Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Curriculum

Lawyers consistently deal with issues that are governed by commercial law and bankruptcy. Many University of Richmond School of Law students will go into a private practice where they are likely to represent businesses or individuals who are making deals - buying things, leasing property, obtaining credit. Still others will be litigating or otherwise resolving disputes over deals that have not turned out as anticipated. Whether a "BigLaw" associate, an in-house lawyer or a sole practitioner, you cannot effectively represent your clients in negotiating deals or resolving disputes arising from deals gone sour without understanding commercial law and bankruptcy law.

Introductory Course

In light of the importance of commercial law to the private practice of law (and the bar exam), all students should consider taking the introductory course two credit course in Core Commercial Concepts. This course provides students with a "basic" overview of the legal concepts involved in selling goods, incurring payment obligations, and securing obligations. ("Basic" means that you can learn this stuff even though you were an Art History major and read only the cartoons in the Wall Street Journal – and don't always understand the cartoons.)

Upper-Level Commercial Law Courses

The Law School offers an uncommonly rich variety of upper-level electives designed to enhance students’ knowledge of commercial law and bankruptcy. These include (1) Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights, which explores what happens when an individual or business defaults on a debt, (2) Commercial Paper and Payment Systems, which explores creating and satisfying payment obligations (Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code), (3) Sales and Leases, an advanced contracts course that focuses on contracts to buy and sell goods (Articles 2 and 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code), and (4) Secured Transactions which covers the use of property other than land as collateral (Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code).


None of these upper-level commercial law courses is a prerequisite for the other. None of these courses precludes you for taking any other. While you are encouraged to take Core Commercial Concepts before taking any of the Upper-Level Commercial courses, that is not required.

Dual-Degree Programs

Law students may pursue a joint J.D./M.B.A. degree with the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business. Applicants for the dual degree program must meet the admission standards of the law school and the graduate division of the business school. Students accepted into this program will be permitted to count 12 semester hours of work in the law school toward satisfaction of the degree requirements of the M.B.A. program, and 12 semester hours of work in the M.B.A. program toward satisfaction of the degree requirements of the law school. Accordingly, students can meet the requirements for both degrees in four years.