Elon Musk Is Part of UCLA Law’s Curriculum
UCLA School of Law is now teaching a class on Elon Musk’s legal troubles.
The new course, which is called the “Law of Elon Musk,” will cover Musk’s style of business leadership, as well as the lawsuits he’s faced. The course will be taught by corporate law expert Professor Stephen Bainbridge, New York Magazine reports.
Musk and his business dealings, Bainbridge says, make a particularly interesting case study for law students.
“He’s generating a lot of really interesting case law out of Delaware,” Bainbridge tells NY Mag. “Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity is an excellent case to teach students. And then there is a pending case on his Tesla CEO-compensation package, which is a great case because it’s what will strike the students as an egregious amount of money — billions of dollars in CEO compensation — in excess of anything we’ve ever seen. It’s a great case to talk about: Is this a situation in which it would be rational for a company to put together that sort of a compensation package? There are all these cases from different areas that all involve Musk, and given how high profile he is this year with Twitter and everything, I thought this would be a way of really grabbing the students’ attention.”
THE PRINCIPAL-AGENT PROBLEM
The organizing principle of the course, according to UCLA, is what economists refer to as the principal-agent problem, or agency cost.
“As someone who manages an immense amount of other people’s money, Musk constantly faces the temptation to pursue his own interests and goals rather than focusing on the welfare of those who have entrusted him with their savings,” the course summary states. “This course examines some of the ways in which law constrains (or fails to) Musk’s divergences from shareholder interests. In addition to legal materials, attention will be paid to business school case studies.”
The “Law of Elon Musk” will be available on the UCLA Law curriculum next semester.
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