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Social Responsibility, Race, Gender, and the Corporation

Law School LAW - Law School

Course Description

The course explores a series of controversial social challenges facing publicly traded corporations. Among other topics, the course will likely analyze: (1) The constitutionality and effectiveness of recent California legislation mandating boardroom gender and racial diversity; (2) Google's recent settlement of derivative litigation relating to gender concerns by creating a $310 million social justice fund; (3) The Business Roundtable's statement that corporations owe obligations to constituencies other than stockholders; (4) Derivative litigation challenging boards composed entirely of white directors; (5) The reasons that few senior Wall Street executives were prosecuted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis; (6) The performance of Wells Fargo's board of directors during its recent phony accounts crisis; and (7) Whether investments that pursue environmental, social, and governance (ESG) approaches can outperform the market, and potential SEC-imposed ESG disclosure obligations. This topic list will likely change in light of evolving events. Students will be required to write a paper and to sit for an examination. Elements used in grading: Written Assignments, Final Exam.

Grading Basis

L01 - Law Honors/Pass/Restricted credit/Fail





Course Repeatable for Degree Credit?


Course Component


Enrollment Optional?