Faculty Profile

Charity Osborn

Charity Osborn

Associate Professor of Business Law; Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Email: osbornc@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2906
Office: McKenna Hall 207

Education: BA, University of Illinois at Urbana, 1997; JD, University of Michigan Law School, 2002. At SPU since 2015.

Charity Osborn began her career as an educator in 2015 when, as a licensed Washington state attorney with litigation experience, she accepted the then-Associate Dean’s offer to teach BUS 2414 (Legal Environment of Business) as an adjunct professor. To her surprise and delight, she fell in love with teaching the basics of the legal system to undergraduate and graduate students and decided to pursue a vocation in academia. She was quickly promoted to Assistant and then Associate Professor of Business Law and has been teaching business and political science courses in SBGE ever since.

Professor Osborn’s Legal Environment course (for which she created a class slogan: “Know Enough About the Law to Handle It Like A Champ”) soon became a student favorite for its lively discourse and practical applicability to business and to life. Instead of weeding through abstract legal concepts that prove difficult to remember or even understand, the course focuses on teaching students the way the law “thinks” in the United States, with special emphasis on practical skills like knowing when and how to hire a lawyer; what to expect if/when you are sued; and an overview of the concepts and likely pitfalls of which business practitioners should all be aware in specific legal areas, including but not limited to contracts, torts, business enterprise, securities, employment and intellectual property. Professor Osborn’s pedagogical specialty is incorporating real life scenarios, as well as news stories, video clips, and memes, into the classroom, in order that students appreciate the relevancy of and are able to deeply engage with a subject many initially find intimidating.

Over the years, Professor Osborn has expanded her teaching repertoire to include Business Ethics (“How to Be Good?”); Introduction to Politics (“What in the World is Happening?”); Spirituality in Business (“Becoming a Peacemaker: Transformative Dispute Resolution”), and Constitutional Law (“The Right Rights”). She also oversees the SBGE internship program, advising students and approving their internship experiences for credit. She enjoys serving as faculty advisor to students in business and pre-law majors across SBGE programs and as a thesis advisor to honors students whose projects are specifically centered on the law.

In 2022, Professor Osborn accepted the SBGE Dean’s offer to become the department’s Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, a role in which she overseas undergraduate program operations, including student, faculty/staff, and program/curriculum issues. She works closely with SBGE’s other deans to provide leadership and management of the department and maintain its accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Charity Osborn is a practice academic who graduated from the prestigious University Michigan Law School; maintains her license as an attorney in the State of Washington; has work experience in criminal and civil litigation, as well as Constitutional Law; has trained extensively as a transformational mediator; and has donated considerable hours as a volunteer legal services provider and non-profit board member. She is an Episcopalian, an avid electric bike rider, an accomplished musician, a lifelong learner, and an enthusiastic but solidly mediocre modern dancer. She lives in the Judkins Park neighborhood of Seattle with her two teenage sons.

Dr. Osborn Teaching in Class

Why I Teach at SPU

Charity Osborn, Associate Professor of Business Law, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies 

“Businesspeople have a lot of power in the United States (arguably, more power than any other single group), and history has shown us that the legal system alone cannot sufficiently protect us from the abuse and mismanagement of that power: we must also rely on the good character and integrity of the people who make up those businesses. Teaching in the SBGE at SPU, I have the privilege of participating every day in the world-changing work of helping develop the type of leaders who will advance—not detract from—human flourishing.  I am consistently delighted by the students who come to SPU from various backgrounds with the shared goal of developing not only competence, but character, and who invite me into their lives to help equip and encourage them on their way. These students give me great hope for the future!”