Legal Foundations of Business (BLAW2301AB_315)

 … introduces undergraduate students to a varied but limited number of important concepts
in the study of law as it relates to the business environment  … 
Prerequisite: None

Stillman’s Mission

… is to enrich each student’s life through an ethics-centered education focusing on transforming concepts into business practice.

Welcome To The Course

Welcome to the Legal Environment of Business. This is your course syllabus. I will update this syllabus if I add something to the course or if something unexpected intervenes … like a hurricane or blizzard. It is your responsibility to remain current on course assignments and materials by reviewing this syllabus regularly for updates.

You should review this syllabus, calendar and the other materials included in this site carefully. You will find answers to any questions when you review the rest of the information included on this site. If you have any questions after you’ve reviewed the site and this syllabus, click here to contact me.

Before We Meet

We will meet for the first time on Monday, August 31st at 11a in JH139. Before we meet please click here to complete some housekeeping itemsClick here to subscribe to the course blog’s Twitter feed.


This course’s subject matter will include an introduction to the American legal system, incorporating a survey of US court systems and types of jurisprudence; an introduction to the US Constitution with an analysis of certain basic legal concepts, constitutional amendments, and illustrative cases. We will examine ethical and international perspectives of the law related to contemporary business. Areas of study will also include contract law and the law of business organizations. Students will examine the ethical challenges that arise at the intersection of law and business.

Who Am I?

Professor John H. Shannon

  • Office: 651 Jubilee Hall
  • Email: john DOT shannon AT shu DOT edu
  • Office Hours: Mon & Wed, 12:30p – 1:30p (JH651); Mon, 9:30a – 10:30a (Google+); also by appt

You will find additional information about my availability here.

What Should You Expect?

The subject matter of the course is interesting, challenging and very timely. While we examine the basis and evolution of our legal system we will always keep an eye on how that legal system impacts the business environment. We will use a variety of digital platforms to interact with each other and the course materials. I will actively engage you through the use of the Socratic Method, both in class and during our discussions outside class. You will have a better sense of my class sessions after you read my perspective on Teaching and Learning.

Learning Objectives

This is an introductory class in the legal environment that is intended to help students improve in the competencies of critical thinking, communication, oral presentation, technology, and ethics. This course will help prepare students to meet the legal and regulatory challenges and opportunities they can expect to encounter as managers of private and public businesses. The course provides a conceptual framework for understanding the various legal tools available to managers engaged in evaluating and pursuing opportunities. The objective is not to teach business students how to think like lawyers, but rather to teach students how to become more legally astute so they can handle with confidence the legal aspects of management.

Required Course Text

Hunter, Shannon, Amoroso & O’Sullivan-Gavin. The Legal Environment of Business: A Managerial and Regulatory Perspective, 3rd Ed. CreateSpace (2011)

The required course text is available from the SHU bookstore or you can click the link above to order the text from Amazon. You will need the text before our first class meeting to complete the assignments described in the Course Schedule below.

Additional Materials

I may assign additional materials for use in our course. I will post links to those materials in advance in the Course Schedule. Please check the syllabus regularly for updates.


You are already familiar with my expectations about the use of technology in my courses. Your participation in this course will require you to engage with a number of different digital platforms. You will communicate using email and Google+, and perhaps others. You will prepare your writing assignments using digital platforms that will allow you to incorporate multimedia that will enhance your text based content. You will use resources as varied as a search engine (Google, DuckDuckGo or Bing) and also the resources available from our own Walsh Library.

You are responsible for “figuring it out” when it comes to the “how to” aspects of a project. If you don’t know how to do something … “Google” it!

Many of my students have told me that “figuring it out” was both an unexpected and beneficial experience and a critical learning outcome.

Course Policies

It is your responsibility to become familiar with my Course Policies including in class performance; attendance, preparation & participation; assignments; course communication; assessment and plagiarism. Please review them carefully.

As in the law … ignorance (of the Course Policies) is not an excuse.


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