15.615 | Spring 2003 | Undergraduate

Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


Some general advice on law courses at Sloan:

Based on my long experience in advising corporate managers, I think taking a law course at Sloan is a good idea. Companies and managers regularly confront law-sensitive issues that are crucial to the company’s future and the manager’s career. Experienced managers bring to these situations an awareness of how law structures opportunities and risks, and enough understanding of law to make good use of professional advice. I offer several law courses at Sloan, and each provides those skills. My goal is not to impart technical legal knowledge, but to enhance the judgment students will bring to their responsibilities as entrepreneurs, managers in established companies, and consultants.

Picking a law course:

Many Sloan students take a law course, but most of those take just one. The law courses I offer are not in any sequence. None is a prerequisite for any other, and each of my courses provides certain basic law-related analytic skills. However, each also has its own distinctive focus, and some are broader-gauged than others.

What we cover in 15.615/15.647:

This is a broad-gauged course. We discuss the basic framework of business law, and then follow a new firm from the “breakaway” from an established company through organizing and financing the new venture. We later consider going public, selling the company, and bankruptcy. Along the way, we examine a wide range of law-sensitive issues including intellectual property, employment law, business disputes, mergers and acquisitions, international trade, contracts, products liability, and white-collar crime.

15.647 is the first half of the course (H1), and emphasizes organizing and financing the new firm. It is recommended only if your schedule does not permit taking 615.


Take-home exercises:

There are two take-home exercises for 615. Enrollees in 647 do only the first. Students have three hours for an exercise, and some choice as to the particular three-hour period.

During the period the exercises are available, students may not consult with each other about the course. During the exercise, a student may consult only the text and the readings, and any notes prepared by that individual student. (Please keep this last restriction in mind when preparing study notes.)

The exercises heavily emphasize the required readings. The questions and format will be similar to previous years (although the exercises from some past years were 5 hours long, not three).

I use the take-home format so that a student does not have to write fast to do well. This may be of special importance for students for whom English is a second language. It is not expected that students will need the full three hours to complete the exercise.

Class participation and “on-deck” preparation:

All students are expected to participate in class discussion. In addition, for each class, some students will be assigned in advance to be “on-deck.” “On-deck” students prepare with special care and are ready to respond to questions about the readings. Guest lecturers are invited to call on the on-deck students. Students in 15.615 will be “on-deck” approximately three times. Students in 15.647 will be on-deck twice.


Grading is not tied to a formula, but will be based approximately as shown below:

Activities For 15.615 For 15.647
First take-home exercise 30% 60%
Second take-home exercise 40% -—
Class attendance / participation 30% 40%


Students should purchase:

Bagley Constance E., and Craig E. Dauchy, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law, 2007 (paperback) ISBN: 9780324204933.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2003
Learning Resource Types
notes Lecture Notes