When the cost of e-discovery alone is in the millions of dollars, that cost can largely drive the outcome of the case.”
Whether or not a party has the time, money, and resources to comb through and store massive amounts of digital data can make or break their case, especially when a large corporation with money to spend on legal fees is involved. Cooper—and the business law discipline as a whole—have needed to adjust strategies to pursue cases in a digital age.
Cooper now brings that expertise to Kogod, where he teaches business law and ethics. In the upcoming spring semester, he’ll also launch a new course, “The Artistry of M&A: Strategic Perspectives on Buying and Selling Businesses,” for students with an interest in the details of mergers and acquisitions. His experience at Beacon weaves into everything he teaches, enabling students to see how theories and concepts translate into real-world scenarios. Whether he’s explaining how principles of employment law have manifested in his workplace or discussing his experience with major accounting firms like E&Y, KPMG, and Deloitte, it’s clear that students want to know how what they’re learning in their programs will apply once they’ve graduated.
“There’s always this uncertainty with students where they’re learning a principle, but they’re not sure how it actually gets applied in the modern business world,” Cooper said. “I’ve been able to pull both of those together in a way that students find enjoyable and that gives them a sense for why it matters.”
Outside of the classroom, he also wants to impart a wide range of resources to students interested in the legal side of business. On campus, students in Kogod programs can enroll in courses from other schools, including the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law. Kogod’s proximity to the federal court system also gives students a unique opportunity to see critical legal discussions happen in real-time, something Cooper encourages his students to take advantage of.“You can take the metro to the Supreme Court and attend an argument. You can watch sessions of Congress where lawmakers are talking about issues that pertain to business law,” he said.
One of the major advantages of this university is that we’re so close to the heart of American political and legal life.”
Encouraging students to leave campus and experience how business law is applied in the nation’s capital is part of Cooper’s overarching goal to prepare his students for life outside of the classroom. He’s a major proponent of Kogod’s Center for Professionalism and Communications and their push for developing career skills, and he uses his own experience hiring people to set his students apart. After all, the applicant pools will be full of high achievers with solid resumes, so Kogod students must elevate themselves even more to stand out.
“You have to understand what folks like me, who have hired students for thirty years, are looking for,” he said. “You look at a lot of resumes, but when you actually interview someone and see that they’ve prepared and given thought to the process, that’s what’s most impactful to the hiring committee.”
As Cooper transitions into his new full-time role at Kogod, he hopes to get to know students and faculty better and keep building the bridge between Beacon and the university. “I’ll still have a tremendous relationship with Beacon, and it’s a Fortune 500 company headquartered in the area here,” he said. “Offering access to my colleagues there, especially for students doing their capstone projects, is something that I think would be really great.” By opening doors for his students to establish those professional relationships, Cooper’s work in business law and the lessons he learned at Beacon will still shine through Kogod.