Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law is launching the nation’s first family office law practice program.
The law school announced last week that its program will train students interested in working for family offices and firms with family office service practices.
“The number of family offices in the U.S. is increasing at a dramatic rate,” Austen L. Parrish, Maurer School dean and the James H. Rudy Professor of Law, says in a press release. “They are capable of conducting sophisticated transactions that were traditionally the province of big companies or private-equity firms, and they also provide a complete range of traditional estate-planning, real estate, tax-planning, and wealth-advising services.”
Family offices, according to law firm Holland & Knight, are “privately owned entities established by wealthy families to manage their wealth, plan for their families’ financial future, engage in investment opportunities and provide other services to family members.”
They can either be formally structured or informally. Family offices can offer greater control, asset allocation privacy, wealth and risk management, and a legacy plan.
According to Indiana University, family offices are estimated to hold assets of over $4 trillion with a number of law firms that have established family office practices.
“By capitalizing on this trend, the Maurer School of Law will help meet the growing demand for lawyers by offering a wide range of courses, placements and mentoring experiences,” Parrish says in the release.
The law school says it will admit about five qualified students to the new program, which will debut in the fall of 2020.
Candidates will have experience in either the business or investment filed or should have an interest in earning a JD/MBA.
According to the law school, admitted students will receive:
- A scholarship equal to at least 50 percent of tuition, up to full-tuition scholarships.
- A mentor from the program’s advisory council.
- A second-year research assistantship with the school’s business or tax law faculty.
- A third-year clinical position with one of the school’s business-related clinics.
“This innovative program should be ideal for talented and ambitious students who are applying to law school from accounting firms, investment banks or financial institutions, and who understand how working with family offices can be an attractive and intellectually challenging career path,” Michael Flannery, a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors and CEO of Duchossois Capital Management, a family investment firm in Chicago, says.
Sources: Indiana University, Holland & Knight