The goal of this practicum is to link ordinary classroom teaching to real-world practice experiences outside the law school, enriching both in the process. For this course, students will all have field placements at, and supervised by, companies active in different the investment management industry. Ordinarily, these would be one or two days per week on-site. In addition, all students will participate in a weekly course taught by the instructor.
The goal of the weekly two-hour classroom portion will be to enable students to deepen their understanding of their fieldwork experience by placing it in broader context and provide an introduction to the regulation of the investment management industry. The coursework will focus on the policies, purposes and practicalities in the regulation of mutual funds under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the regulation of investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the place of “private funds” in the federal regulatory framework. Coursework will raise topics that students will be able to explore during their placements, and students will be asked to draw on specific aspects of their placements to contribute to contribute to the practical implications of the legal and regulatory regime they are exploring in the classroom.
Particular attention will be paid to the structural aspects, investment objectives, marketing practices, and prospectus disclosure of mutual funds. The course also covers issues relating to the independence of investment company directors, governance rights of fund shareholders, the reasonableness of investment advisor fees and expenses, and illegal or questionable activities conducted by fund managers. The course will also address the applicability of regulation to the activities of individuals and entities, procedures for compliance, and civil liability under the antifraud provisions of the securities laws. Other topics that will be highlighted include the development of “alternative” investment products, such as
hedge funds and private equity funds.