Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

About the Business and Transactional Law Center

The Center's Basic Mission

The Center's mission is to provide a variety of educational opportunities for our students to learn how to function as transactional lawyers who can effectively represent clients engaged in business enterprises.

The Meaning of "Transactional"

The term "transactional" describes the lawyer's work when they are assisting a client to achieve a business goal by performing such tasks as:

  • offering advice on how to structure and implement a transaction,
  • drafting documents,
  • conducting "due diligence" activities,
  • making regulatory contacts and filings, and
  • advising their client throughout the life of a project.

These "transactional" tasks are often fundamentally different from the attorney's role as an advocate or litigator and require their own set of unique skills.

Helping to Bridge the Gap in Legal Education

The Center also seeks to make the law school experience more realistic, and relevant, by providing additional opportunities to "bridge the gap" between theory and practice. Students have many opportunities to see the law in action, in a litigation context, through Washburn's many advocacy classes and programs. However, in a non-litigation context, the law often remains a casebook experience; a collection of legal principles we apply to facts to predict a judicial outcome. The Center seeks to provide students with additional opportunities to see how lawyers use the legal principles students have learned to counsel clients, structure transactions, and draft documents. When students understand how a legal principle is used in a non-litigation context, they develop a deeper understanding of the legal principle. In this manner the transactional experience assists the student in better understanding principles they study in the classroom.

The Center as an Intellectual Catalyst

The Center serves as a catalyst to create the critical mass of professors, students, alumni, and other practicing attorneys who are dedicated to expanding knowledge regarding business law and the transactional side of law practice. Their efforts are reflected in the educational opportunities the Center provides and their contributions to the scholarly commentary on business and transactional law.