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A New Paradigm for the Teaching of Business Law and Legal Environment Classes

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There is a need to develop curriculum and materials on law-related topics better designed for business students planning a career in business. Except incidentally, business school legal faculty are not teaching future lawyers or paralegals. The world of the business practitioner is very different from that of the lawyer. For most business people the law and lawyers are a necessary nuisance. Furthermore, the legal world is changing. For example, methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) have become mainstream. Opportunities for “self-help law” have proliferated. These trends, and other opportunities considered in this article, offer substantial benefits to the business community. To meet the needs of today's business person, college business law and legal environment courses must stress economical, intelligent prevention of legal problems and resolution of conflict. This article is about empowering future business managers by utilizing their class time to educate them to more directly meet these goals. Topical coverage and pedagogical approaches for implementing a new paradigm in a business school introductory law course are detailed. Faculty members should not allow fear of change to deter a needed overhauling of the curriculum, as such procrastination could harm the profession's future standing.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of San Diego, School of Business Administration, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110.

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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