UC Law SF Center for Business Law Wraps Up Successful Fall Semester

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It’s been a busy and productive Fall 2022 for the UC Law SF Center for Business Law (CBL). The center hosted multiple events this semester, connecting members of the business law community and advancing knowledge of key legal issues affecting the business world.

Evan Epstein is executive director of the UC Law SF Center for Business Law.

Established in 2018, CBL brings together leading scholars, business leaders, practitioners, regulators, and students to engage in the study, teaching, and practice of business law.

To kick off the academic year, the center hosted a happy-hour mixer with business-minded law students, fellows, alumni, and faculty. That was followed by a CBL Lunch speaker series showcasing leading corporate law practitioners in the Bay Area. The center hosted the Fifth Annual UC Law SF/UCLA SF Economic Outlook event off campus, for the first time, at the beautiful Historic Klamath Ferry with a stellar speaker lineup addressing the U.S. and California economy plus environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. Finally, the center explored the new infrastructure of equity compensation for unicorn startups as part of its Unicorn Initiative with the Brattle Group.

Law students mixed and mingled with faculty members at a Sept. 20 CBL kick-off event.

Here are some highlights from the fall:

Sept. 20: The center celebrated the new academic year with a Kick-Off and Happy Hour, where faculty members, board advisors, fellows, students, and alumni enjoyed food, drinks, and good company.

Oct. 4: The center hosted its first CBL Lunch Speaker Series of the year with Orrick partners Danny Lopez ’10, Sarah Schaedler, and Leah Recht, who discussed current trends in technology transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity.

Goodwin attorneys discussed startups and venture law practice at a CBL lunchtime panel talk.

Oct. 19: The center hosted Goodwin attorneys Dane Patterson ‘14, Sona Karakashian ’15, and Kelly Carson ’21, who spoke about their startup and venture capital practices.

Nov. 3: Economists, executives, investment advisors, regulators, legal scholars, and practicing lawyers discussed the most pressing economic issues facing California and the Bay Area at the Fifth Annual Regional Economic Outlook. The event, co-hosted by UCLA Anderson Forecast, UC Law SF and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, included economic analyses, a keynote speech, and panel of experts, who discussed, among other issues, whether the U.S. is in a recession and how this could affect ESG investment matters.

Four experts posed with CBL Executive Director Epstein and CBL Faculty Director Abraham Cable before a Nov. 10 panel talk on equity compensation for unicorn startups.

Nov. 10: A panel discussion on “The New Infrastructure of Equity Compensation for Unicorn Startups” explored the current state of equity compensation in unicorn startups. The expert panel included Barrett Cohn (Scenic Advisement), Sriram Krishnamurthy (WSGR), Mike Huskins (Nikkl), Adrienna Huffman (Brattle Group) and CBL Executive Director Evan Epstein. They discussed the challenges of incentivizing employees in a period of economic uncertainty, new tools and business models for meeting those challenges, and potential litigation risks associated with stock options and other forms of equity compensation. This was the latest offering from The Unicorn Initiative, a joint research project between the UC Law SF Center for Business Law and The Brattle Group.

A panel discussed the impact of a potential recession on investment issues at the Fifth Annual Regional Economic Outlook on Nov. 3.

In Spring 2023: The center is excited to announce its third cohort of CBL Scholars next year. The CBL Scholars Program gives students from disadvantaged backgrounds a chance to flourish in business law by providing full tuition and support from alumni and law firms.

The CBL Scholars Selection Committee will be accepting applications from Dec. 16, 2022, to Jan. 11, 2023. New CBL scholars will be announced on Jan. 30 after the selection committee interviews finalists. Current scholars include Jay Anderson ’23 and Mounika Yepuri ’23 from the first cohort, and Sheila Zerang ’24 from the second cohort.

The CBL Scholars Program is made possible by sponsors Orrick, Gunderson Dettmer, and Freshfields. Those interested in supporting the program can reach out to CBL Director Epstein, or Scott James ’13, co-chair of the CBL Advisory Board and general counsel at Goodwater Capital.