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Learner Reviews & Feedback for American Contract Law I by Yale University

877 ratings

About the Course

American Contract Law I (along with its sister course Contracts II) provides a comprehensive overview of contract law in the United States. The course covers most of the key concepts found in a first year law school class. Each lecture is based on one or more common-law cases, integrating legal doctrines with policy discussions. The course also covers key sections from the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which governs the sale of goods. By the end of the course, the learner should be able to understand: Formation: how a valid and enforceable contract is created, including concepts such as offer, acceptance, consideration, and promissory estoppel....

Top reviews


May 2, 2019

This course is an interesting, entertaining, and informative introduction to the prerequisites to contracting. I really enjoyed it and look forward to building on the foundation it provides.


Dec 9, 2019

An outstanding introduction with a very engaging instructor! This course made me think, and it made me come to terms with the legal underpinning of contract law. Completely worth my time.

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1 - 25 of 218 Reviews for American Contract Law I

By Justin W

Mar 29, 2021

One of the most intuitive courses I have ever taken. The professor takes complex cases and simplifies them for the viewer's understanding. I am excited to take the second course!

By Piotr G

Jan 31, 2019

A very good course for non-lawyers or lawyers from outside the common law system. Allows to understand the basics of the US contract law. A great opportunity to take a different look on contracts - other than the continental Europe perspective .

By Kathryn L

May 29, 2022

I'm a retired college instructor (professional writing); hold a master's degree and a paralegal certificate. I found the course almost incomprehensible from the start. The lecturer seems to make a lot of assumptions about his audience's knowledge of legal vocabulary and definitions. He puts up a slide with a phrase, then talks at length about issues related to that phrase, but not in a way that defines or illuminates them. Seems not to be familiar with the basic professional use of PowerPoint in introducing concepts. One of the essential readings links is broken. I thought perhaps it was me, but have since started "An Introduction to American Law" from the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera, and it's night and day. Terms and vocabulary clearly defined at the outset; course concepts ditto; an abundance of helpful additional readings to help students understand. Two stars only because I know the lecturer is an expert on his topic, but it doesn't seem any effort has gone into making this accessible for students at what's listed as a "beginning" level. There is a stark difference between talking about a subject and teaching a subject.

By Russell L M

Oct 24, 2020

In a typical law school course, the students must read the case law and attempt to comprehend it. Then a professor, usually using the Socratic Method, will elicit legal concepts in what is a very intimidating process. This course is infinitely better in teaching these concepts than in the scenario above. First of all, the cases are edited (minus a lot of extraneous dicta) for easier understanding. Second, the video lectures clearly explain judicial decisions and the reasoning behind them while sprinkling in 'pop quizzes' to reinforce what the student has learned. Finally, there are weekly quizzes that measure overall progress. I am very much looking forward to the follow up course to this one.

By Ahmer J K

Feb 14, 2019

Exceptional course! Loved it. Would highly recommend.

By Nathan B

Mar 5, 2021

An excellent introduction into the laws pertaining to the formation of contracts. Cases are well explained and the professor's lectures are easy to follow and understand.

By Dr. J S

Jun 19, 2020

The Course on American Contract Law I, has been extremely informative, dealing with the fundamentals on American contract law. Starting with the basic rules, principles and theorems on contract law, the course also enunciates the various stages of Contract Formation and explains the sense and the various interpretation(s) of the term(s) of contract law namely, Offer, Counter Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, Quasi Contracts, Promissory Estoppel, Irrevocable Offers, etc, through the most relevant case laws.

My most sincere thanks to Prof. Ian Ayres and his team, along with Coursera for this course.

By Larry N C W

Mar 27, 2021

I absolutely loved this course. It was more challenging than most Coursera Courses, and I had to dedicate more time and focus intently while in it. I learned a great deal, however, and have already been able to apply some of what I learned to real-world situations. It was more in-depth than Contract Law 1 at my University. I think it could be well complimented if Yale offered a Moot Court through Coursera as well.

By Chuck B

Jun 4, 2019

Excellent course and the speaker was outstanding. He made the subject matter very reasonable to understand and he had excellent communication skills. I did have to back up the video several times as i wanted to obtain the essence and understanding of his lecture.

If I was to go to law school I would want this gentleman to be my contract teacher.

By Dmitriy K

Mar 21, 2019

It is an invaluable course. It teaches the basics of contracting required for a decent citizen to respect personal as well as others rights. If want to know when your promise can cause legal consequences or learn the discipline of reading your mail and take actions to decline unwanted terms and conditions imposed by others then GO AHEAD!!!

By Tang Y S

Aug 29, 2020

Thank you for this informative course. I found week 1 required the most effort and then the contents and cases become easier to understand as the weeks past.

By Umer A

Apr 16, 2019

Excellent professor with detailed but understandable explanations of sometimes, complex topics. Highly recommended.

By Caedmon R

May 6, 2022

The professor was engaging, the quizzes weren't too difficult, and I felt I learned a lot.

By Marcia L B

Nov 20, 2019

This course was very interesting to me! I learned many things about contracts! Perfect!!!!

By John B

May 4, 2019

A very good overview of principles of contract law. A great refresher course.

By Jaime-Louise S

Jun 13, 2020

Great course and easy to follow. Would love the readings to be a little more of a summary rather than the whole case but nevertheless an amazing set up!

By Tin T N

Jun 13, 2020

One of the most helpful legal instruments I’ve learned from this course is that although many of us for practical purposes would not read all the terms and conditions on most websites or online transactions, a legally useful and time-saving way to gauge the credibility of a site which is bound under the U.S. jurisdiction is to observe how transparently its terms and conditions are displayed.

According to an American common law provision recorded in clause 211(c) of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts (1979), if one party designs/displays a term in such a way they know that the other party will be unlikely to read in full, that term will not be enforceable. A further insightful idea to constrain the abuse of customers’ trust of the reasonability of online terms and agreements as well as their limited time resources has been proposed by Professor Ayres and Professor Schwartz in their law-review article ‘The No-Reading Problem in Consumer Contract Law’ in 2014 (available at

In short, they proposed the requirements for online sites to add a warning box containing the most unexpected and unfavorable terms in their contractual offer, basing their argument on the presumption that most consumers would have been familiar with other standard terms in the market they are engaging with. Some natural questions I could think of would be

1. How to quantitatively determine the benchmark on which term(s) being ‘unexpected’ and ‘unfavorable’ enough so that they are legally required to be in those warning boxes? In other words, how to determine the minimum required terms in such boxes?

2. Should there be an upper limit of how many terms could be contained in those warning boxes? (to prevent bad-faith sites from saturating all those boxes with unnecessary terms to overwhelm customers but still nominally meet the requirement)

3. As new forms of services and products are coming up online fast and faster, if quantitative limits could ever be set for question 1 and 2, how are those standards going to be adapted to new markets/new industries? (This question may be particularly relevant if the initiative is to be extended to civil-law jurisdictions which may not enjoy the benefit of constantly-evolving case laws like the American judicial tradition.)

Any inputs or constructive criticism would be more than appreciated!

By Shantanu R

Sep 6, 2021

A foundational course in American Contract Law, with a wonderfully curated list of case law, presented in a very engaging manner by Professor Ian Ayres. This was the first 'serious' course I completed with Coursera and Yale, and it gave me a fair idea of all commercial law - as contract law is the foundation of commercial law. Brushing up on the Law through a rigorous course interspersed with challenging, timed Tests and evaluations did wonders for my understanding of the basics of Contract Law and helped me see the basic principles in a new light. In my view, the video lectures by Professor Ayres were the most helpful in understanding the subject. The course consists of reading materials which are quite lengthy, and one might find it slightly challenging to keep up with the deadlines if one is working full time.

Highly recommend taking this course for Law Students and Lawyers alike !

By Nelida K

Apr 11, 2019

The course allowed me to acquire concepts on contract formation, valid offers, the extent of consideration as a contractual element, notions of default and mandatory provisions, the different scenarios that may play to allege promissory estoppel, through the analysis of famous cases and renowned judges' findings. All of it engagingly explained by the instructor in videos. I found the readings a bit long and convoluted, not per se but maybe due to my own personal circumstances. It would perhaps be useful if the end-of-module questionnaires could have links to the relevant cases so that one could consult or revisit the case in question before answering, when in doubt, without leaving the questionnaire form. Otherwise, a good foundation to understand the ins and outs of contract law.

By Aizhan S

Dec 19, 2020

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Jan Ayres for the professionalism, patience and hard work done during the course "Contract Law". For all the time of work on the material it was difficult, but the material is very addictive, presented succinctly and simply, develops thinking and allows you to show intuition along with knowledge. It was very informative to learn about the precedents that took place at different times in American legal history. In addition, completing the course in many ways enriched the vocabulary of professional terminology and just allowed to practice listening skills. Many thanks to Yale University for the opportunity to briefly join the educational community.

By florence s

Sep 17, 2022

The course is extremely helpful to me to my job - acting as an interface mainly between customers and internal depts such as legal, sales, business units, etc on long term supply agreements, working in an American company based in Hong Kong. It gives me a better understanding on fundamental concepts on American contract law.

The course can fit well my work schedule and I can view the videos as much as I need.

I am very grateful being able to attend this high quality law course free of charge. It is a very generous gift from Yale and Coursera. My million thanks.

Florence Szeto

By Alson A

Jan 28, 2021

An excellent course in which you have to devote your time and effort in order to comprehend. A highly recommended course for law enthusiast and people in the legal related works.

The professor excellently prepared the webinar in such a way that the beginners can understand the American Contract law. May I extend my gratitude to the people behind coursera and the Yale University to have an offering online of the course. thank you very much.

By Eugène

Jun 18, 2019

I've completed dozens of courses, on Coursera & FUN platforms, in English & French, and I have to admit, this one, so far, is simply the best! Why? It's based on self-dev principle, lazer-focused on transforming knowledge into skill set and is not polluted by useless time-wasting peer assignments. The only downside is video low resolution pics, but it ain't no dealbreaker. Kudos to the Prof, the way to go!

By Josselyn A V O

Nov 11, 2021

Un curso que te proporciona un boleto en el tiempo, para echar un vistazo a las disputas contractuales, que por su complejidad, han marcado precedentes en el derecho contractual.

La temática del módulo es amena, es decir, responsabiliza al cursante con las lecturas, pero, el maestro de la mejor forma posible, proporciona una explicación inefable, acompaña de pequeñas pero insignes evaluaciones.

By Andre Z

Jan 9, 2024

I suppose this course is comprehensive and covers all the fundamentals of legal relations, the terms of a contract and much more. I’v strengthend my training in Contract Law. I would like to thank Coursera, Yale Law School and professor Ian Ayres who have created all the condition for my development and helped me in the way of becoming a professional.