Benchmarking and Accreditation Goals Support the Value of an Undergraduate Business Law Core Course

35 Journal of Legal Studies Education 171-189, Winter 2018

19 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2018

See all articles by Christine Neylon O'Brien

Christine Neylon O'Brien

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Richard E. Powers

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Thomas Wesner

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Date Written: February 11, 2018

Abstract

This article surveys top-ranked business schools in the United States for inclusion of business law in their undergraduate core curricula. The vast majority of these schools require: law, legal studies, or law and public policy, and many include an ethics component. The surveyed schools also feature elective courses in law, and some provide concentrations, minors, or majors in law or legal studies. Benchmarking supports the conclusion that top programs value business law as essential knowledge for business students. In addition, the authors note that business law courses support general business knowledge areas and skills identified by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), as enhancing mission-critical skills. These skills include the ability to communicate effectively and the development of critical thinking and analysis. Furthermore, business law acts as an important bridge to the liberal arts for business school students. Finally, business law courses provide core knowledge to satisfy the assurance of learning for accreditation assessment purposes, in particular for those schools utilizing the Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) Bachelor of Business Exam which allocates approximately ten percent of questions to legal and social environment, and other subject areas tested include elements of law.

Keywords: business law, legal studies, ethics, undergraduate business core, benchmarking, AACSB accreditation, assessment, assurance of learning, critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, Business Week and U.S. News rankings

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K2, K20, K30, K4, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Christine Neylon and Powers, Richard E. and Wesner, Thomas, Benchmarking and Accreditation Goals Support the Value of an Undergraduate Business Law Core Course (February 11, 2018). 35 Journal of Legal Studies Education 171-189, Winter 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3122040

Christine Neylon O'Brien (Contact Author)

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Business Law Department
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
(617) 552-0413 (Phone)
(617) 552-0414 (Fax)

Richard E. Powers

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Thomas Wesner

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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