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The LLM curriculum will teach you the legal principles and practical business applications you need to support and lead technology companies in the increasingly complex and dynamic digital economy.

You’ll explore the public policy and legal frameworks that promote or limit innovation, and analyze the institutional, legal, and business issues that affect technology-related startups. You'll also participate in the Cornell Tech Studio, a required series of experiential courses in which you'll develop a new product idea for a real company challenge and/or create your own startup.

Past Program Courses

This listing represents courses that have been offered as part of the program in prior years.  Specific courses are subject to change and may not be available every year. To see what is being offered in the current year, please refer to the Cornell University Class Roster.

LLM Program Courses

Business Fundamentals

This course is an introduction to fundamental concepts in business management – strategy, finance and financial accounting, marketing, organizational design, operations management, and negotiations – that are crucial knowledge for any entrepreneur and/or product manager. The course will help you learn the 'language of business,' and prepare you to take business electives in the near term and to run your own firm or product unit in the not-too-distant future, after you graduate from Cornell Tech. Business Fundamentals is not just economics, psychology, sociology, or mathematics, but draws from all of these disciplines. As a result, some of the concepts may sound familiar to some of you, but we will focus on understanding how they are applied to real-world business problems. In order to do so, we will use business cases and exercises in addition to lectures. Analyzing a case study and the resulting deductive learning will help you think in a different way, and will teach you to be comfortable with ambiguity, uncertainty, and contingencies, which are inevitable realities of business life. The general structure of the course is to introduce core concepts in each business area – strategy, finance/accounting, marketing, organizational design, operations management, and negotiations – through a lecture and a reading and then to apply those concepts in analyzing a custom-written case that draws from current business news.

Employment Law

Survey of major statutory schemes and common law doctrines that regulate the employer-employee relationship, other than laws regulating union formation and collective bargaining, which are covered in Labor Law. Topics covered include the common law of unjust dismissal, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, drug testing, free speech, and privacy. Major statutory schemes covered include Title VII and other antidiscrimination laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and ERISA.

Entrepreneurial Finance

This course is designed to introduce students to the challenges and pitfalls of financing new enterprises. The class sessions will combine lectures and cases. The course covers three broad topics: Identifying and valuing opportunities, contract design and financing alternatives, and exit/harvesting strategies.

Fundamentals of Modern Software

This course provides introductions to selected topics in Computer and Information Science, such as Internet Architecture, Machine Learning, Cryptography, Social Networks and Startup Systems.

High-Growth Corporate Transactions

This course is designed to familiarize students with common issues that arise in, and how they are addressed by attorneys who structure, high-growth (principally start-up) corporate transactions. It will address that portion of the transactional practice not covered in Technology Transactions. A wide range of topics is expected to be covered, including: Choice of Entity; Founders' Agreement(s); Terms of Preferred Stock, including Liquidation Preferences and Conversion Mechanics; Basic Deal Structuring; Tax Issues/Benefits for Entrepreneurs/Startups; Employment and Incentive Considerations; Basic Securities Regulation; Convertible Notes and SAFEs; Series A Financing; Special Considerations with High Valuations and Unicorns; Distressed Situations and Down Rounds; Operational Agreements; Indebtedness; M&A Transactions; and Initial Public Offerings.

Intellectual Property Law

This is a survey course in intellectual property (IP) law. It covers the what, when, who, how, and why of IP: what kinds of information can be protected, when these rights arise, who owns them, how they are enforced, and why the legal system goes to all this trouble. We will perform comparative anatomy on bodies of law including trade secret, patent, copyright, trademark, false advertising, and rights of publicity, dissecting them to understand them on their own terms and in relationship to each other.

Internet, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Law

This is a survey course in Internet law, with particular emphasis on privacy and security. It is designed to teach lawyers what they need to know to work effectively with computer technologists, and vice versa. Topics covered may vary based on recent events, but will typically include jurisdiction, free speech, privacy, cybersecurity, e-commerce, digital property, intermediary liability and network neutrality. What unites these disparate areas of law is that, in each of them, computer and network technologies are challenging settled legal understandings in similar ways. We will explore these recurring patterns of legal disruption and predict how they will play out online and offline. Students who complete this course will be able to sort out the issues of a complex case to identify what’s really at stake, think through the likely legal implications of a new technology, and formulate successful legal strategies in the messy world of big data, strong encryption, copyright bots, anonymous jerks, and the Streisand Effect.

Law Team

One or more students will be paired with a lawyer and/or law firm with substantial experience in technology and high-growth corporate transactions. Students will work under the supervision of the lawyer and/or law firm in providing legal support to student and other project teams, including studio teams, that are assigned to it. Through the law team process, students will have an opportunity to practice what they learn in the classroom, as well as become familiar with a range of legal and regulatory issues (and solutions) relating to technology and high-growth corporate transactions.

Technology Transactions

This course is designed to familiarize students with common issues that arise in, and how they are addressed by attorneys who structure, technology transactions.

Technology Transactions II

This course is designed to familiarize students with common issues that arise in technology transactions, and how they are addressed by attorneys who structure such transactions. Going beyond the black letter law, it will draw on the expertise of lawyers and law firms with substantial experience in the area who will review the principal transactional documents in detail and describe how they address the principal issues that arise in technology transactions. Although topics may be modified over each semester, a wide range of topics is expected to be covered, including: Formation Issues; Initiating a Technology Transaction; Common Transactions for Early Stage Companies; Patent Prosecution; Issues Arising in International Transactions; Technology in M&A Transactions; and Open Source Software.

Studio Courses

Please see the Studio Curriculum for more details.

BigCo Studio

Successfully innovating inside of a large company takes a new set of skills. In BigCo Studio, you will learn how to build products in a complex environment at scale and navigate business development, M&A, and other corporate activities to drive strategic initiatives within large companies. Working in teams, you’ll be matched with a C-suite or VP advisor from a real BigCo to research, prototype, and present a new product that helps the company achieve its mission.

Product Studio

Product Studio is the foundational studio course for product development at Cornell Tech. Students form semester-long teams and select a "How Might We" question posed by a company. During the semester students learn the basics of product development so they can apply the knowledge and skills from their degree program: identifying impactful problems to solve, product ideation and design, development process, and constructing a meaningful product narrative and complete product loop. Students present their working product, narrative, and thought process four times during the semester, after completing each of three 24-hour "studio sprints" where they will focus on developing their product and a final product presentation at the end of the semester.

Startup Studio

In Startup Studio you and a team of your classmates will develop your own new product or startup idea. You'll experience the entire process, from developing your idea, to prototyping and testing, to pitching to investors. You can even apply for a Startup Award that will provide funding and other support to help you turn your Startup Studio project to a real business.

Sample Electives

Select any courses from LAW. Please see the Class Roster for more details.

Delivering Legal Services through Technology – Legal Tech Insights & App-Building Skills

This course helps Cornell Tech students understand what's happening in the rapidly transforming legal landscape – and be ready to help lead its evolution with both insights and practical skills. This intensive course has two components: (1) Legal Tech Insights: Weekly readings and corresponding guest speakers on legal tech trends; and (2) App Building Skills: Hands-on work developing expertise-automation apps using Neota Logic, a no-code software development toolset The course ends with a collegial competition among student teams who present their apps to a panel of judges.

Digital Health Law

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the legal issues that arise in the world of digital health. Advances in technology have transformed the delivery of healthcare, improving the efficacy of care as well as its efficiency; electronic medical records, digital clinical decision support and "big data" analysis are just a few areas where entrepreneurs are bringing forth new technology-enabled enterprises. In this course, we will explore the opportunities and challenges that healthcare lawyers, providers, investors and entrepreneurs face, from a legal and regulatory perspective, in the digital health space.

In-House Lawyers: Day-to-Day, Deals and Managing a Crisis

Lifecycle of a Venture-Funded Tech Startup: Business Issues and Legal Considerations

The business model for venture -funded startups is high risk, high reward and very binary; this business model results in the jobs of an attorney, a founder, and an investor being very specialized and different than in typical business relationships. This course will survey the business and legal relationships and interactions between founders, board members, and investors at key moments in the life-cycle of a private company startup. For each stage that we discuss, we will review real-world examples that illustrate the unique business and legal issues startups face.
Students talking and laughing

Interested in a Masters of Laws?

Giving students the skills needed to lead tech companies in the evolving digital age.