The Program

About The Charles Evans Gerber Transactional Studies Program​

Founded in 2003, the Charles Evans Gerber Transactional Studies Program is an innovative program that brings together a range of activities—including courses, workshops, faculty research, and experiential learning opportunities—aimed at developing the transactional skills necessary for legal practice. These skills include:

  • Identifying, evaluating, and managing risk

  • Analyzing the effects of public policy

  • Structuring agreements

  • Negotiating the terms of complex deals

  • Drafting documentation

  • Advising clients on strategy

Through the Program’s offerings, students develop and hone transactional skills in a range of contexts—from corporate mergers and acquisitions to tax deals to entrepreneurial startups—which prepare them to be skilled advisers as soon as they enter legal practice. The Program sponsors a range of conferences and symposia, supports faculty research and curriculum development, and encourages multi-disciplinary collaboration. 

Areas of Focus

The Charles Evans Gerber Transactional Studies Center three principal areas of focus: curricular innovation; multi-disciplinary scholarship; and developing expertise and interest in transaction-related studies.

Curricular Innovation

Columbia Law School has introduced a series of classes and seminars that focus on transactions and the art and practice of being a successful transactional lawyer. These courses, anchored by the Program’s signature Deals class and related workshops, are experiential in nature, providing students the opportunity to practice hands-on skills, including drafting agreements, negotiating deals, and analyzing real-world transactions.

Multi-Disciplinary Scholarship

The Program supports the work of outstanding scholars whose work spans a wide gamut of transactional research and expertise. Events and symposia convened by faculty affiliated with the Program feature scholars from a range of disciplines, including prominent economists, business leaders, legal practitioners, judges, and government officials.

Deepening Interest, Expertise, and Community Engagement

Over time, it has only become even more important for legal professionals to be able to guide their clients through complex transactions. From bi-lateral mergers to high-stakes multi-national deals, today’s lawyers must possess the expertise and business acumen necessary to provide sound advice that mitigates legal risk. The Program’s events and programs engage a range of academics and practitioners to expose students to these critical transactional skills and provide a means to train those who wish to pursue academic careers in the field.

About Charles Evans Gerber

Charles Evans Gerber was a renowned expert in securities law, corporate restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions. Born and raised in Chicago, Mr. Gerber was a founding partner of the law firm Neal Gerber & Eisenberg, which he helped build following a 20-year career at Friedman & Koven. Mr. Gerber earned his law degree from the University of Illinois, where he served on the law school’s board of governors. He died in 1998 at the age of 56.