List of Free Online Legal Courses and Classes
Free online legal courses are offered by real schools. Learn which law courses are available, what topics they cover and which ones lead to real college credit.
Online Legal Classes for Credit
Free online legal classes can be used by students to learn law terminology and concepts, but not to earn college credit in a degree program. Students looking for a credit-granting option without the expense associated with a traditional college course might want to consider other options.
Education Portal's Business 103: Introductory Business Law course is an affordable alternative that can lead to real college credit. In addition to free lesson transcripts, there are self-assessment quizzes and video lessons available to registered members who pay a small fee that's significantly lower than the cost of tuition. Some of the chapters in this course are listed below:
- Contract Law Basics - Peruse contract law terms and sources before examining the differences between unilateral and bilateral contracts, expressed and implied contracts and informal and formal contracts, among others.
- Property Law - Understand laws protecting trade secrets, patents and other intellectual property. Instructors also outline the types of real and personal property.
- Employment and Labor Law - This lesson delves into the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family Medical Leave Act as well as laws designed to prevent employment discrimination. Unemployment compensation, labor relations, wrongful termination and workplace safety are also discussed.
- International Business Law - Discover the constitutional article regulating international business treaties as well as the agencies overseeing various types of international transactions.
- Torts - Instructors outline the elements of tort law and explain the legal definitions of such terms as battery, trespass, negligence and libel.
Free Online Non-Credited Legal Classes
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Courses offered through MIT's OpenCourseWare system do not offer academic credit. Classes are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and students can learn through a combination of lecture notes, study materials, papers and additional readings. Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier is an undergraduate course that discusses the effects of the Internet and technology on law policies. Students have access to lectures, assignments, a sample midterm and other student term papers.
Law and Society is an undergraduate course that examines how law is applied to popular culture and society. Students can learn about the civil justice system, the legal profession and jurisprudential paradigms. Lecture notes, paper topics and study materials are available. The undergraduate class Philosophy of Law looks at the theories of legal interpretation, the nature of law and other philosophical issues. Readings are focused on the obligation to obey the law, punishment, responsibility and ethics. Students are provided with extensive reading notes and paper topics.
The Open University
The Open University doesn't offer academic credit, but the institution does offer various free courses on legal subjects. The classes feature activities within the lessons. Company Law in Context is an intermediate course that touches on the legal issues associated with establishing a business. Topics include company assets, partnerships and liabilities. The course can teach students about business mediums, business failure and capital.
Judges and Law is an introductory course where students can learn the machinations of common law in the UK. Topics include the common law system, court hierarchy, the role of the judiciary and statutory interpretation. The course also features a list of additional readings. Privacy Rights and the Law takes a look at UK law to examine the right to privacy. Topics include when confidence can be protected, human rights and how to read legal materials.
University of California at Berkeley
- Aims and Limits of the Criminal Law
- Environmental Policy Prospectives
- International Environmental Law
- Law and Economics I
Courses at UC Berkeley are offered in either an audio or video format and do not offer academic credit. Aims and Limits of the Criminal Law is a series of 21 free audio lectures that must be downloaded onto iTunes. Environmental Policy Perspectives is a video lecture that lasts approximately one hour and teaches students about environmental law in relation to economics and ecology.
International Environmental Law provides 13 video lectures on topics such as dispute settlement, transboundary watercourses, climate change and state responsibility. Law and Economics I is comprised of 25 audio iTunes lectures that examine microeconomic theory analysis and focus on the repercussions of liability rules and property rights.
University of California at Irvine
Theory and Method in Legal History is a non-credit video lecture that lasts roughly three and a half hours and explores law as a form of art, economy, peace, science and war. The lecture features different speakers touching on a number of topics, such as interdependence of law, conceptions of law and the laws of war.
University of Michigan
Open.Michigan is a non-accrediting body at the University of Michigan that doesn't provide users with degrees or certificates. Intellectual Property and Information Law is a graduate course that explores how ideas are created and shared in the modern age. Other topics include copyright law, patent fundamentals, cybercrime and the First Amendment. Users can access lectures, readings, handouts and exercises.