Essential Law for Executives: The MIT Advantage

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Executives encounter an increasingly broad range of law-sensitive problems and opportunities with big upsides, downsides, or both. This course is designed to give participants the understanding of the law needed to exercise sound judgment and effective leadership when approaching a variety of law-related issues, such as complex contracts and transactions, employment relations, and the risks of lawsuits and criminal sanctions.

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Essential Law for Executives: The MIT Advantage
Certificate Track: Management and Leadership
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tuition: $3,300 (excluding accommodations)
Program Days (for certificate credit): 2

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The U.S. legal system and legal style are in many ways business friendly. The law can help you protect intellectual property and design an effective IP strategy, develop sound plans for new products and marketing technologies, build and retain a successful management team, and shape complicated transactions such as M&A and tailored financial products. But it is also hard-edged, complex, contentious, and poses many risks—such as disputes that cloud IP, consumer class-action litigation which can discredit a brand and impose massive damages, lawsuits by terminated or aggrieved employees, structured financial products that carry hidden risks, and heavy-handed government investigations and sanctions.

Effective management of such issues will sometimes require consulting a lawyer, and this program will discuss making good use of lawyers. But professional legal advice is not a substitute for your own informed judgment and leadership. The ability to navigate tricky legal waters is a powerful source of value for a company and an important competence for a manager. Errors in judgment can doom a business strategy, create liability both for you and your company, and cast a long shadow over a career.

This program will give you the tools you need to plan, manage, and lead in the key law-sensitive areas of your business.


The MIT Advantage: Practical Advice for Innovative Companies
The view of law in this program is practical and hands-on. Faculty Director John Akula practiced law for 15 years, and was a partner at one of the top firms in the country when he returned to the academic world. He has been at the MIT Sloan School of Management for over a decade, working with students, managers, and companies. The materials in this course were developed in response to the distinctive concerns of these stakeholders. The program addresses the special legal challenges of innovation and cutting-edge technologies, and focuses on the needs of successful entrepreneurial managers, in new companies and established firms, whose responsibilities are broadening and who are confronting law-sensitive issues for which their experience and training may not have prepared them.

Program Experience
The program will mix quick lectures–laying out basic legal principles–with group discussions of realistic business opportunities and problems. Participants will be given additional materials to take home and further explore critical legal issues.

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