Stetson Law launches a new Business Law Concentration

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Stetson Law now offers a new concentration in Business Law that is designed to hone skills and knowledge for those interested in pursuing careers in business law, including a strong focus on corporate and commercial law, tax law and related fields.

John Bartel
John Bartel

“It’s always been my belief that business and tax law touch every interaction with your client, so I was very happy to hear that Stetson Law officially sanctioned a business law concentration,” said John M. Bartel, a 3L J.D./M.B.A. candidate who enrolled in the new concentration.

The intense experiential curriculum includes opportunities in bankruptcy, intellectual property, documents of the deal, and much more to develop real world skills. Students will receive close mentoring from members of the faculty and can utilize Stetson Law’s partnerships with various financial, cybersecurity and other companies to further sharpen proficiencies and build relationships.

Prof. Theresa Pulley Radwan
Prof. Theresa Pulley Radwan

“We aim to help students find their niche within an area that is incredibly broad,” said Theresa J. Pulley Radwan, Transitional Business Administrator and Professor of Law. “They will get the coursework to prepare them and access to the key experiences to make them successful. That starts with a mentor and expands beyond the classroom to include clinics, externships, and networking. Our partnerships with area companies give students incredible opportunities to develop real world skills.”

A concentration is different from an undergraduate major in that students go beyond the course work with the help of their faculty member mentors, as well as possibly professionals outside the faculty, to think through the careers and network after graduation. Students interested in the concentration do not need an undergraduate degree in accounting or related field to apply for the program. Radwan said that is one great feature about the concentration; students who take Business Entities or similar courses in law school and realize they love it have a new opportunity to pursue that further.

Stetson Law is known for its strong experiential learning opportunities that include clinics, externships, and pro bono work, and students in the Business Law Concentration must complete area-specific legal pro bono and an externship. They will benefit from the College of Law’s existing partnerships with a variety of local companies, including Citi Group and cybersecurity giant KnowBe4. The latter created the KnowBe4 Cybersecurity Law Program Fund last year to support the establishment and growth of a cybersecurity law program within the Business Law Concentration, as well as merit-based scholarships.  Other opportunities include summer fellowships with the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar, In-House Counsel externship, and Intellectual Property externship.

Bartel had the opportunity to be a tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and an extern to The Honorable Catherine P. McEwen in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.

“I consider these experiences critical components of my education as a law student,” he said. “The coursework and experiences from the business law concentration prepared me for my summer associateship based around corporate and tax practice.”

After graduation, Bartel plans to enroll in a Tax LL.M. program to further specialize in the area.

Professor Andrew Appleby.
Prof. Andrew Appleby.

Stetson accepted approximately 25 second- and third-year students into the program this first year. The application process is a rolling one, so there is no hard deadline. Concentration requirements include 21 hours in the business law curriculum, a 3.0 overall GPA and not less than 2.5 in any business law requirement. Professor Andrew Appleby, one of 10 faculty members in the Concentration, recommends students take Business Entities and Federal Tax 1 in their 2L year, as well as tax law if they want to apply for the Concentration.  They must also demonstrate proficiency in finance and accounting principles and Microsoft Excel.  

Interested students can view the complete course requirements online:

Businesses interested in partnering with Stetson Law on mentoring students, offering externships or other opportunities should contact Professor Radwan at [email protected].