International Business Law: Finance and Behavior

The modern lawyer: not just the law, but finance and behavior as well

The modern lawyer: not just the law, but finance and behavior as well

This Master is formerly known as 'Corporate Law: Law Markets and Behavior'.

Lawyers used to only deal with the law. Advise your client on the rules, if need be litigate and you do a good job. In our changing world, this is no longer true. For lawyers to live up to the expectations of clients and society, they need to have broader skills. Lawyers also have to understand the underlying economic principles of transactions and procedures they are involved in. Behavioral perspectives are key in dynamics such as the governance of a company, mergers and acquisitions and the formation of contracts. Global economic shockwaves have demonstrated that rules alone do not suffice; we need to think about ethics as well. In other words: lawyers will fall short by just knowing the legal rules, even if they know them well.

This Master’s program delivers lawyers who know their way in the wider arena of the future. The law still is pivotal. Tort law, contract law, corporate law, regulatory law and insolvency law; the anatomy of these fields is explored in depth. But further perspectives are added. We will examine the legal side of corporate finance, but also delve into the underlying balance sheets and profit and loss accounts; we will examine the regulatory framework in which banks operate, but also question their role in society as a whole; we will examine the structure of contract law, but also focus on the psychology behind contract-negotiations and dispute resolution. In short, we offer a multidisciplinary master’s program that both deepens our understanding of the law and fosters our knowledge of the fields with which the law interacts, such as finance, psychology and ethics.

Leading institutions and academics on board

Given the wide the multidisciplinary nature of the program, the program could not be covered by lawyers alone: scholars from faculties such as Economics and Psychology play a key role in the program. They will share with you the latest scholarly insights.

Furthermore, studying law in a broader context requires a window on real legal-financial life. We have therefore teamed up with leading institutions from the field to take the law out of the books and see it in action. The program is designed and executed in close cooperation with mayor players such as the Dutch Financial Regulator, leading banks such as ABN and ING, and a number of Dutch law firms from the highest league.

This high-profile network offers you, as a student, a range of advantages. The curriculum reflects the needs of your future employers. Frequent guest lectures by leading experts from the affiliated institutions bring you up to date with the latest developments. You will come to speak to those who are in the driving seat of your field – and thus be enabled to start building your network.

Focus and intensity: only small number of students

Focus is key in our master's program. The relatively small number of students in class guarantees a highly interactive character of the courses. Students as well as lecturers coming from different countries and different legal cultures strongly contribute to a special and a truly global character of the program. It all offers a unique intellectual atmosphere for group discussions, presentation of views and exchange of ideas that are enriched by diverse national perspectives.

LMB_Jan_Testimonial

At the beginning, the master program intrigued me by promising the combination of law, economics and psychology, so the motivation for choosing this master was its interdisciplinary approach since I wanted to acquire a deeper understanding of the interplay of law, economics and psychology. The classes provide room for active participation in discussions, presentations and team assignments in order to develop and improve the necessary skills for being a lawyer. Regarding the content, lectures like ‘Law and Behavioral Economics’ give an understanding of the relationship of law and other disciplines, in this case economics. As many of the lectures are related to each other, my understanding of the mutual effects has increased a lot.
Jan Schlöter, graduate

 

LMB_Deborah_Testimonial

During my years as a bachelor student, I always regretted not having a more diverse curriculum with more practical modules or assignments. Law is an area that interacts with many other fields that interested me, such as psychology, economics or even politics. For this reason I chose the master. The multidisciplinary approach makes this master very unique in its kind, and will definitely make me a better lawyer in the end.
Deborah Binnendijk, graduate

 

LMB_Kevin_Testimonial When I practiced law, I learned that we have often devoted ourselves too much in the law. However, a strong advice requires understanding from a business perspective, including the behavior of persons whom we are dealing with. The program provides insight from these disciplines that will benefit not only the new graduates to have an advantage, but also experienced practitioners to jump out of our comfort zone. The lectures are very unique and rich: we learn to negotiate effectively, improving our understanding of biases in human behavior.
Kevin Tanumihadja, graduate

This legal Master’s program has deep-rooted multidisciplinary perspectives. Law is the vantage point of our thinking. Classical fields such as Contract Law, Tort Law, the Corporate Form, Insolvency Law and Regulatory Law will be taught in depth. In order for you to operate in an international context, we will focus on the principles; details of national laws will not be dealt with.

The non-legal perspectives will be interwoven in these courses. For example: there is a course on contract law, half of which will be about the (psychological) dynamics of contract negotiations. A similar approach is taken in other subjects, where traditional legal subjects are combined with insights from other disciplines. The goal of the masters’ programme is to enhance the students understanding of the law as it functions in practice, with the ultimate goal of training better, more skillful lawyers. The student will write several papers and prepare oral presentations during the academic year.

Master in Law (LLM)
The degree of Master in Law (LLM) is conferred upon students who satisfactorily achieve a minimum of 60 European Credits (EC). This includes writing a Master's thesis that students will defend at the conclusion of the program. The program director as well as the program coordinator will monitor the students’ performance during the program. In July there will be gruadation ceremony of the program during which the students receive their Master diploma. Families and friends are warmly invited to join this special event.

Credits
Credits are listed according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This system is based on student workload, which includes hours spent in class and hours spent on studying, writing papers and completing assignments. A full academic year is equivalent to 60 EC (two semesters).

Schedule
The regular academic year in the Netherlands runs from 1 September through the end of June, followed by the closing ceremony in July. Please notice that all schedules are subject to change!

Internship
Some students opt for a student internship at an international company or law firm located in the Netherlands. Normally, such internship is extracurricular (i.e. no ECTS credits are awarded). Although the students must arrange such internships themselves, companies sometimes provide information to VU Amsterdam. In such case, relevant information will be published on Blackboard. Moreover, the director and the coordinator of the program can provide advice to the students with respect to an internship.

Master's thesis
Students will complete the program by writing and defending a Master's thesis. The student will select the topic of the Master's thesis himself/herself in cooperation with the supervisor of the Master's thesis. Many students are inspired by subjects covered in the courses when choosing the topic of their Master's thesis. Normally, a Master's thesis requires between eight and ten weeks of research work and includes approximately 12.000 words.

Supervisors will encourage the student to choose an appropriate topic, and the student will learn how to write an academic Master's thesis according to the accepted standards of legal research. During the research and writing process the supervisor will provide the student with guidance by giving the student advice and by commenting on how to modify and improve the research. All students will defend their Master thesis during seminar sessions attended by academic staff and other students in June. The Master's thesis will be reviewed by a second professor (the second reader). The supervisor and the second reader will decide upon the final grade jointly.

We offer this multidisciplinary master's programme for good reasons. Our partners - law firms and financial institutions – have been telling us time and again that not just legal, but also financial and psychological knowledge should be in the tool kit of todays lawyer. Bear in mind: these institutions have become partner of our masters’ programme for a reason. They need the kind of people we educate.

This is an international trend. It is, for example, not just the Dutch Central Bank who wonders why financial regulation failed to prevent the financial crises; the thought that firm “culture” it is an important factor in either undermining or enhancing the efficacy of regulation is increasingly embraced internationally.

Therefore, be it the Dutch students or those from abroad, those who successfully completed the Master's programme have a wide range of career choices. They can work as professional business lawyers, in-house legal counsels for companies, government officials, corporate executives, legal professionals for an international (intergovernmental) organization, etc.

Over the last decade, all of the Netherlands’ top international firms have moved to an area called the ‘Amsterdam Zuidas’. VU-University is located right at the heart of this area. The concentration of high-end legal activity within a five-minute walk of our faculty probably is unprecedented – a law faculty cannot have better neighbors. We have seized the opportunity with both hands. And it is not law firms exclusively: leading banks, insurers and regulators have joined us as well.

Our students, we know for a fact, greatly benefit. At the high level of our master programmes, the law cannot be understood in isolation from its context. Our partnerships offer the broad view you need.

Moreover, Amsterdam is the gateway to other important capitals in Europe, and students can easily travel by fast train to, for example, Brussels, Paris, London or Berlin. This offers a unique experience of studying in the neighborhood of a real international business environment.

Last but not least: Amsterdam is a good place to spend your time! The seventeenth-century canals of Amsterdam were recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The area around the city's main canals - Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsensgracht - is an international icon of urban planning and architecture. Student life is as lively and rich as you want it to be. Museums and cultural life are world class. Any free hour well spent will provide you with long lasting memories.

International Business Law: Finance and Behavior

Overview International Business Law: Finance and Behavior

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April for students from outside the EU. 15 July for all other students.

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS


FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Admission with a Dutch degree

This Master is selective and open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board selects on merit.

Factors which will be taken into account are:

  • GPA at least 3.25 or an overall grade point average at least B+ or 7.8
  • talent and motivation
  • proficiency in research methods and techniques
  • relevant extra-curricular academic and/or work experience
  • sufficiently proficient in the English language (see language requirements for details)

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Law (LL.B) can apply.

Applicants who do not have such a degree, but who have considerable experience in the field of law, are also invited to apply, provided that they have a sound academic background.

You can apply with a Bachelor's degree other than Law, only if you have considerable experience in the field of law and can demonstrate this with documentary evidence.

You cannot apply with an HBO degree. The faculty does not offer a pre-master for the IBL Master.

For the master International Business Law a minimum C1 proficiency in English is required. This requirement is met if no longer than two years before the start of the programme, the applicant has successfully completed one of the following examinations with at least the scores indicated:

  • IELTS: minimum total score ≥ 7.0, minimum score per test section: 6.5
  • TOEFL paper based test: 600
  • Revised TOEFL PBT: minimum total score 68, minimum score per test section: 22
  • TOEFL iBT (internet based test): minimum total score ≥ 100, minimum score per test section: 22
  • Cambridge Advanced English: minimum score B
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly Cambridge English: Proficiency): minimum score C

Exemption is granted to students who :

  • have completed their secondary education or an academic degree in the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand or Australia; or
  • have an English-language ‘international baccalaureate’ diploma.

The proof of English proficiency can be submitted after the application deadline, but must have been received by the faculty before the start of the programme. Without an English proficiency test score which meets the specifications mentioned above or a waiver, you cannot start the programme.

Application is possible from 11 October. The application deadline is 15 July.

Application steps

  1. Register via Studielink.
  2. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
  3. Upload the following application documents via VUnet (preferably PDF format):
    1. certified copy of academic degree or if not yet graduated: declaration from your home university with an expected graduation date;
    2. certified transcript in English of grades obtained so far;
    3. curriculum vitae;
    4. letter of motivation, explaining your reasons for wishing to participate in the programme;
    5. proof of academic writing in English:
      • final paper or thesis for your academic degree (excerpt, maximum 3 pages);
      • if no thesis in English available: any other 3-5 page piece of academic writing as an alternative;
      • if no academic writing in English available: write 3-5 pages abstract of an academic paper, including bibliography, in English.
        Please note we check application documents for plagiarism.
    6. 2 letters of recommendation from academic referees (if possible including the ranking position of the applicant); we prefer digital copies uploaded in VUnet, but referees may also mail their references directly to admission.law@vu.nl
    7. copy of passport and copy of residence permit (if applicable);
    8. optional: course descriptions of relevant courses completed;
    9. optional: literature list or bibliography of relevant books and articles used during your studies).

      The admission board may ask for additional documentation at a later stage if this is deemed necessary for reviewing your application.
  4. Send proof of English proficiency to admission.law@vu.nl. This may be sent at a later stage (see Language requirements for details).
  5. As soon as all required application documents have been received, your dossier is submitted to the Admission board. Please note that your dossier must be complete on the application deadline! Incomplete dossiers cannot be taken into consideration.
  6. The Admission Board decides monthly on applications.
  7. If you have been admitted: finalize your application

More information on the application process + documents.

You will receive practical information regarding the start of the programme during the summer.

Admission / Applicationadmission.law@vu.nl (Rianne van Empelen/Anneke de Laaf)
Details programmecontact@vu.nl
Tuition, Studielink, VUnetStudent Desk
Information days, general questionscontact@vu.nl


Information days
Visit our VU Master's event and get acquainted with our Master's degree programmes. Our students and staff are available to help you with all your questions during the information sessions and at the information market.

Admission with an international degree

This Master is selective and open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board selects on merit.

Factors which will be taken into account are:

  • GPA at least 3.25 or an overall grade point average at least B+ or 7.8
  • talent and motivation
  • proficiency in research methods and techniques
  • relevant extra-curricular academic and/or work experience
  • sufficiently proficient in the English language (see language requirements for details)

Applicants with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in Law (LLB) can apply.

Applicants who do not have such a degree, but who have considerable experience in the field of law, are also encouraged to apply, provided that they have a sound academic background.

Your bachelor education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programmes. Especially students from non-EU countries should factor in the possibility that a relevant Bachelor’s degree could not be sufficient to enter into this Master in Law programme and their application could result in a rejection.

You can apply with an academic Bachelor's degree other than Law, only if you have considerable experience in the field of law and can demonstrate this with documentary evidence.

Your previous education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programmes.

Admission on the basis of a degree from a University of Applied Sciences in not possible. The faculty does not offer a pre-master for the IBL Master.

For the master International Business Law a minimum C1 proficiency in English is required. This requirement is met if no longer than two years before the start of the programme, the applicant has successfully completed one of the following examinations with at least the scores indicated:

  • IELTS: minimum total score ≥ 7.0, minimum score per test section: 6.5
  • TOEFL paper based test: 600
  • Revised TOEFL PBT: minimum total score 68, minimum score per test section: 22
  • TOEFL iBT (internet based test): minimum total score ≥ 100, minimum score per test section: 22
  • Cambridge Advanced English: minimum score B
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly Cambridge English: Proficiency): minimum score C

Exemption is granted to students who:

  • have completed their secondary education or an academic degree in the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand or Australia; or
  • have an English-language ‘international baccalaureate’ diploma.

The proof of English proficiency can be submitted after the application deadline, but must have been received by the faculty before the start of the programme. Without an English proficiency test score which meets the specifications mentioned above or a waiver, you cannot start the programme.

Application with an international diploma is possible from 1 October. The application deadline is:

1 February for international students who wish to apply for one of the VU scholarships.
1 April for students from outside the EU/EEA
1 April for EU/EEA students not residing in the Netherland who wish to apply for housing
15 July for EU/EEA students

Application steps

  1. Register via Studielink.
  2. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
  3. Upload the following application documents via VUnet (preferably PDF format):
    1. certified copy of academic degree or if not yet graduated: declaration from your home university with an expected graduation date;
    2. certified transcript in English of grades obtained so far;
    3. curriculum vitae;
    4. letter of motivation, explaining your reasons for wishing to participate in the programme;
    5. proof of academic writing in English:
      • final paper or thesis for your academic degree (excerpt, maximum 3 pages);
      • if no thesis in English available: any other 3-5 page piece of academic writing as an alternative;
      • if no academic writing in English available: write 3-5 pages abstract of an academic paper, including bibliography, in English.
        Please note we check application documents for plagiarism.
    6. 2 letters of recommendation from academic referees (if possible including the ranking position of the applicant); we prefer digital copies uploaded in VUnet, but referees may also mail their references directly to masters.law@vu.nl
    7. copy of passport and copy of residence permit (if applicable);
    8. optional: course descriptions of relevant courses completed;
    9. optional: literature list or bibliography of relevant books and articles used during your studies).

      The admission board may ask for additional documentation at a later stage if this is deemed necessary for reviewing your application.
  4. Send proof of English proficiency to masters.law@vu.nl. This may be sent at a later stage (see Language requirements for details).
  5. As soon as all required application documents have been received, your dossier is submitted to the Admission board. Please note that your dossier must be complete on the application deadline! Incomplete dossiers cannot be taken into consideration.
  6. The Admission Board decides monthly on applications.
  7. If you have been admitted: finalize your application

More information on the application process + documents.

You will receive practical information regarding the start of the programme during the summer.

Admission / Application (@ international degree)masters.law@vu.nl (Laura Smit)
Details programmecontact@vu.nl
Tuition, Studielink, VUnetStudent Desk
Information days, general questionscontact@vu.nl


Information days
Visit our VU Master's event and get acquainted with our Master's degree programmes. Our students and staff are available to help you with all your questions during the information sessions and at the information market.

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