Oxford Joins Law School to Educate Students in Law and Finance
Long considered a pioneer in transnational and business law, Columbia Law School has created a highly specialized educational opportunity to study law and finance at Oxford University.
The Columbia-Oxford Alliance in Law and Finance, slated to start in 2011, is the latest addition to the Global Alliance Program, in which the Law School has partnered with prestigious universities in Paris and Amsterdam to offer an enhanced study-abroad experience.
“We wanted to create a highly structured, organized program for those students interested in focusing their legal studies on a very specific field of law, while experiencing life in a foreign country,” said George A. Bermann, the Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law and the Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law.
The Oxford alliance, reserved exclusively for third-year students, will be highly competitive, Bermann noted, with five openings each year. Participants will be selected based on their level of interest, grasp of quantitative business law concepts, and completion of four prerequisite courses—Corporations, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities Regulation, and Corporate Finance.
“Oxford fits into the Global Alliance Program’s overall approach of giving students the chance to maximize their Law School experience with study at other preeminent institutions,” said Brian N. Gibson, the assistant dean for comparative and international programs at the Law School. “We’re building strength on strength.”
Law School students will spend January through March, taking rigorous courses offered through Oxford’s Masters in Law and Finance curriculum. Once that term ends, students may have the opportunity to apply for externships at firms and organizations in and around London.
The alliance will also provide Oxford’s graduate students the chance to audit Law School courses and conduct research under the guidance of faculty members. Merritt B. Fox, the Michael E. Patterson Professor of Law and the Nasdaq Professor for Law and Economics of Capital Markets, will serve as Columbia’s academic director of the program.
Faculty members will also participate in an exchange that will allow each institution to benefit from interactions with scholars on the other side of the Atlantic. This spring, Jeffrey Gordon, the Alfred W. Bressler Professor of Law, will co-teach two courses at Oxford and lead discussions related to global markets. At the same time, an Oxford professor will teach or co-teach a seminar-style comparative corporate governance or corporate/securities theory course at the Law School during the 2010 fall semester.
Bermann hopes to continue expanding the Law School’s network of institutional partnerships. Hong Kong is a potential site for a new global alliance. “When I came here 35 years ago,” he recalled, “we had only one international law course.”