at the sophomore level, one should be focusing on comprehension, application and analysis. Since it is business law, you need to focus on some aspect of how business and law intersect. case studies are a good way to start off, so get them used to that methodology. Identify salient issues, prepare rubrics to assess how well the business complied with the law, and corrective actions taken. and for a project/company/topic, they should perhaps vote on something that is relevant to them. I used this method for selecting a movie to analyze. It was for an art appreciation course but the concept works well. In a nutshell, I took suggestions from the floor for what movie to analyze. Listed them on the board. Then we did a show of hands, and everyone was allowed three votes (honor system). The top 5 (I usually got 12-15 suggestions from 40 students) made the cut. The next cut was for the top three. two votes per student. Then the final cut was among the remaining three, one vote per person. Winner had to win by three votes. Usually, we had a final round of the top two! It really got the class engaged. I also let them lobby for their favorite (I took off for a smoke while they deliberated and presented their case to their peers. It was a good exercise in collaborative learning as well). The winner was shown and they wrote papers about the important aspects of the art form. For a business course, they could identify important issues; ones that matter to them. don t judge them yourself: if THEY pick the topic, THEY have to live with the consequences! In other words, give them extra rope if they want it. You will probably get half a dozen. During the initial campaigning and selection of candidates you might offer a few comments on each issue, always be positive about how "interesting" it is. don t tell them about how hard it will be to do the analysis. That is where YOU get to have the fun later on. Once the topic has been decided on, have them identify (good homework assignment) 3 or 4 companies that would be good examples of the topic. Oops, you forgot to tell them that there is a group component to all of this.. (so sorry, ). next, once they have organized into general groups (on their own, again, if they choose it, they have to deal with it) they should be able to collectively identify some of the issues, and aspects that ALL case studies should include: the laws that apply, the business principles at stake etc. Here, guide them. (oh, BTW, this whole process should be spread out over a 3 week period, for a small portion of the daily course lecture time) IF you get resistance to the whole group concept idea, they are merely mimicking what goes on in the REAL business world, and that the group component is ONLY for sharing research, NOT for papers/presentations and the since each student will do their own paper, they all earn their grade individually. ( I can pretty much guarantee that your department chair has not given you this much guidance or advice..). make sure that all the ideas generated by the groups is shared with the class: some groups will identify factors that other miss... Oh, keep a written log/journal of the progress with the project. make sure to do a write-up at the end, including your assessment of how effective it was. Hand this in to your chair in a formal assessment report. That alone should give you an edge in retaining an appointment for the next semester. Include suggestions for improvement. here is another cool tip: let the students decide on the criteria for HOW the papers will be graded. You will be surprised. many rookie instructors think that they HAVE TO BE IN TOTAL CONTROL. not true. The students will be more demanding of themselves than you would be: again, they make the decisions, they live with the consequences. Another idea: present things that you KNOW to be issues. For example: is Sarbanes-Oxley actually effective or are there circumstances when it does not work? (I have a long story about how it fails to identify real threats, but not here, not now.) Why is AA/EOE not effective? How has college hiring been affected (my personal issue). Under what circumstances is it ok to ignore the EOE rules? Anyway, welcome to academia. there are more than my methods, but having been involved for 2 decades as an Associate Prof, and at several levels of administration, I think that I have offered you some sound ideas. Good luck!