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Course Details

ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance Initiatives (Fairfax)

Spring 2022   LAW 619-001  

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Additional Information

Skills Training
Expository Writing

Grading
35% Participation,
65% Other (Either takeaway exam or paper (with permission of instructor).)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

With Permission of Instructor

Location

Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.

- If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can make PowerPoint slides or other class materials available to you.

- When you are better, please make an appointment to meet with me and I will review/answer questions about what you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
T 10:00AM - 11:50AM
Silverman Hall 240B

Category
Upper-Level

Credits
2.0

This course examines current developments in public corporation environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, with a particular emphasis on the manner in which public company shareholders and their advisors have sought to increase public company focus on advancing ESG issues. This course will examine the debate around the propriety of holding corporations and their directors responsible for ESG issues beyond their duty to comply with the law. This course also will explore in detail some of the most prominent current ESG topics. This course will examine how shareholders and other stakeholders have been advancing key environmental issues such as climate change policies, the pursuit of carbon neutrality, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the prevailing mechanisms for holding corporations accountable for their environmental commitments. This course also will explore how shareholders and other stakeholders have sought to advance critical social issues such as human rights, workplace culture, labor and employee relations, human capital management, political spending and disclosure as well as issues related to gender and racial equity and diversity in the workforce. Such an exploration will include engaging around prioritization and appropriate accountability metrics. Finally, this course will examine key corporate governance issues including shareholder voting such as dual class structures and majority voting regimes, board composition and diversity, say on pay and executive compensation, and the rise of shareholder proposals related to ESG.

Grades will be a combination of class participation and a final research paper on one of the course themes.

Course Concentrations

Business and Corporate Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of business and corporate law; Perform legal analysis in the context of business and corporate law; Communicate effectively on topics related to business and corporate law; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection between the world of business and finance and that of business and corporate law, and how they affect other areas of law and society.

Employment Law and Employee Benefits Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of employment law and employee benefits; Perform legal analysis in the context of employment law and employee benefits; Communicate effectively on topics related to employment law and employee benefits; Demonstrate an understanding of how employment law and employee benefits affect other areas of law.

Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.

Environmental Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of environmental law; Perform legal analysis in the context of environmental law; Communicate effectively on topics related to environmental law; Demonstrate an understanding of how environmental law affects other areas of law.

Equity and Inclusion Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Perform legal analysis in the context of topics related to equity and inclusion; Communicate effectively on the legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Demonstrate an understanding of how equity and inclusion are connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.


Textbooks

"Shareholder Democracy: A Primary on Shareholder Activism and Participation" by Lisa M. Fairfax
Edition: First
Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
ISBN: 9781594609190
Required