In order to graduate, candidates must successfully complete 24 credits while officially enrolled as a “degree-seeking” candidate. All students are required to take a Thesis course, a three-credit course in which the student will write a thesis. J.S.M. candidates must also take a course designed to prepare them for legal research and writing. Candidates must obtain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 over the 24 credits in order to be eligible to graduate; however, candidates may continue to take courses up to 36 credits to achieve the minimum grade point average.
There are five concentrations on which all learners have an opportunity to focus:
- Financial Services and Wealth Management
- International Tax
- U.S. Tax
- Bankruptcy and Restructuring
- Compliance and Risk Management
There is also an option to graduate without a concentration, allowing students to customize their courses.
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All first-term students in the Master of Law program begins with "First-Term Students" courses, then take concentration courses for the remaining terms.
|Concentrations||Fall 2013||Winter 2014||Spring 2014|
|International Taxation||Advanced International Taxation (ITX 676)||Special Topics in Taxation (ITX 679)*||Estate Planning and Taxation (ITX 681)|
|678 or 627*||Elective||
|United States Tax||
Civil Tax Procedure
|Estate Planning and Taxation (ITX 681)|
|676 or 678||Special Topics in Taxation (ITX 679)||Partnership Taxation (ITX 629)*|
|Financial Services and Wealth Management||Consumer Compliance (ITX 647)||
Law of Banking and Financial Institutions
Financial Crimes and Institutional Security
|Chartered Portfolio Manager and Investment Management (ITX 646)*||Loan Workouts, Debt Collection and Foreclosure (ITX 644)||Elective|
|Compliance and Risk Management||Consumer Compliance (ITX 647)*||
Law of Banking and Financial Institutions
Financial Crimes and Institutional Security
|Chartered Portfolio Manager and Investment Management (ITX 646)*||Loan Workouts, Debt Collection and Foreclosure (ITX 644)*||
Bank Secrecy Act
|Bankruptcy and Restructuring||
Law of Banking and Financial Institutions
|Consumer Bankruptcy (ITX 637)*|
|Consumer Compliance (ITX 647)*||Loan Workouts, Debt Collection and Foreclosure (ITX 644)*||664 or 660|
**Professional Research and Dissertation is a two-part course that culminates in the completion of a disseration, a requirement for graduation. The first term course (ITX 675A) prepares the student for the writing of the dissertation. The second part (ITX 675B) is the writing of the disseration. This second part of the course is spread out after the first term over the remaining terms of the student until completion of the dissertation. Tuition for 675A includes 675B as well.
Choose a course below to view the description.
This course for bankers, trust officers and compliance officers, is an in-depth comparative study of foreign national legal responses and international responses to the problems of money laundering, economic crime, terrorism and cyber-sabotage. This course is aligned with the Occupational Standards for the AMLRO approved by the Financial Services Skills Council and numerous Commonwealth regulatory authorities. Issues covered include the history of the criminalization and regulation of anti-money laundering; international and regional organizations involved in curbing money laundering; establishing a definition of money laundering and its elements; methods of money laundering; the interaction of organized crime groups and economic crime; the uses and abuses of international financial centers, and international configurations. A comparative survey of required AML regulations and compliance in major countries, i.e., United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, is undertaken. In addition, the course will examine Know Your Customer (KYC) concepts and applications such as customer identification programs (CIP), client due diligence (CDD) and politically exposed persons (PEPs); suspicious activity reports (SARs) and tipping off rules; and client privacy. Students also will study the new typologies of money launderers as well as some of the “tried and true” washing methods of transforming illicit money into respectable money. A portion of the course is reserved for an examination of the laws designed to take the profit from the criminal, such as asset forfeiture, and a new weapon of organized crime: cyber-crime.
This advanced course requires the student to analyze hypothetical cases and existing law to determine the best techniques to bring their advice all together for the wealth manager’s client. Students will learn how to collect the necessary information for a full analysis of the client’s needs. Students will learn how to evaluate client assets, client objectives, family dynamics, and family corporations. The student should be able to successfully examine a full case study analysis for any given wealth management situation and then provide a complete set of recommendations that are in the best interests of the client. This course involves case study, data collection and analysis, research, writing, legal citations, and a final project as part of its terminal course objectives. Moreover, the student will learn how to put a team together that can facilitate proposals. Topics include investments and jurisdictions and offshore investing, client asset analysis, estate planning analysis, wills and trusts, retirement plans, stock options, retirement analysis, fiduciary duties, asset protection, philanthropy, and international financial products for high net worth persons.
This course for bankers, trustee officers and compliance officers, is an in-depth comparative study of the U.S. legal responses to the problems of money laundering, economic crime, cyber-sabotage and terrorism financing. First, the course examines the USA Patriot Act and the five regulatory families of financial deposit-taking institutions, including an in-depth review of the FFIEC Manual throughout the course with numerous case studies. Other issues covered include the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the U.S. law of money laundering and asset forfeiture, OFAC, CIP and CDD programs, SARs, CTRs, record maintenance, and C&D orders. Further, this course examines US-specific compliance issues such as qualified intermediary rules (QI), issues associated with correspondent bank accounts, and the criminal liability implications of Pasquantino for financial intermediaries. This course covers material required for the compliance officer certification for the Institute of Certified Bankers of the American Bankers Association.
This course will examine business reorganizations under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. It will cover all aspects of Chapter 11 from filing to confirmation of a plan of reorganization, conversion or dismissal. Topics to be covered include good faith; venue; retention and compensation of attorneys, accountants and other professionals; first day orders; use of cash collateral; sale and lease of property; post-petition financing; small business and individual Chapter 11 cases; reshaping the bankruptcy estate through the Strong-Arm Clause, voidable preferences and fraudulent transfers; negotiation of a plan of reorganization; requirements for confirmation; voting on the plan; cram-down and the Absolute Priority Rule; effects of confirmation; modification of the plan.
The role of international consulting, tax firms, and financial institutions has expanded since the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act to include a mix of asset and portfolio management (securities investments), banking and insurance law. Cognizant of the extensive regulation in this area, advisors, tax lawyers, bankers, managers, compliance officers, and accountants are required to observe and utilize strategic investment-risk management skills while complying with regulatory requirements. This course analyzes investment management and the compliance issues involved while incorporating case studies, practical knowledge, and assessment of legal knowledge in the area of compliance and investment management. Topics include investment policy and law; fiduciary rules and regulations for investment advisors and managers; prudent investor rules; and investment products: mutual funds, ETFs and 401Ks; insurance products, services and regulation; hedge funds history and law; SEC and NASD regulation of RIAs (Registered Investment Advisors); stocks: fixed income, dividend, and growth; bonds (corporate and tax free); asset allocation and portfolio management; risk management; fundamental and technical analysis; measuring returns; client review and communication; disclosure; privacy; annual reporting; and investment management, legal compliance and ethics.
This course focuses on the basic practical topics and skills involved in wealth management, private banking, and high net worth consulting. Some domestic and international tax knowledge is required for this course so that the student may synthesize tax skills with related industry laws, financial services and product knowledge. Advising clients on a day-to-day basis may involve securities regulation, tax and portfolio management skills, estate planning and insurance analysis, international banking and economic awareness along with observing ethics and professionalism. Specific topics covered include client objectives and compliance, NASD and stock broker regulation & registered investment advisor law, investment or portfolio law and taxation, fundamentals of retirement law and taxation, wealth management fundamentals and strategy, trust, estate planning, insurance law and strategy, money banking and financial law and regulation, us economics, law, and fundamentals, client communication and client evaluation & review, portfolio and wealth management analysis, wealth management & high net worth private banking legal strategy, ethics, regulation, and CPA’s and lawyer integration.
An advanced course in tax procedure that addresses the structure of the US tax system; the IRS and other tax collection and enforcement agencies; administrative and judicial tribunals with jurisdiction; dealing with audits; administrative rulings; assessment of deficiencies and penalties; closing agreements; tax liens; statutes of limitation; claims for refund; hearings before the IRS Appeals Office, and civil and criminal aspects of tax fraud; ethical issues in engagement acceptance; confidentiality and the attorney-client evidentiary privilege; conflicts of interest; and tax shelters.
This survey course will take a walk around the different concentrations offered in the program. The first half of the course will analyze from a comparative perspective some of the different tax features of different systems from around the world. Core tax principles will be dissected and analyzed. The second half of the course will focus on general principles surrounding the financial services industry from both the United States and internationally.
This course will cover all aspects of consumer bankruptcy including both Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 debt adjustment. Topics to be covered include the principles of the fresh start and equality of distribution; the roles of the trustee in bankruptcy and United States Trustee; eligibility and the "means test"; good faith and "substantial abuse"; the automatic stay; property of the estate; discharge, challenges to discharge and dischargeability; treatment of secured creditors; claims and distribution; reshaping the bankruptcy estate through the Strong-Arm Clause, voidable preferences and fraudulent transfers; requirements for confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan; the Best Efforts and Best Interests of the Creditors Tests; modification of Chapter 13 plans.
Consumer financial services regulation is in rapid flux, creating high demand in the marketplace for compliance professionals who are trained in consumer financial services law. Designed for attorneys, bankers and other financial services professionals, this course covers the regulation of consumer financial services in the United States including mortgage lending, loan servicing, credit and debit cards, Truth in Lending, Equal Credit Opportunity, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and other topics. The course also will examine financial institution compliance policies and risk management.
Corporation Tax focuses on IRC Sections 301-362.This course addresses foundational corporate tax issues: C corps in comparison with S corps; income tax treatment of corporations and their shareholders arising out of corporate formation; capital structure; transfer of liabilities; distributions to shareholders; redemptions; divisive reorganizations and recapitalizations; liquidations; and restrictions applicable to loss corporations. Income Taxation or its equivalent is a prerequisite, except with special permission from the instructor or from the Assistant or Associate Dean.
An advanced course in estate and gift tax law that addresses basic foundational issues and also concentrates on the definition of taxable gifts; timing; estate tax exclusions and deductions; components of the gross estate and determination of the taxable estate of a decedent, including issues of lifetime transfers; valuation issues; deductions from the taxable estate with special emphasis on property passing to a spouse; an overview of generation skipping transfer taxation; and estate freezes..
An advanced course in criminal law and institutional security that concentrates on the prevention, detection and prosecution of fraud and other financial crimes, this course focuses particularly on international financial crimes, including tax evasion, money laundering and counter-terrorism, transnational corruption, transnational organized crime, and export controls and economic sanctions. In addition, it covers procedural aspects of criminal law enforcement in an international context, including extraterritorial jurisdiction, evidence gathering, extradition, and prisoner transfer. It also covers the role and activities of international organizations, including the United Nations, INTERPOL, the World Bank Group, and economic integration organizations. Additionally, this course provides an in-depth knowledge of the financial crime prevention industry, covering prevention and detection techniques on both a national and international level. Topics include: understanding and managing financial crime; international models and influences; prevention and detection of specific financial crime risks; business frauds; financial sector fraud investigation, prosecution, and recovery; and asset tracing, recovery and forfeiture.
Income Taxation introduces the fundamentals of US federal income tax applicable to individual taxpayers. Issues include an overview of the federal tax system; gross income, inclusions and exclusions; identity of the proper taxpayer; concepts and categories of deductions; basic timing principles; tax credits; and the tax aspects of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of property. Students who have already taken a basic course in U.S. federal income taxation may request permission to place out of this course.
This course will examine the tax aspects of bankruptcy practices in bankruptcy proceedings. Taxation is an emerging sub-specialty in bankruptcy practice. The course will consider such areas as the post-confirmation carry forward of losses, and tax planning for entities in financial difficulty. It also will cover the accounting principles and financial documents required in a bankruptcy case including monthly operating statements and disclosure statements, as well as pro-forma financial statements prepared as part of a proposed Chapter 11 plan.
Designed for tax lawyers, accountants, in-house tax planners, government officials, and other professionals who deal, or want to deal, with tax matters, this course provides an overview of global tax planning. It will examine sources of law; fiscal jurisdiction; the determination of taxable income for natural persons, corporate entities, business operations, and different types of income; how tax treaties affect the exercise of fiscal jurisdiction and limit the imposition of tax; and the problem of double taxation, including how jurisdictions may mitigate double taxation (and double-dipping of deductions and losses) under local law and tax treaties. The course also covers tax diagnostics for the multi-national enterprise (MNE) and the impact of politics and economics on tax policy. Tax treaties will be discussed both as a tool of tax avoidance for tax planners and as a tool for tax compliance, enforcement, and information collection by revenue authorities. The OECD, UN and US model tax treaties are used as teaching tools due to their overwhelming effect on international treaty policy, and other treaties are also studied from both a case law and case study perspective. Topics also include: interpretation and definitions of articles and terms; effective application; taxation of investment income; taxation of license fees and royalties; treaty shopping; limitation of benefits; an in-depth approach to the permanent establishment; allocation of income between related parties; non-discrimination toward foreigners; the 1992 United States-Netherlands treaty as an anti-avoidance model; and new treaty developments, such as TIEAs.
This course covers practical international transfer pricing issues faced by multinational corporate groups and revenue departments. The course examines transfer pricing regulations from the perspective of the OECD Guidelines and the US Treasury Regulations pursuant to IRC Section 482. The main concentration of the course concerns identifying comparables for the determination of arm’s length pricing. Other issues covered include using cost-plus and resale minus, developing cost sharing and profit split arrangements, contract manufacturing, transfer pricing compliance and record keeping, internal policy development, Revenue audit techniques, and advance pricing agreements.
This course will introduce students to the dual regulatory system governing financial institutions and the history and legal development of financial institutions through today's technology-driven financial markets and current reforms of the financial system. It will cover not only large banks and community banks, but also other financial institutions such as thrifts, credit unions, industrial banks, finance companies, money transmitters, payday lenders and mortgage brokers. Topics will include the organization and chartering of financial institutions, bank ownership structures and holding companies, restrictions on bank powers, preemption, regulatory examinations, understanding bank financial statements, the Federal Reserve System, the FDIC and OCC, bank mergers and acquisitions, bank failures and receiverships, non-traditional bank activities and products such as the sale of investment securities, insurance products, and derivatives, the Bank Secrecy Act and Patriot Act, and consumer protection laws governing financial institutions.
In this course, students will be introduced to the laws governing debt workouts, debt collection and foreclosure, both in the United States and abroad. Topics covered will include regulation of mortgage foreclosure, loan modification and debt settlement in the United States, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and related state laws, repossession and sale of movable goods, loan workout practices and procedures, creditors’ judicial remedies, consumer arbitration, and related subjects. In addition, cross-border loan workouts, commercial and international arbitration under ICC and AAA rules and other commercial dispute resolution and debt collection procedures will be discussed.
Partnership Taxation’s emphasis is the federal taxation of partnerships under Subchapter K and fiscally-transparent entities, such as limited liability companies (LLC's). Issues examined include contributions to and distributions from partnerships; formation, operation and liquidation; partnership operations; substantial economic effect regulations and special allocations; transfers of partnership interests; taxation of service partners; and effect of recourse and non-recourse liabilities and special basis adjustments. Income Taxation (ITX 650) or its equivalent is a prerequisite, and students who have not also taken Advanced Income Taxation or Corporation Tax require special permission from the Instructor.
This course is largely asynchronous and self-paced, though assignments have specified deadlines. The student must work through online modules and submit assignments for review by the professors.
The course is taught in two parallel tracks: Professional Research and Professional Writing.
Professional Research will introduce students to correct legal citation format, professional research methods and the most important legal research databases in the tax and financial services fields, with special attention to research using international materials. As part of the Professional Research track, students must enroll in and successfully complete certain lessons available online from the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI, www.cali.org/lessons). Students will become familiar with legal citation by completing self-paced exercises and then completing an online quiz using the Interactive Citation Workstation (http://www.lexisnexis.com/icw/).
Professional Writing will introduce students to legal writing and to the "IRAC" structure of legal memoranda. These skills are critical for students to succeed in the LL.M. and J.S.M. program. As part of the Professional Writing track, students must enroll in at their own expense, and successfully complete, an online program in English grammar for lawyers available commercially, called Core Grammar for Lawyers, www.coregrammarforlawyers.com.
Students registered in ITX 675A will require the following downloadable texts:
- The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. http://www.legalbluebook.com/Purchase/Products.aspx?op=Book
- McGaugh, Tracy and Hurt, Christine, Interactive Citation Work Book for The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (LexisNexis) ISBN 9781422485798.
Students who do well enough in the early modules of each track may be eligible to pass the course without completing the remaining modules. Students are strongly advised to begin the course modules, and to complete Core Grammar for Lawyers, during Orientation Period before they begin classes in their other courses. Please note that Core Grammar for Lawyers may require up to 12 hours to complete.
This course is the first part of a two part course, the conclusion of which will be the dissertation. Both parts of the course will train students on how to write and research for this dissertation. Culmination of 675A will be a 5 page professional paper on an area of interest for the student. The Program will assist top papers in being published.
Special Topics in Taxation addresses the federal income tax aspects of deferred payment transactions and like-kind exchanges, as well as the design and operation of employee benefit plans such as qualified pension and profit-sharing plans, non-qualified plans, and taxation of plan distributions. Various US International Taxation topics will be discussed as well, including tax treaties, nuances of the PE and domicile requirements and recent developments in the field.
The importance of Global Tax Risk Management (TRM) has been growing significantly since 2002 where new legal requirements established by regulators and legislators in connection with internal control, transparency and documentation. This development has given birth to the practice of TRM, which involves all aspects of taxation, such as transfer pricing, tax planning, VAT, compliance, M&A, tax structuring, tax avoidance etc.
There are many types of tax risks in a multinational corporation like, transaction risk, operation risk, compliance risk and financial risk etc and TRM is about identifying, analyzing, managing and minimizing all the significant tax risks as far as ‘reasonable practicable’. If corporations are able to identify, analyze, manage and minimize the tax risks, they should also be able to lower the total tax burden, the total administrative and compliance burden.
It is impossible to eliminate all tax risks in a corporation, but the purpose is to reduce the most significant risk as much as ‘reasonably practicable’. The course will cover how to identify such tax risks, how to draft tax policies, establish responsibilities for managers and employees in an organization and the main duties of a tax director. It will focus on the particular transfer pricing risks multinational corporations will face and how to deal with these risks. Furthermore, if we have time, we will cover TRM from the tax administration point of view and how they approach tax risks. It is useful for the tax practitioner to understand the tax administration’s TRM and visa versa.
The fact that International Fiscal Association (IFA) had TRM on their agenda on their 62nd Congress in Brussels in 2008 underlines the importance of TRM. Without doubt, the Board of Directors, tax advisors, managers and employees will have to pay far more attention to TRM the years to come. The course is very practical.
The European Union embraces 27 countries and 484 million people, and it deals with a wide range of tax and VAT issues of direct importance for individuals and corporations. Many international tax issues are on the agenda in the EU, such as transfer pricing, home state taxation, tax harmonization, Savings Directive, VAT and the Place of Supply, etc. Taxation within the EU is more important than ever. The European Court of Justice has made decisions on hundreds of tax and VAT cases, which affect corporations and individuals cross Europe. European Taxation addresses the importance of EU taxation and the European Court of Justice and their impact on each member state, corporations and individuals, as well as the fundamental principles within the Union. There will also be a focus on the taxation system of China, as well as a rotation of other large countries.