Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Feb 24, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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TECH 5320 - Law for Non-Lawyers


Spring. 1 credit. Student option grading (no audit).

Enrollment limited to: Cornell Tech MBA, M.Eng., and MS students. JD and LLM students are not eligible to take this course. Johnson NYC students may register with permission of the instructor only. Offered in New York City at Cornell Tech.


This class introduces the principal legal issues involved in starting, managing and operating a technology-oriented business by entrepreneurs. It is intended to provide non-law students with an understanding of many of the laws and regulations to which developing businesses in the United States tech sector are typically subject—from the time an entrepreneur conceives and begins to build a business, implements a business plan, and obtains financing, to when she begins operations in anticipation of managing a mature company and considering possible exit strategies.

The instructor, a former corporate partner in a large New York City law firm, will adopt the role of a general counsel to a start-up company advising his client/students about how laws and regulations affect their businesses at various stages of development, as well as about typical key contractual terms and negotiating strategies. Practicing lawyers specializing in areas of the law–tax, intellectual property, employment law and others particularly relevant to start-up technology companies–will serve as guest lecturers.

The course is designed to impart an understanding not only about substantive areas of the law that intersect with tech businesses but also about the role that lawyers should—and should not –play in burgeoning business enterprises. Students will gain insights into how lawyers approach business problems and the benefits and limitations of such a perspective.

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