University of Pittsburgh

Commercial Law Pathway

What is commercial law?  Simply stated, it is the law that deals with transactions of a commercial nature between parties.  These include sales, leases, financing and debtor-creditor relationships, and the treatment of negotiable instruments.  Everything from the laws concerning the sale of goods to the rules of letters of credit to the law of bankruptcy is therefore subsumed within the broad rubric of commercial law.  Much commercial law within the United States is governed by what is known as the Uniform Commercial Code, or U.C.C.  Two notable areas that are generally not included as part of commercial law are, first, transactions relating to real property (i.e. land ownership), and second, corporate law, which relates to rules concerning the formation, governance and activity of the dominant entry through which much commerce is conducted.

The premier foundational course for commercial law is contracts, which may make sense to you, because contracts are the premier means through which parties enter into binding commercial transactions.  We do not list it below because you are already required to take the course in your first year.  After contracts, we recommend three "foundational classes", but only one of them, commercial transactions in goods, is purely "commercial."  The other two, tax and business organizations, are so fundamental to developing a deeper understanding of commercial law that we regard them as foundational nonetheless.

Commercial law may have a reputation for being dry and uninteresting, but that reputation is undeserved.  Not only does commercial law continue to provide a rich and rewarding career for many of our graduates, but it is also a diverse, fascinating and ever-changing area of law as well.  It is a field that must adapt to rapidly evolving commercial and financial contexts.  Its practitioners must do the same in order to remain both relevant, and effective.

Full Time Faculty

Additional Resources

Moot Court Competitions:



Student Organizations:

Pittsburgh Journal of Law and Commerce

Other Resources

Commercial Law Blog,

Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC