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College of Business launches business law major

Photo by Joshua Bruer Staff Photographer

On Oct. 19, the College of Business and Public Administration announced the launch of a business law major for all students. 

​“This major was created in response to the growing number of undergraduate students interested in legal studies and was developed in recognition of how businesses find themselves navigating an increasingly complex and dynamic legal environment,” said Alejandro Hernandez, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA). 

Through this new program, students will emerge with a thorough understanding of how to practically apply existing law in a business context. This major was previously offered only as a minor for students. The business law major centers around bringing insurance, law and business classes together, according to Hernandez.

Royce Fichtner, a professor of business law in the CBPA, said there are two main goals for students wanting to pursue this degree. One is to use it as a stepping stone to law school with instruction by three licensed attorneys. The other is to learn valuable skills related to law for careers in fields like human resources, compliance, or risk management in insurance, banking, securities, real estate or any other highly regulated industry.

​“I am very excited that they have added this new degree. I think that it will open up a lot of doors for the students at Drake,” said CBPA student Kylie Ellis. “I love the idea that students will now have the opportunity to get a good base knowledge for business law that can be useful in any career path they take regardless of if they decide to continue that education by going to law school.”

Ellis and Jordan Abrams were some of the first business school students to add this new major, hoping it would provide further advancement in their career paths. Fichtner said that they are two of fifteen students who are interested in changing their majors to business law. He is excited for the new students to explore this major and hopes it will help them succeed. 

​“Before switching to the business law major, I was originally a finance major on track for the 3+3 business and law school program; I have just dropped the 3+3 program and added the business law major,” Abrams said.

​Abrams said his interest in the major started back in high school when he competed in Congressional Debate, a high school debate competition, and studied a few business law courses his senior year of high school. He said he enjoyed learning about the legal and ethical issues of businesses, contracts and cases.

​When he came to Drake University in 2019, business law was only offered as a minor, so he settled for being a finance major with a goal of attending Drake Law School.

Ellis, a junior at Drake, said she ended up adding business law as a third major. 

“I actually did not switch majors when business law became available. Prior to it being a major I was a marketing and accounting double major with a law & business concentration,” Ellis said. “When I found out that it was being made a major, I simply dropped my concentration to add the third major since it was only going to be a few extra courses.”

​Students who are interested in this new degree program are encouraged to contact Professor Royce Fichtner at royce.fichtner@drake.edu or contact the School of Business and Public Administration.

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