Course information

Registration Closes:
23 February 2021
Course Starts:
3 March 2021
8 weeks, excluding orientation
5–7 hours per week, entirely online
USD $2,500
Payment Options
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University


Understanding the law is a crucial skill for business leaders, however, legal regulations are becoming increasingly complex and mitigating potential risk is becoming more challenging. The Business Law for Leaders online program from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is designed to help you guide the strategic direction of your organization within the complex U.S. legal landscape.

Over the course of eight weeks, you’ll develop the legal literacy needed to grasp the fundamental principles of U.S. business law, as well as the expertise to interpret and navigate various legal regulations. You’ll also explore topics such as employer liability and tort law, the fundamentals of contract law, and antitrust and competition law. You’ll also develop a strategic approach to intellectual property, review various legal business structures, and assess what constitutes good corporate governance.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • The essential legal knowledge required to guide the strategic direction of your business, mitigate risk, and inform leadership decisions

  • The ability to interpret and navigate the laws and regulations that make up the increasingly complex U.S. legal landscape

  • A personalized legal strategic playbook to identify how the law can be used as a powerful business tool for developing offensive and defensive business strategies

Is this program for you?

This online executive education program is aimed at professionals requiring a foundational understanding of the laws that govern business operations in the U.S. Business owners, managers, start-up founders and entrepreneurs who don’t have a legal background will learn how laws impact their organizations.

Course curriculum

Examine the fundamental role the law plays in business as you work through the weekly modules of this online program.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Legal systems and the role of regulation
  • Module 2 Agency and employment law
  • Module 3 Tort law: Establishing liability for civil wrongs
  • Module 4 Leveraging contract law for commercial success
  • Module 5 Antitrust and competition law
  • Module 6 Developing an intellectual property strategy
  • Module 7 Corporations, LLCs, partnerships and other business entities
  • Module 8 Corporate governance and the duties of officers and directors

Your Academic Director

The design of this online program is guided by Kellogg School of Management faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth knowledge with you throughout the program.

Mark McCareins

Mark McCareins

Clinical Professor of Business Law, Strategy Department, Kellogg School of Management

Earn a Certificate From the Kellogg School of Management

Learn how to navigate the complex legal landscape when doing business in the U.S. and earn an official digital certificate of completion from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you digitally upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the University.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 3 March 2021.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.