Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) Annual Conference in Puerto Rico
From August 10-12, we attended the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) annual conference in Puerto Rico to present papers we had written in Professor Adam Sulkowski’s Business Law class. The trip was a great opportunity – we presented our papers, went to presentations by law professors from around the country and the world, and networked with other undergraduate students and professors, all while listening to Prof. Sulkowski’s fun facts about Puerto Rican history.
For this conference, we wrote, independently or in groups, papers that dealt with some aspect of business law. Maggie Jakus’s paper was on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and how she believes Volkswagen violated securities laws by failing to disclose their emissions software. Amani Mehta, Eagle Wu, and Sukanya Mukherjee researched the effectiveness of Pigovian taxes, particularly as they have been applied to health insurance, fatty foods, and carbon, although only Amani and Eagle presented. Hayley Silva presented the paper she and Shalom Kinyua wrote, which studied the best way to create social impact bonds as they are inherently risky. Sayin Shute presented a paper that he and Parth Chug, Gianca Devina, Edward Ojeda, and Maggie Jakus wrote together, examining the Dodd-Frank Act’s disclosure requirements as they relate to conflict minerals. Finally, Eagle Wu presented a paper written by Gabe Leibovich and Will Kennedy on the issues Puerto Rico faces due to its bankruptcy. Writing these papers was a long process of researching, writing, and editing many times over. We focused particularly on making sure our footnotes were compliant with the Harvard Bluebook format for legal citation. Because of our attention to detail, we were five of eight finalists. We are all very proud of the work we did and enjoyed learning from one another to create the best work we could.
One of the most interesting aspects of the trip was talking to other students and professors and seeing how law can be applied in so many different ways. While we as a group have many varied hobbies and career interests (in law, technology, business, and education), it was obvious that law impacts our lives no matter what career path we end up following. One professor gave a talk on employers having access to their employees’ fitness data, which hit close to home as the discussion after the talk revolved around more general concerns related to fitness tracker hacks. This clearly affects us, as many of us have phones with automatic fitness trackers built in. Another talk that particularly resonated with us was by a student from Indiana University – she talked about Blue Bell Ice Cream’s recent major product recall and how important corporate transparency is. As ice cream aficionados, it was interesting to see how a company could so easily impact our lives through their lack of transparency.
Overall, the ALSB conference was a fun and educational opportunity for all of us. We all learned a lot about law while getting a chance to work on our presentation and networking skills. We would like to thank Babson College for enabling us to attend the conference and improve as young professionals. We would highly recommend this for other students with an interest in law.
Amani Mehta, Eagle Wu, Hayley Silva, Maggie Jakus, Sayin Shute