An international partnership established earlier this year between the Ukrainian Global University, or UGU, and Berkeley Law has allowed 100 practicing lawyers from Ukraine to take Berkeley Law’s course on corporate finance fundamentals for free.
According to a Berkeley Law press release, the course’s current session started June 6 and will be conducted asynchronously with a 10-week recommended schedule, although students have one year to meet the course requirements and earn an online certificate. The course, which otherwise costs $1000, will be free of charge for the lawyers from Ukraine.
“The broader goal (of the partnership) was providing access to education,” said Adam Sterling, the assistant dean of executive education for Berkeley Law. “Because of the invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war, we were made aware that a number of Ukrainian attorneys and their work had been disrupted.”
Sterling worked with the UGU starting in April to discuss various course offerings before settling on the corporate finance fundamentals course, since the established timeline allowed students to start as soon as possible.
Sterling said the asynchronous learning style of the course would allow students to pace themselves and participate as they desire.
The course covers a range of topics in corporate finance, according to Berkeley Law professor Robert Bartlett, who is one of the professors teaching the course. Bartlett stated that the finance and business focus the course takes is atypical of legal training, but nonetheless important for corporate lawyers.
“This is a topic that is very much an investment in their personal human capital, and that’s the ideal way to think about doing your own professional development,” Bartlett said. “You want to be focusing on how you can grow as a lawyer, and this is a way for transactional lawyers to grow.”
Bartlett added that the Ukrainian economy is currently facing severe headwinds, and the professor predicts that there will be a great need for transactional lawyers “when the conflict ends.”
Sterling said the course allows lawyers to gain familiarity with corporate finance and specifically how corporations grow and scale themselves — knowledge which will be beneficial to lawyers practicing in the private sector.
Sterling credits the efforts of the UGU to connect professionals to educational opportunities that allow those who have been disrupted to work on their careers in a flexible way. Bartlett added that the course and partnership offers support from a professional-development perspective apart from fundraising and aid efforts to help Ukraine.
“We were told that some are trying to focus on their careers and development, and we can be helpful there,” Sterling said. “If we are able to provide access to education to those disrupted by a global conflict, I am proud of that.”