Monday, August 15, 2022
Launching Business Associations 2022 - Course Objectives
I am back in the classroom teaching Business Associations (year 23 of teaching) on Wednesday. As I was reviewing my course objective for the course this year, I wondered how different my learning objectives for my students are from those of others. So, I decided I would share mine here and ask for comments. Here it is:
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Course objective: The doctrinal content of this course is calibrated to prepare you for the business associations portion of the bar exam. More specifically, the course is designed to enable you to:
- compare and contrast core legal rules relating to the existence, structure, governance, liability, and financing of basic forms of for-profit business entity (and distinguish these forms of entity from sole proprietorships governed by common law principles, including those found in agency law, as well as contract, tort, and property law) through the review and analysis of state statutory and decisional law;
- become familiar with basic concepts addressed in U.S. federal securities regulation, including the definition of a security, the registration of securities offerings, public company registration and reporting, proxy regulation, and securities fraud;
- understand the framework of business entity regulation and key business law tools, concepts, and principles at the intersection of theory, policy, doctrine, and practice;
- observe how economic, social, and political dynamics impact and are impacted by the law governing for-profit businesses; and
- apply, both in writing and through oral expression, basic principles of state business entity law and U.S. federal securities law through legal analysis in advocacy, transactional, and other legal advisory settings.
In this course, you are required to act as legal decision-makers, advocates, and advisors—both individually and as part of a group—and your performance will be assessed both individually and in a group context (with all members of the group being collectively responsible for the group’s performance, as lawyers are in law practice). As a result, oral and written skills of various kinds (reading and listening closely and critically, analyzing methodically, persuading effectively and efficiently, self-assessing and peer assessing constructively, etc.) will be at a premium in all that we do. Group dynamics also will play a role. As the course permits, we will engage in contextual discussions about these kinds of skills and other aspects of lawyering (including legal ethics and professional responsibility, which pervade the course material).
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I suspect that those of us who teach the course all have a core set of substantially similar objectives, However, I also suspect that there is a lot of variance beyond that as to the scope of doctrine (how far beyond bar exam basics one goes) and the nature of other expectations. Let me know in the comments or by private message if you have any comments or other reactions. I remain curious . . . .