List of Free Online Law Classes, Lectures and Courses
See our list of the top free online law classes, lectures and courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.
Online Law Courses for Credit
Like many of the courses listed below, Education Portal's Business 103: Introductory Business Law course contains text lessons as well as instructional videos. What sets this resource apart from the others, however, is the ability to use online instruction to earn real college credit. This cost-effective alternative to a traditional course allows registered members to receive instruction via illustrated videos and includes additional learning materials, such as self-assessment quizzes, that help students earn credit for considerably less than the cost of tuition. Free lesson transcripts are also available to everyone. Some of the chapters in this course include:
- Legal Procedures - Learn the components of a civil case's pretrial pleadings, motions, jury selection and appeals processes. The constitutional rights of the defendant in a criminal trial are also covered.
- Contract Law Basics - Study basic contract types and rules as well as methods for terminating a contract. Learn the legal definition of such terms as acceptance, mutual assent and legal detriment.
- Property Law - Identify the differences between real and personal property. Instructors also discuss trademark, copyright and patent infringement as they relate to intellectual property.
- Sales & the Law - Examine how the Uniform Commercial Code is used to outline the rights of the buyer and seller in a sales transaction.
Free Online Non-Credited Law Courses
Environmental Law and Policy at the University of California - Berkeley
This introductory course consists of a series of video lectures exploring environmental common law and key statutes, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. Students also examine methods used to tackle the challenges of environmental law. Air and water pollution control is discussed as well.
Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Privacy issues, profiling and access to information are a few of the topics discussed in this undergraduate course. Students have access to lecture notes, assignments, exam questions, sample student projects and tips for writing a news article. The two required textbooks are not provided to online students, though there are links to several supplemental readings and course materials.
Europe and the Law at the Open University
This 20-hour introductory course covers the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights. Students learn through a series of written lessons, some illustrated with links to legal journals and transcripts. Others include activities to help provide students with deeper insight on the topics.
Hate Crimes at the University of California - Irvine
Students examine the social and political ramifications of hate crimes as well as their causes. Types of hate crimes and the policies developed to control them are also discussed. Course materials consist of a series of slides and an extensive list of reading assignments that students must obtain on their own.
Human Rights and Law at the Open University
By examining the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act of 1998, students gain an understanding of how law in the United Kingdom is shaped by human rights considerations. Written lessons and activities illustrate topics including the European Court of Human Rights, slavery reform and treaties. Students get a review of what they've studied at the end of the course.
Introduction to Copyright Law at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Topics examined in this course include the 1976 Copyright Act and the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Students also look at how copyright law affects file sharing in music and education. The course consists of four video lectures, assignments and reading materials, all of which are available online.
Judges and the Law at the Open University
This introductory course explores the United Kingdom's civil codes and common law. It also examines how judges influence the legislative process. Written lessons explain such topics as the structure of the legal system in Wales and England, law reporting and statutory interpretation. Some lessons use activities and links to outside resources to illustrate key points. This course is 20 hours in length.
Law and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In this course, students examine how the legal system effects social, political and economic development. Lecture notes from some, but not all, class sessions are included, as are downloadable guidelines for reading and writing about the social sciences. Students can also access paper topics. However, required textbooks, films and additional reading materials are not provided.
Law and Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
This second-year vet school course is designed to help aspiring veterinarians recognize the legal and ethical issues affecting their practices. Students can access transcripts and slides of eight lectures discussing such topics as controlled substances, animal cruelty and malpractice. Links to additional resources are provided. Readings are assigned from several textbooks.
'Law as…' Theory and Method in Legal History Conference at the University of California - Irvine
This course consists of a series of interdisciplinary video lectures delivered during a conference in 2010. Lecture topics include law in relation to early America, taxation, the concept of justice, the economy and the civil rights movement. Links to recorded panel discussions are also available.
White Collar and Corporate Crime at the University of California - Irvine
Students in this course investigate criminal activities largely associated with the business world. Theories regarding the causes and definitions of white collar crime and the methods used to control them are also considered. Course lessons include assignments, though online students will not have access to discussion forums.
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