Law School for Everyone: Corporate Law

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great overview course This course is excellent. It covers key topics in corporate law in a concise, understandable manner. Highly recommend it.
Date published: 2020-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it... hope there are more law school courses coming.
Date published: 2020-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great overview For someone that is curious about corporate law and wants to get a broad and in-depth overview of the field -- I found this course extremely rewarding.
Date published: 2020-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from OK This short course (12 lectures vice the more common 24) is aimed primarily at directors and executives. It is good, but only within that narrow focus. Topics include who can represent a corporation, responsibilities and liabilities of executives, securities, and acquisitions and takeovers. Obviously, these topics are fun but of limited use to most potential students. I used the video version but I think that the audio would have been just fine.
Date published: 2020-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great value for the price I bought this for future reading because it had an unbeatable price.
Date published: 2019-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic course! Prof. Geis is a very engaging lecturer who does a terrific job in this course of explaining the important concepts in corporate law in an entertaining and readily comprehensible way. I have extensive experience in this subject matter but found Prof. Geis's lectures enlightening and useful. He is easy to listen to, has a nice sense of humor, and has the ability to break down complicated concepts in ways that will make the course accessible to, and enjoyable for, the novice and expert alike. I listened to the audio version of this course, which I found entirely satisfactory. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2019-10-17
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Law School for Everyone: Corporate Law
Course Trailer
Questions and Conflicts in Corporate Law
1: Questions and Conflicts in Corporate Law

Begin the course by familiarizing yourself with the key players in a corporation, including stockholders, creditors, boards of directors, officers (such as CEOs and CFOs), and employees. Then, consider some of the fundamental questions involved in corporate law, exemplified by the 1919 decision in Dodge v. Ford Motor Company.

30 min
Corporations and Their Agents
2: Corporations and Their Agents

The law of agency, which governs agents (such as Hollywood agents and sports agents) is one of the most important areas of law which most people have never heard of. Here, explore key topics in agency law, including how an agency relationship is formed and the details of fiduciary duties (special legal obligations agents owe to their principals).

27 min
Things Corporations Can and Cannot Do
3: Things Corporations Can and Cannot Do

Take a closer look at the history and nature of corporations and how they behave. How did corporations begin in the United States? What do you need to create a corporation today? What can a corporation legally do after it has been established? Professor Geis answers these and other eye-opening questions.

30 min
Boards of Directors and the Duty of Care
4: Boards of Directors and the Duty of Care

There are a number of different obligations in corporate law for boards of directors. In this lecture, focus on the first fiduciary requirement: the duty of care. Generally speaking, the duty of care requires directors to behave carefully when they make decisions about what their corporation will do.

28 min
Business Opportunities and the Duty of Loyalty
5: Business Opportunities and the Duty of Loyalty

According to the duty of loyalty, directors and senior executives must put their corporation’s interests ahead of their own. What happens when the law should worry about an executive’s loyalty? How do the duty of loyalty and the business judgment rule interact? What can we learn from a 2004 court case involving eBay shareholders?

29 min
Executive Pay and the Duty of Good Faith
6: Executive Pay and the Duty of Good Faith

Explore two of the most important contexts for the duty of good faith in corporate law: executive compensation and the obligation of a board to monitor its firm’s activities. Learn how courts evaluate how much executive pay is too much, and how the “Caremark standard” requires corporate directors to ensure their firm doesn’t engage in illegal activities.

29 min
Shareholder Lawsuits: Goals and Limitations
7: Shareholder Lawsuits: Goals and Limitations

Why—and how—do shareholder lawsuits come about? Who gets to control the litigation of them? What can corporations do to get rid of pesky cases that aren’t in the best interest of most shareholders? More generally, how do boards of directors delegate governance? Tackle these and other questions in this lecture.

29 min
Securities Regulation and Fraud
8: Securities Regulation and Fraud

Some shareholder lawsuits are managed by an entirely different set of laws, known as federal securities laws. Discover how federal law has stepped in to regulate corporate fundraising and trading activity (including the creation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the 1930s) and has put a stop to fraudulent statements.

27 min
Insider Trading Laws and Their Complexities
9: Insider Trading Laws and Their Complexities

Using two landmark court cases (SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur and Chiarella v. United States) and our country’s strong tradition of buyer/seller beware, examine the legal complexities of insider trading laws. Thanks to an ambiguous patchwork of laws, some trades are allowed while others are prohibited.

29 min
Corporate Control Battles and the Law
10: Corporate Control Battles and the Law

Take a deep dive into the world of internal shareholder fights for control: how they work and what rules can tip the balance of power. You’ll explore ways to influence managerial decision-making, including proxy fights (which can get very expensive) and shareholder proposals (which act like voter propositions for a popular referendum).

28 min
Corporate Law of Mergers and Acquisitions
11: Corporate Law of Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are extreme events in the life of a corporation. They can catapult a new corporation to success—or sink CEOs. Professor Geis explains the reasons companies merge, the business synergies that two firms hope to attain by merging, what merger lawyers do, and a special type of merger knowing as a “cash-out” merger.

29 min
Hostile Takeovers, Defenses, and the Future
12: Hostile Takeovers, Defenses, and the Future

First, explore the inner workings of hostile takeovers of all kinds, where individuals (or entire companies) try to take over another company against its will. Then, Professor Geis offers some bold predictions about five topics in corporate law everyone should keep their eyes on in the years to come.

31 min
George S. Geis

Corporations have a tremendous influence on our lives. Corporate law is societies means of facilitating the good that corporations do while reining in bad behavior. Setting the boundaries of fair play so that different players can focus their energy and resources on productive efforts.


University of Chicago


University of Virginia School of Law

About George S. Geis

George S. Geis is the William S. Potter Professor of Law at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law. He is also the faculty director of the John W. Glynn, Jr. Law & Business Program, and he previously served as the UVA School of Law’s vice dean. Professor Geis received a B.S. in finance from the University of California, Berkeley, and he earned a J.D. with honors and an M.B.A. with honors from The University of Chicago. Before his appointment to the UVA School of Law faculty, Professor Geis taught at The University of Alabama School of Law. He also spent five years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he served clients on corporate strategy, merger planning, and many other issues. 


Professor Geis teaches courses on contracts, corporations, agency and partnership, accounting, and corporate finance. He has won numerous teaching awards, including the 2019 All-University Teaching Award at UVA. He has also taught courses as a visiting professor at The University of Chicago; Georgetown University Law Center; the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India; the University of Auckland in New Zealand; and the University of Trento in Italy.


Professor Geis is the coauthor of Digital Deals: Strategies for Selecting and Structuring Partnerships, a book on business partnership and alliance strategies. His articles include “Traceable Shares and Corporate Law,” published in the Northwestern University Law Review; “Internal Poison Pills,” published in the New York University Law Review; and “Ex-Ante Corporate Governance,” published in The Journal of Corporation Law. His work has also appeared in many other leading academic journals. 


Professor Geis’s research focuses on problems related to business alliances, merger transactions, shareholder litigation, and other topics involving the intersection of law and business.

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