About this Course
Whether you are an advanced law student looking to review the basics, or an aspiring law student looking for head start, this course will help you build the foundation you will need to succeed in law school and beyond. This course will introduce you to terminology, concepts, and tools lawyers and legal academics use to make their arguments. It will help you follow these arguments—and make arguments of your own. This course consists of a series of short lectures and assignments. A reading list complements each lesson, providing you with a roadmap to help you explore the subject matter more deeply on your own. Although the lessons may cross-reference each other, they are modular in nature: you should feel free to approach them in whatever order fits your schedule, interests, and needs.

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 19 hours to complete

Suggested: 3 weeks of study, 5-7 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English, French

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 19 hours to complete

Suggested: 3 weeks of study, 5-7 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English, French

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


1 hour to complete


An overview of what you will learn, how it will help you, and how to get the most from it....
1 video (Total 7 min), 3 readings
Video1 videos
Reading3 readings
Before You Begin10m
Reading - Basic Legal Terms10m
Pre-Course Survey10m
9 hours to complete

Categories and Distinctions

Dichotomies and oppositions that will help you categorize legal rules and frame policy questions....
11 videos (Total 79 min), 8 readings, 4 quizzes
Video11 videos
2.2 - Lecture6m
2.3 - Lecture8m
2.4 - Lecture13m
2.5 - Lecture5m
2.6 - Lecture4m
2.7 - Lecture8m
2.8 - Lecture4m
2.9 - Lecture4m
2.10 - Lecture4m
2.11 - Lecture2m
Reading8 readings
2.1 - Reading10m
2.3 - Reading10m
2.4 - Reading10m
2.7 - Reading10m
2.8 - Reading10m
2.9 - Reading10m
2.10 - Reading10m
2.11 - Reading10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Applying the Box8m


5 hours to complete

Law and . . .

Interactions between the law and academic disciplines such as economics, philosophy, and psychology....
10 videos (Total 71 min), 10 readings, 1 quiz
Video10 videos
3.2 - Lecture2m
3.3 - Lecture8m
3.4 - Lecture3m
3.5 - Lecture5m
3.6 - Lecture4m
3.7 - Lecture5m
3.8 - Lecture4m
3.9 - Lecture9m
3.10 - Lecture19m
Reading10 readings
3.1 - Reading10m
3.2 - Reading10m
3.3 - Reading10m
3.4 - Reading10m
3.5 - Reading10m
3.6 - Reading10m
3.7 - Reading10m
3.8 - Reading10m
3.9 - Reading10m
3.10 - Reading10m
3 hours to complete

Legal Structures

Fundamental frameworks of legal analysis and procedure....
4 videos (Total 36 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
4.2 - Lecture9m
4.3 - Lecture9m
4.4 - Lecture9m
Reading4 readings
4.1 - Reading10m
4.2 - Reading10m
4.3 - Reading10m
4.4 - Reading10m


1 hour to complete

Evidentiary Tools

Concepts from the law of evidence that can help you respond to questions and make compelling arguments...
2 videos (Total 12 min), 2 readings
Video2 videos
5.2 - Lecture4m
Reading2 readings
5.1 - Reading10m
5.2 - Reading10m
3 hours to complete

Preparation Tools

The tools you need to get the most out of law school....
4 videos (Total 32 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
6.2 - Lecture6m
6.3 - Lecture7m
6.4 - Lecture7m
Reading2 readings
6.1 - Reading10m
6.2 - Reading10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Statutory Interpretation2m
28 minutes to complete


2 videos (Total 8 min), 2 readings
Video2 videos
Hillel Investment Advice2m
Reading2 readings
Post-Course Survey10m


got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By HKMar 29th 2016

I enjoyed this course but you really need to have some legal background to get the most out of it. The assignments were worth the time they took and I learned a lot trying to grade my fellow students.

By KENov 28th 2017

Really interesting course, quite intense, especially in week 1. Good instructor who engages students (quite a feat for an online course) and encourages one to think about law in different ways.



Ian Ayres

William K. Townsend Professor

About Yale University

For more than 300 years, Yale University has inspired the minds that inspire the world. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale brings people and ideas together for positive impact around the globe. A research university that focuses on students and encourages learning as an essential way of life, Yale is a place for connection, creativity, and innovation among cultures and across disciplines. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

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