Business Law Certificate

Students who pursue our business law certificate will graduate with a robust framework that will support them in their work as business law practitioners or policymakers, whether within Canada or abroad.

Students interested in registering for Business Law Specialization Certificate must download and complete the registration form and then send it to bizlaw@dal.ca as early as possible and ideally at the start of their first year.

Specialization Requirements

The certificate has five major components:

  • First, students must take the foundational Business Associations course in second year.  (Note that Business Associations is a pre-requisite for several other business law courses.)
  • Second, students must take at least four courses from the Corporate Stakeholders” category, designed to give students adequate grounding in understanding the duties required to meet the “best interests of the corporation” legal requirement.
  • Third, students must take one course that sets business law and policy in its international economic context. 
  • Fourth, each student must take at least one course from the capstone skills basket.  These capstone offerings help students consolidate their substantive knowledge of business law in an applied context. 
  • Finally, every student must complete two days in a required, but non-credited, business law intensive. 

1. Mandatory Foundation (1 course)

  • LAWS 2002 Business Associations (4 credits)

Every student must take Business Associations, the foundation for the business law program, in their second year.

2. Corporate Stakeholders (At least 4 courses)

Every director and officer of a corporation must “act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the corporation”.  To fulfil this obligation, they may consider the interests of shareholders, employees, creditors, consumers, governments, and the environment, as well as the long-term interests of the corporation. 

Students must take at least one course from four of the following five baskets, designed to support students’ understanding of decision-making in the corporation’s best interests.

a. Shareholders and stakeholder foundations

  • LAWS 2138 -Securities Regulation (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2216 Current Issues in Corporate Law (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2373 International Investment Law (3 credits)

b. Employees

c. Commercial Law

d. The environment

  • LAWS 2104 Environmental Law I (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2153 Business and Environmental Law (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2213/ LAWS 2214  Energy Law (2/ 3 credits)
  • LAWS 2353 Purdy Crawford Seminar - Sustainable Investing (2 credits) (for 2022-23 )

e. The government

  • LAWS 2029 Taxation I (4 credits)
  • LAWS 2016 Taxation of Corporations (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2169 Competition Law (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2059 Taxation III (2 credits)

3. Business in its international economic context (At least 1 course)

All businesses, no matter how small, engage in an increasingly globalized economy.  This requirement introduces students to some of the legal complexity businesses face in the international environment.  Students must take one of the following courses:

  • LAWS 2005 Private International Law (4 credits)
  • LAWS 2056 International Trade Law (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2211/ LAWS 2212 Law of International Trade and Shipping (2\3 credits)
  • LAWS 2269 Tax II - International Taxation (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2273 International Investment Law (3 credits)

4. Skills Capstone (At least 1 course)

The courses in this basket (the skills capstone) have as their focus the development of applied skills (drafting, oral argument, negotiation etc.).  They are not primarily focused on building a broad matrix of substantive knowledge evaluated by high-value final exam or by major paper.  Each student must take at least one course from the following list of courses:

  • LAWS 2129 Corporate Transactions (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2144 Corporate/Securities Law Moot (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2245 Bowman Taxation Moot (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2177 Labour Arbitration Moot (2 credits)
  • LAWS 2250 Willms and Shier Environmental Law Moot (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2281 International Commercial Arbitration (1 credit)
  • LAWS 2298 Advanced Commercial Drafting: Private Equity and Public M&A (1 credit)
  • LAWS 2180 Directed Research Project (on a business law topic) (3 credits)
  • LAWS 2180 Directed Research Project (Creative Destruction Lab-Atlantic) (3 credits)

5. Business Law Certificate Intensive (2 days)

Students in the certificate must complete two days in the business law certificate intensive.  The intensive will not count for credit and will not be graded.  Topics addressed may vary.  The intensive will be scheduled for two days in late April (following 1L exams) or for a weekend in the fall semester.

Additional regulations:

  • If a student is participating in an exchange program, they can request that courses from that exchange be credited towards the certificate. The course cannot duplicate a course that the student has taken at the Schulich School of Law. The burden is on the student to demonstrate that the substance and quality of the course fits within the parameters of the certificate, for example, by providing the course description, syllabus, etc. The Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law has the final authority to approve the request.  If the course is approved, the student will not be subsequently permitted to receive credit for a course at Schulich which, in the opinion of the Associate Dean (Academic), has undue overlap with the course taken on exchange.
  • A student may substitute a directed research paper for one of the courses in category 2 or 3. Only one DRP may be applied towards the Certificate requirements.
  • Additional one-credit intensive courses may be added to the curriculum schedule at short notice. The Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law will notify students if any such additions can be counted towards the Business Law Certificate.