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 also 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. In an educational innovation unique to Cornell Tech, you'll also participate in an immersive Studio Experience, in which you'll develop your team-building and leadership skills while developing a new product idea in response to the strategic needs of a real organization and create your own startup.
What Your Schedule Might Look Like
- Fall Semester
- Spring Semester
- Technical Credits 11.50
- Studio & Interdisciplinary Credits 5.00
- Semester Total 16.5
- Technical Credits 12.50
- Studio & Interdisciplinary Credits 4.00
- Semester Total 16.5
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A continuation of High-Growth Corporate Transactions I. This course is designed to familiarize students with common issues that arise in startups, 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. 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 how they address the principal issues that arise in high-growth corporate transactions. Although topics may be modified over each semester, 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; Series A Financing; and Initial Public Offerings.Students who complete this course will have a strong foundational understanding of the principal non-technology transactions that arise around high-growth/start-up firms and how they are structured and documented. They will be able to think through the principal legal issues that are likely to arise and formulate strategies in response.
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.
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.
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.
Financial technology, also known as FinTech, is an economic industry composed of companies that use technology to make financial services more efficient. High margins, underserved customers, and accumulated inefficiencies have made the financial services industry a perfect target for entrepreneurs and innovators. This course will dissect emerging business models in alternative lending, equity raising, blockchain technology, crypto-currency, and payment solutions, as well as wealth and financial management services.
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.
This class focuses on the practical aspects of lawyering, doing so by exploring the lawyer’s role in four typical situations: advising clients in connection with (a) the formation and early financing of a business entity; (b) the exercise of boards of directors and management of their fiduciary duty of oversight; (c) the day-to-day operations of a business, including contractual and online relationships with customers and suppliers; and (d) sale or change-of-control transactions.
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.
This seminar focuses on the societal perspectives on digital technology. Speakers will come from a range of disciplines including computer science, data science, engineering, OR, humanities, social sciences, law, and policy and will present work in progress that considers ethical and political questions related to the design, development, and deployment of digital, computational, and information systems and devices. Topics include accountable algorithms, bias in machine learning, AI and the workplace, privacy, and cybersecurity.
Studio & Interdisciplinary Courses
This studio-based course helps students learn about and develop product management (PM) skills by putting those abilities immediately to use on their Startup Studio projects. In each session, students learn about a different aspect of product management, product design, or technology development, then practice applying it to their Startup Studio projects, working in the Studio with their project teams and with the help and critique of the practitioner instructors and sometimes visiting practitioners. By the end of the semester, students will have developed and practiced many of the fundamental product management skills required to develop new technology products, and their Startup Studio projects will have greatly benefited from the practice.
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.
This studio-based course helps students develop their ability to imagine, recognize, develop and improve startup ideas. In each class, students learn a different approach to product ideation or product critique, then practice that approach, working in many different teams — often with the advice of visiting entrepreneurs, VCs, domain experts, and other practitioners. Students invent and explore hundreds of startup ideas, and help each other evaluate and improve those ideas. By the end of the course, students self-organize into co-founding teams around specific startup ideas that they will pursue in Startup Studio the following semester.
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.