Legal Foundations of Business (BLAW2301, §§AC, AD & AG_118)

 … 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 Wednesday, January 17th …

  • BLAW2301AG at 11a in JH112
  • BLAW2301AC at 2p in JH111
  • BLAW2301AD at 3:30p 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 the link below for your section to signup for Slack and complete your Slack profile. The name of your Slack workspace is section dependent so

You must use your SHU email ( to complete the signup process. 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 workspace 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.

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.

N.B. Do not purchase The Legal Environment of Business: A Managerial and Regulatory Perspective, 3rd Ed. CreateSpace (2011).

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.

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. As you know, our course communications platform is Slack. Please DM me in Slack with some days/times when you are available and we can schedule a video conference in Slack.

I can be reached via any number of platforms … Slack, Teams, email, voice or video conference. As a general rule, I am available if I am online. If you are already enrolled in one of my courses then DM me in Slack and I will respond. I will try to reply to email and voice messages as soon as possible but certainly no more than 24 hours after receipt. If you prefer a video conference (and who doesn’t?) please ping me with some convenient days/times and we’ll set it up.

My office hours are subject to change pretty much every semester so please check your course syllabus for my current office hours. I generally schedule at least one hour a week using Slack video to accommodate those who have a conflict with my scheduled office hours. If you are unavailable to meet in my office, you can schedule an appointment for a F2F meeting or we can set up a video conference via Skype or Slack. I prefer video conferences because they give me more options when answering your questions.

That said, I do try to carve out some space for thoughtful consideration of life. The practical impact of that desire is to keep evenings and weekends clear for family, friends and other forms of social interaction. If you going to ping me late on a Friday then I will get back to you on Monday unless it is an emergency … a REAL emergency.

So, you ask, what are the variety of contact points where you can reach me? You can reach me by email (john DOT shannon AT shu DOT edu), Skype (shannojh) or Twitter. Please DM me in Slack if you are already enrolled in one of my courses.

When communicating with me please include the following information: your name, the question or issue to be resolved, your course/section and any other necessary information.