Legal Foundations of Business (BLAW2301AB_317)

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

Before We Meet

We will meet for the first time on Monday, August 28th at 11a in JH111.

Before we meet please click Before We Begin to complete some housekeeping items that include introducing yourself, agreeing to the learning contract and completing your Slack profile. 

Click here to signup for Slack and complete your Slack profile. You must use your SHU email ( to complete the signup process. Your Slack team name is 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.


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, the law of business organizations and the regulatory environment. Students will examine the ethical challenges that arise at the intersection of law and business.

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); Tue, 9:30a – 10:30a (Slack Video); also by appt

We can schedule an alternative meeting time if you are not available during my office hours. Please DM me in Slack with some days/times when you are available and we can schedule a video conference in Slack.

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. You will actively engage in the course through the use of the Socratic Method, both in class and during our digital 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. Law, Business and Regulation: A Managerial Perspective, CreateSpace (2017).

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

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.


Since you have reviewed my Course Policies, 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 communication and collaboration platform will be Slack. If you need to reach me or have a question, please DM in Slack. We use Google+ for our virtual office hours on Tuesday mornings. 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.