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.
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.
By Piotr G•
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 Ahmer J K•
Exceptional course! Loved it. Would highly recommend.
By Larry W•
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 only Yale offered a Moot Court through Coursera as well.
By Chuck B•
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 Umer A•
Excellent professor with detailed but understandable explanations of sometimes, complex topics. Highly recommended.
By Marcia L B•
This course was very interesting to me! I learned many things about contracts! Perfect!!!!
By John B•
A very good overview of principles of contract law. A great refresher course.
By Jaime-Louise S•
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•
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 http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/03/66_Stan_L_Rev_545_AyresSchwartz.pdf).
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 Nelida K•
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•
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 Russell L M•
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 Dr. J S•
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 ALSON S A•
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.
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 Qi W•
Very insightful. very well organized with thorough analysis to each classical cases in contract law history. Professor also provide insights from economic and policy perspective to help understand the logic behind a specific legal choice and the potential profound influence a case may impose to the entire society and to commercial practices.
By Dmitriy K•
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 Irene J•
The format of this course is extremely accessible and friendly to the casual student. I appreciate how it was broken up into smaller pieces and that each case was analyzed by the professor. The content was broad in scope, but it still managed to retain enough detail to carry home the legal principles. I really enjoyed this!
By Tenisha Y•
This course is informative,indepth, exciting and interesting. Dr. Ian Ayers plays a pivotal role as law professor. I am honored to have taken this eye-opening course and I look forward to taking American Law Part II. One of my favorite parts of this class was providing research for the cases. T. Younger
T. Dyanne Younger
By mark w•
Professor Ayres is engaging and detailed about the nuances and formation of the multiple contracts and cases studied. He is thorough and showed the multifaceted applications of interpretation due to time or perspective, as well as the concrete and sometimes not so obvious foundations of those contracts.
By Brian B•
This is my second course taught by Professor Ayers. He is engaging, knowledgeable and is able to break down the most difficult court decisions so students can better grasp the reasoning and logic utilized therein. I look forward to learning more in American Contract Law II and beyond.
By Santiago C G•
I was very pleased to take this course. The introduction to American Contract Law has been of great utility in my everyday profession and I can only aspire to continue learning of a different legal system than the one employed in my country.
By Ron R•
This was a lot more than I expected! It was a serious and heavy introduction to contract law that is not shy to go deep into each case. I feel there was a lot more substance to this course than the advertised "beginner" label. Thank you!
By JAIME B V G•
This is a great opportunity to understand the basics of contracts under the U.S. legal system. This is a very helpful course to enhance the students vision on contracts, even for Lawyers foreigners to the Common Law such as myself.