Disruption, Technology & Law (BLAW4320EXP_317)

… examines several of the many issues and challenges propelled by technology driven disruption
and the effect of those disruptions on the law  … 
Prerequisite: BLAW2301, Legal Foundations of Business

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 DT&L. This is our course syllabus. We will meet F2F weekly (MW, 3:30p – 4:45p) and periodically using virtual platforms. All of the materials required this semester are described here or linked from these pages. I will update this syllabus if I add something to the course or if something unexpected intervenes … like a hurricane or blizzard. Actually, it is quite likely that I will update the syllabus given the nature of the subject we are covering. In fact, I have yet to offer this course and not adjust for some development involving our subject matter that demands attention. It is your responsibility to remain current on the Course Deliverables and Course Schedule by reviewing this syllabus regularly for updates.

This course examines several of the many issues and challenges propelled by technology driven disruption. It is clear that the established order in business, and society more generally, faces unprecedented change as a result. Since the legal and regulatory environment, broadly defined, is often among the most significant influencer of outcomes we will examine the implications of these disruptive technologies on the law as well. In the spirit of disruption we will take a hybrid (or blended) approach to this learning environment that we will be creating, modifying and consuming over the next several months.

While we will meet F2F weekly we will also integrate a variety of digital tools and platforms into our work, hence the idea of a hybrid course. We will work primarily in the digital platforms that will support the DT&L team (more on those here) rather than Blackboard. I will use Bb for some shared functions but our use of that platform will be fairly limited.

You should review this syllabus, the calendar and the other materials included in this site carefully. You will find answers to your 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, you can DM me in Slack, or click here, to contact me.

One last thought for now … the nature of this experience will, of necessity, require you to think differently about where you have been, where you are going and how you experience learning. It is important that we not only get our arms around the subject matter but we must also develop strategies for dealing with an unprecedented era of remarkable, and rapid, change. I expect that we will develop a significantly different, more collaborative environment … one that anticipates that we will actively engage in all of its opportunities.

Before We Meet

We will meet for the first time on Monday, August 28th at 3:30p in JH223. Before we meet please visit Before We Begin to complete some housekeeping items that include introducing yourself to your classmates, agreeing to the learning contract and completing your Slack account creation.

You will be joining the DT&L Slack team. It includes all of the students, and their work product, who have completed DT&L in previous semesters. Take a look around after you join the team. Be sure to visit the #1-why-dtl channel and post your answers to the questions posed in the channel’s purpose statement located at the top of the channel.

Click here to signup for Slack and complete your Slack profile. You must use your SHU email (firstname.lastname@student.shu.edu) to complete the signup process. Your Slack team name is dtl315.slack.com. Please use your full name, e.g., @firstname.lastname, as your screen name when you join the course team and create your Slack profile. Do not use your SHU short name or some variation thereof. Complete your Slack signup immediately since all of our course communication will be via Slack and I will not use email for our course communication in the future.

What Should You Expect?

This course that covers an evolving subject matter using technology platforms that may be unfamiliar (at least some of them). That said, the subject matter of the course is interesting, challenging and very timely. We will investigate several emerging and disruptive technologies and the legal and regulatory challenges presented by them. 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.

Course Communications

We are using Slack as our communications and collaboration platform so Slack is the medium you should use when engaging with DT&L issues. If you need to discuss something we can meet in person during my office hours, you can DM me in Slack or via Slack video conference.

If you completed the deliverables you found here then you are already part of our Slack team.

Learning Objectives

This course is an elective for those students who are pursuing the Minor in Legal Studies. The course will examine the implications of disruptive technologies on the law. 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

There are no required texts for this course. All of the materials required this semester are described in or linked from this syllabus.

Additional Materials

The subject matter of this course is regularly evolving. I will undoubtedly add materials as we progress through the semester. 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. Our primary communication platforms will be Slack 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 (GoogleDuckDuckGo 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.

Contact Me

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.