Baylor Law’s 2024 Business Law Boot Camp Delivers Practical Insights for Aspiring Transactional Lawyers

May 8, 2024
Students pose at the Baylor Club during a reception at the 2024 Business Law Boot Camp
Participants in the 2024 Business Law Boot Camp during a networking reception at the Baylor Club.

Baylor Law recently concluded the Spring 2024 session of the Business Law Boot Camp, a comprehensive week-long program designed to equip students with real-world knowledge and skills for a successful career in transactional law. The program offers an in-depth exploration of crucial aspects of corporate and commercial law, combining academic doctrine with practical application under the guidance of highly experienced professionals from across the State of Texas.

The Boot Camp, inspired and led by Professor Elizabeth (Beth) Miller, the M. Stephen and Alyce A. Beard Professor of Business and Transactional Law, takes place annually between the spring and summer quarters. Throughout the program, a team of esteemed business lawyers who have partnered with Baylor Law as adjunct and auxiliary faculty share their expertise and help students gain insights into the complexities and practicalities of practicing transactional law. The Boot Camp is underwritten by The Kim and Bill Shaddock Fund for Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives. This year’s Boot Camp was also supported by generous contributions from Beard Kultgen, Haynes Boone, and Naman Howell Smith & Lee PLLC.

Throughout the week, the 29 Baylor Law students selected to participate in the Boot Camp via a competitive application process immersed themselves in over a dozen diverse sessions, took multiple exams, and earned academic credit for participating. 

“Our aim with the Business Law Boot Camp is to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the business lifecycle, from inception to conclusion,” stated Professor Beth Miller. “By learning from seasoned professionals, our students gain invaluable firsthand knowledge that prepares them for real-world challenges. Equally important are the unique opportunities offered by the program for professional development and forging relationships with fellow students, visiting adjunct and auxiliary faculty members, and young alumni practicing transactional law.”

Paul Gunderson, a rising 3L who participated in the Boot Camp, noted, “The Boot Camp has been a good review of the transactional courses I’ve taken and a good preview of the courses I have yet to take. It has also provided an excellent opportunity to network with practicing attorneys. It has encouraged me to pursue a career in a mid-sized firm as opposed to a big law firm because of the advice of the invited attorneys. They clarified that attorneys in mid-sized firms tend to get exposure to a broader practice area and opportunities to do meaningful work early in their career.”


A Comprehensive Journey Through Business Law

The Boot Camp started with a session on tax considerations when choosing an entity type for a business start-up or early-stage company. Subsequent days included sessions on critical topics in the different stages of a company’s development, including entity formation, securities law, contract drafting, accounting, commercial lending, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property concerns.

Throughout the Boot Camp, students had opportunities to engage in practical, interactive activities while networking with experienced professionals during various events and receptions. A highlight of the program was a mid-week reception attended by faculty, students in this year’s Business Law Boot Camp class, members of firms who sponsored this year’s Business Law Boot Camp, and Baylor Law alumni who completed Business Law Boot Camp in past years.

The week concluded with instruction on effective communication and negotiation. During the closing ceremony, students received personalized feedback and advice on best practices from Professor Miller.

Chris Martino, a second-year student who attended this year’s Boot Camp, summed up the experience by stating, “I have a leg up over other law school graduates regarding my new comprehensive overview of how these commercial law topics all intertwine. I am energized to work in the field.”

Cassidy Tresidder, another student participant in this year’s Boot Camp, noted, “The practical perspective and the fire hydrant of information has provided a solid background upon which I feel more confident in my desire to be a Transactional Attorney.” Fellow student Adam Holtz reflected on the Boot Camp, “This experience provided me a basic foundation in multiple areas of business law from tax to commercial loans. Most importantly, this experience has allowed me to see firsthand the traits of those successful in business law: strong work ethic, integrity, and willingness to learn and grow.”


The Spring 2024 Business Law Boot Camp 

Adjunct or Auxiliary Faculty and Affiliation

Choice of Entity: Tax as a Second Language

Dan Baucum (FBFK), Tara Smith (Winstead) 

Entity Formation Issues: View from the Trenches of the Secretary of State’s Office

David Eskew (Office of Texas Secretary of State), Melissa Clark (Office of Texas Secretary of State)

Raising Capital: Intro to Securities Law and Start-Up and Venture-Capital Lingo

Mollie Duckworth (Latham & Watkins)

Contract Drafting: 10 Commandments of Defensive Drafting

Hull Youngblood (Youngblood & Associates)

Lunch Session, Hints from Hull

Hull Youngblood

Basic IP and Advertising Issues Encountered in Organizing and Operating a Business 

Andy Powell (Naman Howell), Miranda Chavez (Boulware & Valoir)

Financing: Roadmap of a Commercial Loan Transaction

Rick Brophy (Beard Kultgen), Matt Czimskey (Beard Kultgen), and Sam Hays (Beard Kultgen)

Lunch Session, The Road Less Travelled

Greg Looser (Major, Lindsey & Africa)

Basic Accounting for Business Lawyers

Allen Page (Waco Ventures)

Sale of a Business: Anatomy of an M&A Transaction

Tom Harris (Haynes Boone)

Averting Dysfunction and Disaster in Family Businesses: The Importance of Family Business Succession Planning

Paul Williamson (Morgan Williamson), Joseph Hinton (Morgan Williamson)

Communication and Negotiation Skills for the Transactional Lawyer

E. Steve Bolden (Locke Lord), Prof. Kayla Landeros (Baylor Law)

For more information on Baylor Law’s Business Law Boot Camp, please email Professor of Law Elizabeth Miller at or visit the Business Law Boot Camp page here: