Commercial Law Focus Area

The Commercial Law Focus Area provides a range of courses dealing with commercial exchanges, e.g., sales or leases of goods, in a variety of settings. The focus builds on the first-year Contracts class, the basis of which is bargained-for exchanges, and extends the learning from that course to more specialized bodies of law, such as the Uniform Commercial Code and the Bankruptcy Code, and to more specialized transactions. In order to complete the focus, students are required to take foundational courses in the Uniform Commercial Code and Bankruptcy. These courses cover the basic law governing the sale of goods, security interests in personal property, methods for providing for payment of obligations, and treatment of a debtor's obligation in a bankruptcy proceeding. Although all students who wish to complete the focus must take the foundational courses, they are not prerequisites to the elective courses in the focus area and can be taken in any order a student chooses. In addition to these courses, students may take a number of elective courses dealing with such areas as consumer protection and international business transactions. Importantly, the focus area contains a skills component -- a course in which students utilize their knowledge either in a live-clinic or externship setting or in a simulated drafting course. Students taking the focus are required to take one of these skills component courses.

The focus has several purposes. One is to give students a substantial body of knowledge and skills in dealing with a variety of commercial transactions. Another is to enable students to have an integrated educational experience within which they can learn a package of related substantive law and lawyering skills taught in context. Finally, the focus enables students to plan their upper-division curriculum in a coherent manner.

Students Who Should Take this Focus

The Commercial Law Focus Area is particularly well suited for students considering a commercial litigation practice, a business practice (one involving the planning of and drafting documents for commercial transactions), or a general law practice. In these practices, a lawyer is highly likely to encounter sales, financing, and payment matters, in addition to questions involving remedies and bankruptcy if a transaction turns bad. Lawyers in such practices, particularly those in a litigation or general practice, are also likely to encounter consumer-protection and products-liability questions that arise out of sales of goods and related transactions. Finally, the Commercial Law Focus Area is valuable to students who are interested in private international transactions because it provides training in the area of international business transactions and enables students to tie together legal treatment of domestic and international business transactions.

Commercial Law Faculty

Career Faculty
Steven Bender UCC Secured Transactions
Robert Chang Contracts
Sidney DeLong UCC Sales and Secured Transactions, Remedies
Diane Dick UCC Secured Transactions
Mark Chinen Contracts
John Kirkwood Law and Economics
Tayyab Mahmud Contracts
John Weaver Remedies

* Focus Area Chair (TBD)

Full-time Faculty
Joe Knight Payment Law, Financial Institutions, Contracts


Adjunct Faculty
Randolph Gordon Products Liability, Remedies
T.J. Parkes Advanced Real Estate
David Schoeggl Insurance Law
Paula Selis Consumer Law

Focus Area Requirements

Plan the completion of your focus area with a focus area tracking form.

Course Descriptions

Foundational Courses (all are required)

  • UCC Sales (3 cr)
  • UCC Secured Transactions (3cr)
  • Payment Law (2 cr)
  • Bankruptcy (3 cr)

Skills Component Courses (at least one course required)

  • Bankruptcy Judicial Externship (4 cr)
  • Bankruptcy Law Trustee Externship (3-4 cr)
  • Commercial Law Drafting Lab (1 cr)

Elective Courses (at least 8 credits required from the following list)

  • Basic Real Estate (3 cr)
  • Business Entities (4 cr)
  • Financial Institutions/Law (3 cr)
  • Consumer Law (3 cr)
  • Insurance Law (2 cr)
  • International Business Transactions (3 cr)
  • Products Liability (3 cr)
  • Remedies (3 cr)