Legal Studies and the Changing Business Environment
Finlayson, Patricia; Ayling, Diana
Citation:Finlayson, P., and Ayling, D. (2009). Legal Studies and the Changing Business Environment. New Zealand Applied Business Education (NZABE) Conference.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2164
Anecdotal evidence suggests business students find the study of law difficult, and that they do not understand the relevance of it to their business degrees. Law teachers' response has been to question the curriculum design and methods of delivery in law teaching to non‐vocational students. As there is little scientifically robust research into students' perceptions of the place of law in business degrees the authors suggest that we need a clearer definition of why, and to what extent, students perceive legal studies as difficult and irrelevant before law teachers embark on a search for the holy grail of the perfect law teaching method for non‐vocational legal studies. As a start to this journey the authors designed this study to survey all of the students in both the undergraduate diploma course and two degree courses in law offered within the departments of Accountancy and Finance and Management and Marketing at Unitec New Zealand. Administered after the first two weeks of the semester, the survey collected both demographic data and data on the students' perceptions of law studies. This paper reviews the results from the initial data set which suggests that our multinational sample of students has, as a group, a moderately positive perception of the relevance of law in business degrees but some reservations about their having the skill set to use that legal knowledge in a constructive manner in business. The paper suggests legal studies curriculum developers should consider how they can improve student competencies to ensure graduate gain ''legal astutenes'' for global economies.