Center for Law, Economics & Organization

Specialty Courses

At New York University School of Law economic analysis of law is taught throughout the standard curriculum. In addition the standard courses and the law and economics colloquia, the law school offers advanced courses in economic analysis.

Economic Analysis of Law

This course introduces students to the economic analysis of law. Basic principles of game theory and microeconomics are introduced and then applied to the analysis of legal problems. Topics covered include the Coase theorem, some common law doctrines, the analysis of political and judicial institutions, and some normative issues in welfare economics. The course emphasizes the way in which economists formulate and answer questions rather than particular substantive issues.

Law, Economics and Psychology

The law aims to control, guide, or facilitate many aspects of human behavior. To achieve these goals legal policymakers should benefit from an accurate account of how people make decisions. Research in psychology and behavioral economics has demonstrated that in many circumstances the standard rational choice model of neoclassical economics, which has also dominated the economic analysis of law, fails to provide a satisfactory account of human decision-making. As a result, a new model is emerging—a model informed by a more nuanced understanding of the interrelations between the law, economics and psychology of decision-making. This course will explore the implications of this new model for legal policy. Topics will include law enforcement, decision-making by judges and juries, pre-trial settlement negotiations, contract law and contracting, market manipulation and securities regulation, tort law and products liability, and antidiscrimination and affirmative action.

Quantitative Methods

This seminar will emphasize the increasingly important role of statistics in the legal process. Students will be given an introduction to basic methods (including sampling, hypothesis testing, the use of surveys, and multiple regression) that play a significant role in the litigation process. Substantive applications will include employment discrimination, voting, affirmative action, antitrust, and damages. Procedural areas of study will include class certification and the admissibility of statistical evidence. This is not a technical course. No background in statistics is required, and minimal use will be made of high-school algebra. Students will be expected to participate actively and to write a short paper.

Corporate Finance

This is an introduction to the basic elements of modern corporate finance theory and practice. Topics covered include cash flow analysis, valuation, capital budgeting techniques, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, the Efficient Market Hypotheses, dividend policy, futures and options. Most of the principles are illustrated through graphic and mathematical models, although no math beyond simple algebra is required. All students are required to obtain a full-function financial calculator. Although the course uses a business school textbook, the approach to the course is from the perspective of an attorney.

Accounting for Lawyers

Accounting for Lawyers is designed to be accessible to students with no prior exposure to accounting. Emphasis is on the standard financial statements-balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Substantial attention is given to the accounting dialectic (debit and credit) so that students can trace events from underlying transactions to financial statement aggregates and vise versa. The time value of money is also studied. Problems are used extensively.

Foundations of Economic Analysis Seminar

This course will investigate the assumptions about law that are implicit in the practice of economic analysis of law. The course will be organized around four questions: (1) to what extent is the law instrumental? (2) To what extent can economic models capture the normativity of law? (3) How do economic models explain and how should they be used to make policy? and (4) Does economic analysis of law offer a distinct evaluative perpsective about law? Evaluation in the course will be based on class participation and a paper.

Law, Economics and Journalism

The course is a study of how journalists cover stories where business and the law intersect. Case studies will include the Enron bankruptcy as well as product liability litigation against Dow Corning and Big Tobacco. For each case, as background, we will read and discuss related academic literature; we will then read and critique press coverage of the events as they unfolded. Following the discussion of each case, each student will write her or his own journalistic account of an aspect of the case. The course will be co-taught by Paul Barett, who is an editor at Business Week and a former editor and reporter at the Wall Street Journal.

Corporate Law: Policy Analysis Seminar

This seminar will investigate a variety of current policy issues in corporate law and governance. Students are required to write comment papers on the readings and may be required to make a presentation. JD students may fulfill their writing requirement in conjunction with the seminar.


NYU School of Law students can also cross-register to courses at the economics department, the Stern School of Business, the politics department, and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.