IU Maurer launches nation’s first family office practice program

Students interested in working for family offices or firms with family office service practices can now receive training through a newly launched Indiana University Maurer School of Law program.

IU Maurer’s family office practice program will be the first in the nation to target the specific practice area, the school announced Thursday. Family offices are estimated to hold assets exceeding $4 trillion, and a significant number of the most prestigious law firms have established family office practices, dean Austen Parrish said in a news release.

“The number of family offices in the U.S. is increasing at a dramatic rate,” Parrish said. “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.”

By capitalizing on this trend, Parrish said the law school will help meet the growing demand for lawyers by offering a wide range of courses, placements and mentoring experiences. Its JD/MBA program, extensive business and corporate law curriculum, and tax law program make IU Maurer well-positioned to host such a program, he said.

Students admitted to the family office practice program will take part in a range of additional opportunities, including taking courses at the Kelley School of Business and participating in the school’s Business Law Society, Tax Law Society and transaction drafting competitions.

The program will accept about five highly credentialed students beginning in the fall of 2020. Qualified candidates will either have experience in the business or investment field or an interest in earning a JD/MBA.

Students admitted to the program will receive a scholarship equal to at least 50% of tuition, up to full-tuition scholarships, as well as a mentor from the program’s advisory council, a second-year research assistantship with the school’s business or tax law faculty and a third-year clinical position with one of the school’s business-related clinics.

IU Maurer said it expects to be able to offer program participants summer placements and other positions with family offices, law firms and other organizations with family-office service practices. It also plans to develop a one-week intensive course during fall break in Chicago focused on family office practice and services.

Professor Brian Broughman, an expert on corporate law, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions, will serve as director of the program. He will be supported by Professor Mark Need, who oversees the Elmore Entrepreneurship Clinic and the school’s JD/MBA program.

IU Maurer is currently naming affiliated faculty to design and teach family office-related courses. An advisory council is also expected to be appointed to support the school and serve as mentors to students.

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