In spring 2012, Roger Groves, a professor of law and contributor for Forbes, founded the Coastal Law Business Law Certificate, a program that serves to adapt students to the increased demand for specialized legal services and practical preparation in the growing business law environment.
Groves, along with other Business Law faculty members, meet with law firms, government regulators, and corporations to identify issues of particular relevance to them and infuse those issues into Coastal Law curriculum. Some of these topics include generating revenue, minimizing taxes, and protecting assets and key people from liability. With the full support from the Curriculum Committee, faculty, and Dean Goplerud, Groves plans to rejuvenate and expand the business course offerings over coming months.
“Our Special Topics in Business Law course was dormant for years,” said Groves, who first developed an interest in Business Law as a pianist who saw other musicians being taken advantage of financially through complex contracts. “Starting this semester, the course has incorporated complex issues of business and tax from Rogers Towers P.A. Students have prepared research memos and are meeting with those attorneys. This provides an opportunity for several students to network while learning issues of relevance to the firm. That process also puts the students’ analytical skills on display for prospective employment purposes.”
Groves is endeavoring to build Coastal Law’s reputation within Florida and the nation. Coastal Law is only the second Business Law certificate program among all the law schools in Florida, and one of the few that incorporates case studies and issues from law firms. The certificate will increase student opportunities to learn about issues that make them more valued and more employable.
“The energy students bring is infectious, and it helps keep me younger, a precious commodity the older I get,” said Groves. “Saliently, I have an opportunity to inspire others, and when I can share things that took me several decades to learn and see that students can take ideas and run with them, enhancing themselves personally or professionally, that is legacy building – leaving footprints for others. You can’t measure that in dollars, but it lasts a lot longer.”