New Business Partnership Gives Columbia Law an Edge Over the Competition

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Columbia Law is taking big steps toward strengthening its Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets, and it’s doing so with the help of a very good friend. On June 4, the school received a three-year grant from the NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation, which will fund the advancement of the program by supporting the production of a seminal treatise on capital markets regulation and the development a more comprehensive website.

So what’s the big deal? The average tuition for one year of law school is $41,985, according to This inflated tuition has contributed to a downward trend in law school enrollment nationwide. But if innovative cross-disciplinary programs like Columbia’s capital markets regulation course are introduced, students might be compelled to pay more now to earn more in the future.

My colleague Matt DeWilde wrote about the University of Arizona’s tuition decrease and how the cut incentivizes students to attend three-year programs at cheaper tuition rates; however, three years with a smaller price tag still costs more than two. But there’s more that law schools could do than just slash prices. If law schools across the nation were to lower tuition and continue offering versatile courses like Columbia Law is doing, we could end up with better educated lawyers. The most valuable aspect of programs like this one is a student body that actually cares about the subject. Legal grads could become more proficient legal advocates with the help of partnerships like Columbia Business and Law and NASDAQ.

The Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets is jointly based in the Columbia Law School and the Columbia Business School. The first of its kind, it focuses on three main goals:

    1. To further develop the Capital Markets Regulation course and its materials in order to allow other institutions to take advantage of them.
    2. To draft a seminal treatise on capital markets regulation.
    3. To unite professionals through the Fellow Workshops to promote discussion of legal regulation of capital markets and economic forces that drive regulation.

The grant allows Columbia Law to continue providing courses in the up-and-coming field where business and law collide, without augmenting tuition. The program is directed by three seasoned scholars, Professors Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, and Edward F. Greene. In my interview with Professor Fox, he said that anywhere from 50 to 80 students enroll in the main course. By 2016 he and Professor Glosten hope to complete the seminal treatise, which will be the first text on capital markets to be used as a professional reference and teaching material for legal practitioners, market participants, and scholars.

Publishing the seminal treatise means facilitating the course at other institutions, which is just what this nation needs. Fox said the University of South Carolina School of Law will implement a capital markets regulation course in the upcoming school year, and that readily available materials of a hard text would stimulate other universities to adopt courses in the subject.

Another resource the grant will support is the NASDAQ OMX Fellow Workshops program. The workshops connect students with “experts from the legal and business academy, government, industry and legal practice for high-level discussions to the legal regulation of capital markets and the economic forces that shape markets and the regulatory environment.”

Most of the workshops are recorded and published on the program’s website. Students can use the workshops to network with the professionals in the field. “If someone became interested we would be able to connect them with one of the speakers in the program,” Fox said. Networking is a key aspect for aspiring lawyers in a time when the legal job market is rocky.

Due to low employment rates for legal post-grads, Columbia Law’s capital markets program will give participating students a new edge. And who doesn’t love being a little ahead? The combination of easily accessible materials and networking opportunities provide students with the upper hand in the post-graduation job hunt. With the support from NASDAQ, the program is sure to continue breaking ground in the blossoming field.

Congratulations, Columbia Law! Your capital markets program is sure to kick butt in a new era of legal studies.

Natasha Paulmeno (@natashapaulmeno)

Featured image courtesy of [Luis Villa del Campo via Flickr]

Natasha Paulmeno
Natasha Paulmeno is an aspiring PR professional studying at the University of Maryland. She is learning to speak Spanish fluently through travel, music, and school. In her spare time she enjoys Bachata music, playing with her dog, and exploring social media trends. Contact Natasha at



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