I teach at a relatively small school, which has its great advantages. One of those is that faculty get to teach a range of courses in their respective fields â€“ in my case business law. But this can also present challenges. Sometimes non-â€œcoreâ€ courses, such as my law and entrepreneurship course (which focuses on venture capital but also covers other issues relevant to start-ups), are taught on a rotating basis. Because upper-level students have only one chance to take the course, I donâ€™t require prerequisites, although I strongly suggest business associations and the basic tax course as co-requisites. Inevitably, students come in with wide variations in their knowledge of corporate and tax law, not to mention the economics/IO literature. To mitigate the differences, I grade on the basis of an in-class presentation and short paper on a particular topic (on the theory that everyone can get up to speed on one topic). But my lectures do have to be accessible to all without boring the students with advanced training (or me!).
Iâ€™m interested to hear how other profs handle this problem.Â I think the approach may depend on whether the course is of the seminar variety, with no exam, or a standard exam course.Â So next year when I add securities regulation to the mix, for example, I will probably require business associations as a prerequisite unless students have some sort of advanced trainingÂ that’s an adequateÂ substitute.