Sure, you can read about Minnesota laws, memorize them, then regurgitate the information back in the form of answers on a test; however, can you actually apply law knowledge to a real world situation?
That’s what Minnesota School of Business instructor David Monroy wanted to figure out. He challenged his business law students to apply learned knowledge about Minnesota laws to an imitation court case involving a non-compete clause.
Students were assigned into groups and acted as representatives of one of the three clients in the case—the employee, the employee’s former employer and the employee’s current employer. Each group had to present their client’s side of the story using applicable Minnesota laws and similar court case proceedings.
Specifically, each group had to present their arguments on whether the non-compete agreement was enforceable against the employee based on Minnesota law, and whether the employee’s new employer is liable to the former employer for tortious interference.
To make the project even more life-like, Monroy invited various community members to play arbitrators, who listened to the “court proceedings” and decided the outcome of the case based on the presented information.
“The students knew their material, knew the law, showed empathy and were very convincing,” said arbitrator Cindy Gibbs.
After the project was over, students reflected on what they learned through the process.
“This project helped to cement the principles of business law that we are learning about and put them into practical use,” said business student, Irielle Werner.
For Monroy, the project was a success. Not only did his students enjoy the courtroom-like atmosphere, but they also learned a great deal of information from the project as well.