Michal Barzuza headshot

Michal Barzuza

Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
S.J.D. Harvard Law School 2004
LL.M. Harvard Law School 1999
LL.B. Tel Aviv University 1997
B.A. Tel Aviv University 2003

Professor Michal Barzuza researches and teaches corporate law, corporate governance, corporate finance, regulatory competition and law and economics. Her scholarship studies the optimal balance between regulation and laissez-faire in corporate law, focusing on issues such as the effects of interstate competition on the shape of corporate law, firm heterogeneity and the choice of corporate governance terms, cross-listing, boardroom dynamics, outside directors and the general counsel, and firms with controlling shareholders.

Her research analyzing Nevada’s attempt to compete with Delaware over incorporations by offering lax law was selected as one of the top 10 papers in corporate and securities law for 2012 in a national survey of corporate law professors and was reprinted in the Corporate Practice Commentator. This research and her research on the companies that choose to incorporate in Nevada received significant national coverage. Her work was twice selected for presentation at the Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum, and seven times at the annual meetings of the American Law and Economics Association.

Barzuza was a visiting professor at New York University Law School and served on the board of Southern Union Gas, a mid-size New York Stock Exchange company. She practiced corporate law at the Israeli law firm of Haim Zadok & Co., and was a summer associate at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood in New York.

Barzuza received her S.J.D. from Harvard Law School. Her dissertation won the John M. Olin Prize for Outstanding Paper in Law and Economics. After her graduation she served as an Olin Fellow in Law, Economics and Business at Harvard. During her studies she taught a workshop on regulatory competition in corporate and securities law as a Byse Teaching Fellow. She received an LL.B. and a B.A. in economics from Tel Aviv University, where she was a Cegla Research Fellow in law and economics and an editor of the Tel Aviv University Law Review.

LAW 6101: Corporate Finance
Credits: 2
This course is the second half of the combined four-credit Accounting/Corporate Finance course. The central theme is understanding the sources of value for the firm from the perspective of the manager who must make financing choices (sources of funds) and investment choices (uses of funds) to maximize the value of the firm.
LAW 6109: Corporations (Law & Business)
Credits: 4
This course considers the formation and operation of corporations and will compare corporations to other business forms. It will examine the roles and duties of those who control businesses and the power of investors to influence and litigate against those in control. The course will also address the special problems of closely held corporations and issues arising out of mergers and attempts to acquire firms.
LAW 7738: Israeli Business Law and Innovation (SC)
Credits: 2
This J-term course, taught in Israel, will familiarize students with the unique legal aspects of Israel's entrepreneurial culture through a series of lectures, meetings with practitioners, businesses and government institutions.
GBUS 8723: Shareholder Activism
Credits: 2
This course covers a growing force in corporate governance - shareholder activism. Institutions activism to improve ESG; Hedge funds activism to intervene in corporate strategy and shareholder proposals for governance changes. This class will analyze academic literature, practical legal documents, and cases to investigate the several dimensions of shareholder activism and their effects on firm performance, strategy, and policies.
LAW 9127: Current Issues in Corporate Law and Governance
Credits: 3
This seminar will cover current issues in corporate law and governance such as executive compensation, corporate governance and firm value, state competition in corporate law, anti-takeover law, the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on corporate governance and the desirability of increasing shareholder power.
LAW 9237: Empirical Methods in Corporate Law and Finance
Credits: 3
The seminar will discuss empirical methods in the research of corporate law, governance finance. The first meetings will focus on empirical methodology . We will learn how to read and evaluate empirical results. Subsequent meetings will cover empirical research in specific issues such as hedge fund activism, staggered boards and majority voting.
LAW 9285: Corporate Governance New Paradigm - Shareholder Activism
Credits: 3
In recent years shareholder activism has emerged as a major force in shaping and influencing corporate governance . The seminar will review three major sources of this influence: shareholder proposals, proxy advisory companies, and hedge fund activism.
LAW 9310: Institutional Investors and Corporate Governance
Credits: 3
Hedge funds and mutual funds have shown a willingness to intervene in questions of corporate strategy, management, and even issues of social importance. This class will investigate how these trends are changing the reality of corporate governance by engaging with both academic articles from a variety of disciplines and documents created by corporate governance practitioners to gain an understanding of these phenomena.