Professor Bill MacNeil, Dean of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University and spokesman for the university’s Masters in business law online degree program, points out that the law is far too important to be left only in the hands of lawyers. He believes that businesspeople also need to have a clear understanding of the law.
But if you don’t actually plan to practice law professionally, you’d be correct in thinking that a Juris Doctor degree, while beneficial, is probably not the right choice. The degree has many pros and cons for businesspeople who do not plan to become attorneys. According to US News, one of the downsides is that recruiters, employers and others are likely to get the idea that you don’t know what you want to do.
A business law degree is the obvious solution to this problem. It will give you exactly the type of legal expertise you need to apply in the business situations you’re likely to encounter during the course of your career. It also harmonizes perfectly with employers’ expectations for what a businessperson’s credentials should look like.
If you’re wondering who might benefit from obtaining a business law degree, the short answer is simple: Businesspeople of all types will be able to do their jobs much more effectively if they obtain law expertise and training. Let’s take a closer look at several types of businesspeople who would gain a major advantage from understanding business law:
Some entrepreneurs hand over a huge chunk of their company’s profits to their attorneys for things like writing up contracts, applying for copyrights or trademarks, and negotiating intellectual property rights. Some businesses are un-viable from the start because attorneys’ fees are prohibitively expensive; an entrepreneur might have to pay more for the contracts and other legal services necessary to get the business started than the total amount of funding s/he has to invest.
It doesn’t have to be like this. An entrepreneur who is inclined to study business law would easily be able to handle his or her own contract and intellectual property negotiations.
Business managers need to have a clear understanding of the law if they hope to make smart decisions on behalf of their hiring organisations. A senior manager cannot just blindly make policy decisions without being able to critically analyse the situation in light of all applicable laws that could influence the outcome.
Creative directors are often tasked with handling a company’s intellectual property issues. This is not always a clear or straightforward job. An understanding of the law is helpful for anyone in this challenging position.
Property law has many nuances and complexities. A property manager who does not understand the law is at a distinct disadvantage in today’s litigious marketplace. Studying business law can help property managers better understand how to enter into contracts that are mutually beneficial to all parties. The coursework will also help property managers gain a deeper understanding of property law, which is necessary for effectively doing the job.
The truth is, there isn’t a businessperson alive who wouldn’t realise at least some benefit from gaining legal expertise. Entrepreneurs, senior management, creative directors and property managers are all poised especially well to benefit from obtaining a Master in business law degree; however, any business professional who routinely encounters legal issues as part of his or her job would do well to consider seeking this kind of legal training.