Inaugural Business Law Boot Camp Course Teaches Students Essentials of Business Transactions

May 9, 2016

Inaugural Business Law Boot Camp Course Teaches Students Essentials of Business Transactions

WACO, Texas –

The inaugural Business Law Boot Camp, an intensive intersession course between the spring and summer quarters, kicked off on Sunday, May 1, and concluded on Friday, May 6.

The course offered a very practical perspective on multiple aspects of business and its legal requirements and implications, including forming a business, commercial borrowing, raising capital, trademark and advertising issues, succession planning, selling a business, basic accounting, contract drafting, and negotiation skills. Students took part in special networking events and supplemental opportunities for professional development and mentoring throughout the duration of the course.

"The Boot Camp was unlike any other experience offered by Baylor Law School,” said Ian Todd, a current 3L student. “Each guest lecturer taught a different aspect of transactional law, and by the end of the week we were able to see the interrelatedness of each of these areas. In addition to the coursework, we were treated to multiple networking opportunities, including lunches and dinners with attorneys, and a reception sponsored by Haynes and Boone in the President's Suite at McLane Stadium. We were incredibly lucky to have been a part of this class!"

"This new course was taught by a team of adjunct professors who are well established, highly regarded transactional lawyers," said Elizabeth Miller, professor of law and the driving force behind the Business Law Boot Camp. "The adjunct faculty for the course did a masterful job of relating to the students and providing clear, practical instruction and insight. By weaving their experiences into the material they were teaching, the adjunct faculty really brought the material to life for the students."

Professor Beth Miller, Director of the Baylor Law School Business Law Boot Camp, talks about the exciting new program.
Business Law Bootcamp Class 2016
Professor Miller (front row, first from the left) and guest lecturer John F. Lyle (front row, first from the right) pose with the class of the inaugural Baylor Law School Business Law Boot Camp.

The students were not the only participants who gave high marks to the Boot Camp -- the adjunct faculty who participated in the course enjoyed their experience as well. "It was a treat to participate in the inaugural Baylor Law School Business Law Boot Camp. Many law schools do little to prepare law students for a transaction-based law practice. Baylor Law School is out in front with this new program," said Tom Harris, who taught the portion of the course covering sale of a business. "The course was comprehensive and practical. Business Law Boot Camp is something I would have liked very much to have attended while I was a student."

The students appreciated the unique nature of the course, which was intense -- the students spent 5 to 6 hours per day in the classroom -- but the format of the course kept the students engaged by exposing them to lawyers from various settings with various styles of communication, often including interactive means of covering the material. The course also provided students opportunities to get to know the lawyers outside the classroom. Haynes and Boone hosted a reception for students and faculty at the Baylor Club at McLane Stadium, and students had the opportunity during the week-long course to go to dinner with visiting faculty members.

"The Boot Camp students worked hard and processed lots of information," said Harris. "The reception my firm hosted for the students fell on the evening of the day the students took their mid-term exam. I was surprised to hear Professor Miller included a mid-term exam in a one-week class, but then I remembered this was Baylor Law School -- no coasting allowed! The students must have been exhausted, but they attended the reception and were willing to discuss the subjects covered in the mid-term exam. It was clear to me they were really engaged with the subject matter. In the M&A class the following morning, I fielded lots of spot-on questions from the students about the M&A issues we were discussing."

Students who participated in the inaugural Boot Camp this year said they would definitely recommend the course to other students next year. "I think that any student who is seriously considering transaction work would benefit greatly from the program," said Chris Oblon (3L graduating senior). "Having finished the transaction concentration and capstone, I thought it would be a great way to close out my time at Baylor. I really enjoyed the variety of topics and approachability of the professors both during and outside of their presentations."

This unique course opportunity was made possible by the generous support of Bill Shaddock, Haynes and Boone, LLP, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., Greg Looser, and Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP.

Faculty for the course included (graduation year of those who are Baylor lawyers noted parenthetically):

John F. Lyle, III
Partner at Adams and Reese LLP in Mobile, Alabama

Cristin Conley Keane
Shareholder at Carlton Fields in Tampa, Florida

Claudia Coscia (J.D. '96)
Deputy General Counsel for Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas

Carmen I. Flores
Director of the Business & Public Filings Division of the Office of the Secretary of State of Texas

Briana Godbey
Manager of the Legal Department of the Business & Public Filings Division of the Office of the Secretary of State of Texas

Sara Wagner
Staff Attorney at the Business & Public Filings Division of the Office of the Secretary of State of Texas

Mollie Duckworth
Partner at Baker Botts in Austin, Texas

Rick Brophy (J.D. '77)
Partner at Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP in Waco, Texas

Jennifer Lindsey (J.D. '06)
Partner at Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP in Waco, Texas

Matt Czimskey (J.D. '12),
Associate Attorney at Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP in Waco, Texas

D. Hull Youngblood, Jr. (J.D. '76)
Of Counsel for Ford Murray PLLC in San Antonio, Texas

Mike Bourland (J.D. '69)
Shareholder at Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas

David Dunning (J.D. '94)
Shareholder at Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas

Tom D. Harris (J.D. '89)
Partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Dallas, Texas

Christina Marshall
Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Chalak Mitra Group in Dallas, Texas

Shanna Nugent
Shareholder at the Law Offices of Shanna Nugent, P.C. in Dallas, Texas

E. Steve Bolden
Shareholder at Mahomes Bolden PC in Dallas, Texas

Luncheon speakers included:

Mark Curriden
Founder of Texas Lawbook and author of Contempt of Court: A Turn-of-the-Century Lynching that Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism, from Dallas, Texas

Greg Looser (J.D. '94)
Co-Founder and Partner, Clarion Offshore Partners, LLC, from Houston, Texas

Baylor Law School appreciates the alumni, students and friends of Baylor Law who made the inaugural Business Law Boot Camp a success, and we look forward to the 2nd Annual Business Law Boot Camp

For more information about Baylor Law School's Business Law Boot Camp, please contact Professor Beth Miller at

CONTACT: Berkley Knas

Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,200 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as #4 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked No. 55 in the magazine's 2017 edition of “America's Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law in its top 10 law schools for practical training, and second best value in private legal education in the nation. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 D1 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big XII Conference. Learn more at

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