and many other areas.

  • January 2024

    Business Law Over Dinner and Lunch Events

    We will have multiple dinners throughout the semester with lawyers who practice in specific areas of business law.  This spring, the dinners will focus on in-house practice, transactional law, and bankruptcy law.  These dinners are among our most popular events, and spots are extremely limited.  Students can express interest in one of these spots by registering at https://bit.ly/forumdinners by January 26.  Only Forum members are eligible to attend, and the Forum covers the full cost.

    Beyond the Billables: The Art of Client Development

    Tuesday, January 30 at Noon, Room 128

    Successful lawyers need to attract and retain clients, but they typically do not learn these skills in law school.  At this event, three practicing lawyers will share their tips on client development.  They will address when new lawyers need to start bringing in clients, the top ways to attract new clients, and how client development impacts success in a law firm.  This event is part of a new series called “Beyond the Billables” that offers insights into the business behind the practice of law. 

  • February 2024

    Business Law over Dinner: Bankruptcy Law

    Thursday, February 8

    This dinner will focus on a bankruptcy law practice. It will feature three lawyers who specialize in bankruptcy law, along with several students interested in this area. Spots at this event are limited. 

    Business Law Connections

    Monday, February 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Law School Commons

    At this event, students will have the opportunity to meet and network with lawyers from a variety of business law practices. The event will feature small group discussions with individual lawyers about their career paths and day-to-day practices, as well as opportunities for students to talk to lawyers more informally.  The event will be catered, and participation will be capped at 35 students to allow for discussion.

    Alumni Spotlight with Rick Klau

    Friday, February 16 at Noon, Room 128

    Have you ever wondered if you can use your law degree to work in the business world?  At this event, Rick Klau will share his remarkable career path.  After graduating from Richmond Law, he started working in technology companies, eventually becoming a Senior Operating Partner at Google Venture, Google’s venture capital arm, before serving as the Chief Technology Innovator for the State of California.  He is now CEO of his own start-up.  He will share how law students can use their skills to build a career in business and what he thinks law students should know about the business world.  

    Business Law over Dinner: Transactional Practice

    Wednesday, February 21

    This dinner will focus on a transactional practice. It will feature three lawyers who specialize in this area, along with several students interested in this area. Spots at this event are limited. 

    Business Law over Dinner: Transactional Practice (Woods Rogers)

    Week of February 25

    This dinner will focus on a transactional practice. It will feature three lawyers from the law firm of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black who specialize in transactional law, along with several students interested in this area. Spots at this event are limited. 

  • March 2024

    Business Law over Dinner: In-House Practice

    Wednesday, March 20

    This dinner will focus on an in-house practice. It will feature three lawyers who work in the legal departments of different companies, along with several students interested in this area of practice. Spots at this event are limited. 

    Law & Business Forum Happy Hour

    We are trying to schedule a Forum happy hour at a local brewery.  Stay tuned for more information!

    Building a Career in Cryptocurrency or Other Emerging Practice Areas

    Monday, March 4 at Noon, Room 128

    Have you ever wondered about how to break into an emerging area of law?  At this event, Daniel Payne (L’09) will discuss how he was able to build a practice in the area of cryptocurrency.  He currently serves as general counsel to several blockchain companies, and he has developed an expertise in advising these companies in the myriad issues they face in the current unsettled U.S. regulatory environment.  He also served as a shareholder and leader of Murphy & McGonigle’s FinTech & Blockchain Practice Group.  He will address the challenges and opportunities of practicing law in an emerging area.    

    Navigating the Business Law Curriculum

    Monday, March 25 at Noon, Room 101

    At this event, Professor Jessica Erickson will provide an overview of the business law course offerings, discuss the pathways through the curriculum, and answer student questions.  Lunch will be served.

  • April 2024

    What Your Business Clients Want You to Know About Mergers & Acquisitions

    Monday, April 1 at Noon, Room 128

    Law school can teach you about the law of mergers & acquisitions, but your business clients want you to understand the business behind these deals.  In this noon event, business legends Roger Schnorbus and Fred Bryant will share what they wish their lawyers knew about mergers & acquisitions.  Mr. Schnorbus was a senior executive at Campbell Soup Company for thirty years, and he has also taught Strategy, Innovation Management, and Mergers/Acquisitions at the Robins School of Business.  Mr. Bryant is a graduate or the Robins School of Business, and he has founded and run multiple successful businesses in the Richmond area. 

    Into the World of Practice

    Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11 from 12:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Dean’s Conference Room

    Are you joining a business law practice after graduation, or do you hope to do so?  These lunches will feature a candid discussion with recent graduates of Richmond Law who are now working in business law.  We will discuss what they have learned, what they wish they had known when they started, and the advice they have for students planning to work in this area.  Spots at this event are limited.  Please contact Professor Jessica Erickson if you are interested in attending.

  • Fall 2023 Events

    Richmond Law & Business Forum Kick-Off Event

    Tuesday, September 12 at noon in Room 101

    Professor Jessica Erickson will introduce the Richmond Law & Business Forum, describe this year’s events, and explain how students can join.  Christian’s Pizza will be served.

    The 2023 Banking Crisis and the Basics of Banking Law

    Wednesday, September 27 at noon in Room 101

    From bank failures to regulatory changes, banks have been at the center of the news over the last year.  At this event, Professor Da Lin will discuss the causes of bank failures, the basic rationales for regulating banks, and the primary mechanisms that govern bank regulation.

    This event is part of our Snapshots series, which are hour-long presentations providing an overview of a specific area of business law so you can go into your summer job or career with this knowledge.  Richmond Law typically does not offer a semester-law course in banking law, so this event is a great opportunity to learn about this important area.  Christian’s Pizza will be served.

    Business Law over Dinner: Securities & Finance Law

    Wednesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m.

    Our Business Law over Dinner series allows small groups of students to learn about a specific practice area by having dinner with lawyers who work in this area.  This dinner will include 2-3 lawyers who specialize in securities law, as well as 5 students interested in the practice area.

    Diversifying the Practice of Business Law

    Thursday, October 12 at noon in Room 101

    At this event, lawyers of color will share their experiences practicing business law, as well as offer suggestions on how all lawyers can help diversify this practice area.  The speakers at this event include Faith Alejandro (Sands Anderson, P.C.), Adam Harrell (Harrell & Chambliss LLP), and Daniel Howell (McGuireWoods). The Forum is partnering with the Black Law Student Association and Richmond Women’s Law on this event.  Jersey Mike’s subs will be served. 

    Business Law over Dinner: Corporate Transactions

    Thursday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m.

    Our Business Law over Dinner series allows small groups of students to learn about a specific practice area by having dinner with lawyers who work in this area.  This dinner will include 2-3 lawyers who specialize in transactional law, as well as 5 students interested in the practice area.

    Business Law over Lunch: Representing Non-Profit Organizations

    Wednesday, October 18 at 12:15 p.m. in the Dean’s Conference Room

    Our Business Law over Lunch series allows small groups of students to learn about a specific practice area by having lunch with lawyers who work in this particular practice area.  At this lunch, students will have lunch with three lawyers who regularly work with or represent non-profit organizations.  These lawyers include Claire Guthrie Gastanaga (Partner at Dunlap Law and former Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia), Robin Starr (former Chief Executive Officer of the Richmond SPCA), and Bruce Thomas (Consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).  Professor Erickson will also attend the lunch. Spots are limited, and pre-registration is required.

    Businesses and the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

    Wednesday, October 25 at noon in Room 101

    Artificial intelligence has the potential to change nearly every aspect of our society, and business lawyers need to be prepared for these Changes.  In this first-of-its-kind event at Richmond Law, we will explore what business lawyers need to know about artificial intelligence and how they can evaluate the emerging legal risks and opportunities.  Our speakers will include Jamie Dattilo, L’09 who works in privacy and data policy at Meta, and Professor Anne Toomey McKenna. Christian’s Pizza will be served. 

    Business Law over Dinner: Intellectual Property Law

    Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m.

    Our Business Law over Dinner series allows small groups of students to learn about a specific practice area by having dinner with lawyers who work in this area.  This dinner will include 2-3 lawyers who specialize in intellectual property law, as well as 5 students interested in the practice area. 

    Beyond the Billables: The Economics of Large Law Firms

    Thursday, November 2 at noon in Room L150

    How do law firms function as a business? At this event, Wendell Taylor, L’18 and Managing Partner at Hunton Andrews & Kurth’s Washington, D.C. office will discuss the economics of large law firms.  He will what it really means to be a partner at a large law firm, how associates contribute to a firm’s bottom line, and how firms decide how to price their work.  This event is part of a new series called “Beyond the Billables” that offers insights into the business behind the practice of law.   

    Business Law over Lunch: International Business Law

    Wednesday, November 8 at 12:15 p.m. in the Dean’s Conference Room

    Our Business Law over Lunch series allows small groups of students to learn about a specific practice area by having lunch with lawyers who work in this area.  Our lunch on November 8 will focus on international business law, and it will feature Greg Golden, a Richmond Law alumnus who works as international legal counsel for Northrop Grumman’s international business, operations, and pursuits outside of the UK, Europe, and Australia.

    Business Law over Dinner: Business Litigation

    Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m.

    Our Business Law over Dinner series allows small groups of students to learn about a specific practice area by having dinner with lawyers who work in this area.  This dinner will include 2-3 lawyers who specialize in business litigation, as well as 5 students interested in the practice area. 

    What Business Lawyers Need to Know About Finance

    Thursday, November 16 at noon in Room L171

    How much do business lawyers need to know about the world of business?  In this noon event, Stefan Piotrowski from Paladin Management will discuss key business concepts that are relevant to business law.  Mr. Piotrowski has a unique background working in financial and operational restructuring, and he has worked with many lawyers in this role.  In this candid conversation, he will share what he wishes lawyers knew about business and provide tips on how students can gain this core business knowledge. Chick-fil-A wraps will be served.

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  • Non Profit 1

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