30 Free Online Open Courses in Law and Legal

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There are more college courses available online these days than ever before. There are many reasons that this has happened.

Many traditional colleges and universities find that many more students are interested in educating themselves if the courses are offered online. Many of those students lack the ability or the resources to move physically to where that university is located.

One of the biggest developments in the online educational world in the last few years is Massive Online Open Courses or MOOCs, which are available for free online to people all over the country and even the world.

There is a huge and growing interest in these MOOCs because they are offered in all types of subjects, and many of the universities providing them are top-tier institutions.

After a good deal of research, we found these 30 free college courses in the field of law and legal studies. Some of the universities put several legal courses online, while others may just put one. The sections are divided by institution or the source of the course.

edX Classes by Harvard University

  1. International Law – International law is thought of as the general law of the international community, which is the law that governs relations between different countries and states. In this course, you will learn how international law is made, who makes it and how it is applied. You also will learn about what happens when these laws are broken.
  2. Contract Law – From Trust to Promise to Contract – This free online law course is taught by one of the best authorities on contract law in the world. You will learn about how a contract is a promise that law will enforce, but what happens when the law will not honor a contract? What happens when one party fails to hold up its terms?
  3. Intellectual Property Law and Police – IP and Patent Laws – Part I – This fascinating free legal course will touch upon most parts of commercial and artistic activities, as intellectual property law is a vital part of international society today. You will learn about intellectual property laws, the theories that support the foundation of the laws and how patent law works. A two-part series.
  4. Intellectual Property Law and Policy – Copyright and Trademark Laws Part 2 – Students explore the modern realities that surround copyright and trademark laws, and also consider the alternatives to intellectual property and what the future holds for this fascinating area of the law. Features some of the most important legal cases in each area and also the policy implications.
  5. International Criminal Law – The goal of this course is for students all over the world to understand international criminal law. It includes 20 chapters on this topic and features laws from the US, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and various Islamic countries. The course will cover property and history; the birth of the International Criminal Court; jurisdiction of international criminal law; and extradition.
  6. Legal Risk Management Strategies for Multinational Enterprises – This free law course will teach you the most important legal concepts that have to do with business compliance. This is a four part course that is made for law firms that want to offer more services for international clients and can help their law firm to have a more global reach.
  7. JuryX: Deliberations for Social Change: This exciting legal course is free and allows you to explore the full concept of what a jury is in the Western sense. You will discover the art and history of the jury’s deliberative process via online discussions that cover many historical legal cases and also the major legal issues we face in the 21st century.

Stanford University Law School Classes

  1. Introduction to Negotiation: If you are a newcomer to the art of negotiation, this free legal course can be the foundation upon which you will build a new set of skills. You will be learning from a highly experienced Silicon Valley teacher and practitioner of negotiation. You also will collaborate with your fellow students on various negotiation discussion sessions.

Coursera.com Law Classes

  1. A Law Student’s Toolkit: This course will provide you with the skills that you will need to succeed in law school and in the years afterward. You will be introduced to terminology, concepts, and tools that legal professionals use to make strong arguments. By developing these skills in this free law class, you will be able to both follow complex legal arguments and make your own.
  2. Rethinking International Tax Law: International tax planning techniques and strategies have become a very heated subject of conversation in the last decade. This free legal class provides you with the tools to be informed about this debate and to explain the foundations and basics of international tax law.
  3. An Introduction to American Law: This law class will provide you with a basic understanding of six areas of American law: tort, contract, property, constitutional law, criminal law and civil procedure. You will develop better insight about the many complexities and dilemmas that come out of the application of law in many settings. You also will learn what is unique about the American approach to law.
  4. Introduction to International Criminal Law: There is no area of the law that is more critical to world peace than international criminal law. This free online course is taught by one of the leading criminal law experts in the world. It will provide you with a solid foundation about the key areas of international criminal law and policy. The course has eight units and each one has assigned reading and also a simulation that will attempt to bring the assignments to life.
  5. English Common Law: Structures and Principles: Common Law in England and Wales is one of the most important legal traditions in the world. In order to have a better understanding of English common law, it is important to understand its history and how its institutions developed over time. These include the jury, due process, parliamentary sovereignty and judge made law. Also, we need to understand the role that democracy plays in common law development.
  6. Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy: Environmental law is one of the most important institutions standing between mankind and the exhaustion of the planet. It also is an entity that has to be better reconciled with human liberty and long term economic aspirations of humanity. This free law course will consider these complex issues and will provide you with a tour through current legal regimes that deal with pollution, water law, endangered species and toxic substances.
  7. European Business Law: Understanding the Fundamentals: The European Union is one of the most important economies in the world, and this five week free class will provide participants with a solid grasp of European business law. First to be considered will be the basic structures and principles of the EU and also there will be a focus on certain specialized areas of business law.
  8. European Business Law: Doing Business in Europe: This is a free, six week online course that is a continuation of the above course about the major business aspects of EU law. This course will expand your understanding of European laws and regulations so that you grasp how to set up a legal company in the EU. It also will explore important business considerations within a broad perspective by featuring inputs from the top law practitioners in the EU.
  9. Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms: This is a free, seven week class that explores the complex relationship between technology and law with a major focus on US law. There also are some comparisons with law around the globe, particularly in Europe. Technological progress is important for economic growth and also raises many legal and ethical problems, which this course will explore in detail.
  10. Property Law and Liability: This course from Coursera is an introduction to law and economics. It will educate you about the oldest and most familiar aspects of American law, property and proportional liability. Further, it will teach you to apply economic reasoning to an important and interesting area of life.
  11. The Three Pillar Model for Business Decisions: Strategy, Law and Ethics: Top business school researchers have determined that there is a powerful model for making the best business decisions that are based upon law, ethics and economics, which is the Three Pillar Model. This class uses complex business decision making to show each student how to use the model. To achieve the best business success, the student has to manage risk, create value and do so responsibly.
  12. International Law in Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes: This is the second course in the International Law in Action series by Leiden University. The first class detailed international courts and tribunals which are conducted in the Hague. This class provides an up close look at the work of the international criminal courts and tribunal. Each student will learn about prosecution and investigation of international crimes in the Hague.
  13. Copyright for Educators and Librarians: There is a great deal of fear and uncertainty regarding copyright law that often worries educators and sometimes can be an obstacle to creative teaching. This free class will provide you with a general introduction to US copyright law and will empower teachers and librarians at all levels.

Open University Free Classes

  1. Starting With Law: This free class for online learners explores the most important legal concepts that include legal capacity and responsibilities and rights of all individuals. This class will give you an introduction into how laws are made and how they affect us.
  2. Changing Law: Mental Capacity Legislation: This free legal class considers how legal problems are identified and how the law develops to address such problems. It will use the evolution of legislation on decision making for mentally incapacitated people to explore how laws are developed. This class features particular study on UK law.
  3. Privacy Rights and the Law: Privacy is understood to be a vital human right, but how should this right be balanced with the protection of others? What about the right to freedom of expression? This free class discusses how privacy is protected in the UK and how this affects the European Convention on Human Rights.
  4. Human Rights and Law: Human rights are very important in many areas of life, but from where do human rights originate and how did they first develop? This free law class looks at the effect of the European Convention on Human Rights and its influence on laws in the UK. There also is an examination of the Human Rights Act of 1998.
  5. Parliament and the Law: How are rules made in the UK Parliament and who influences the procedure? This is a free course that will provide you with an introduction to rule making processes in the UK Houses of Parliament. You will learn how laws are actually constructed and enacted and how the content for the laws can be influenced.
  6. Exploring the Boundaries of International Law: This free online class is designed to offer you an introduction to the most important concepts that you need to understand about international law. It will introduce you to the concept of international legal personality and also will explain to you the state of the state and the principles of sovereignty and jurisdiction.
  7. An Introduction to Law in Contemporary Scotland: This free class online will provide an overview of how laws are made in modern Scotland. It will consider both the role of the Scottish Parliament and Courts in the making of laws. It also will examine the court system structure and the important role of the judiciary. This class is of interest to those who need an overview of the legal system in Scotland.
  8. Company Law in Context: The complex legal issues that are involved in setting up and running a new business are very complex and confusing. This is especially true when many of the legal terms you see do not always seem to have clear meanings. This class will provide you with an overview of the important legal concepts of partnerships, companies, liabilities and assets.
  9. Judges and the Law: If you ever wanted to know how judges decide the law, this class will look at how the common law system operates and the difference between civil law and common law in the UK. It also will explore the advantages and disadvantages of common law. The judiciary’s role in the making of laws is looked at in detail as the origins of common law are explored.
Geoffrey Nathan, Esq.

About Geoffrey Nathan, Esq.

Geoffrey G Nathan is a top federal crimes lawyer and Chief Editor of FederalCharges.com. He is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1988, admitted to practice in both Federal and State courts. If you have questions about your federal case he can help by calling 877.472.5775.