Free Online Courses For Legal Professionals
Are you an aspiring barrister, legal executive, legal secretary, paralegal, or solicitor? No matter if you are from a law or non-law background, there is an abundance of free online courses to support you pursuing a career as a legal professional. This article introduces several learning platforms for you to enrich legal knowledge and enhance fundamental skills.
OpenLearn covers 8 academic disciplines with more than 1,000 free online courses adapted from The Open University. Courses require 1 to 100 hours to complete, and vary from introductory, intermediate, beginner to advanced levels. Course content includes articles, audios, videos, interactive games, and quizzes. A statement of participation, or an extra digital badge in certain courses, is awarded upon completion of the course.
Some highlighted courses under the subject area of Society, Politics & Law are:
- Equity - law and idea
- Exploring the boundaries of international law
- Human rights and law
- Introducing research in law and beyond
- Introduction to European Union Law
- Starting with law: An overview of the law
Online courses and degree programs are also accessible on Coursera, which is in partnership with over 200 world-renowned companies and universities such as Google, Imperial College London, Stanford University, etc. Course length ranges from less than 2 hours to more than 3 months of study at beginner, mixed, intermediate, or advanced level. Furthermore, many of the free online courses are available in multiple languages as subtitles and issue a shareable certificate upon completion.
A few featured courses by a United Kingdom provider, University of London:
- Citizenship and the Rule of Law
- Introduction to English Common Law
- Magna Carta and its Legacies: Freedom and protest
- Refugees in the 21st Century
For those of you who are interested in Human Rights Law, edX offers various free online courses from Amnesty International. All courses are at introductory level and are estimated to take 3 or 4 weeks in a total of 3 to 20 hours. Moreover, some courses are taught in Spanish, French or Arabic. Learners may upgrade to enable unlimited access to course materials, graded assignments and exams, and a shareable certificate upon completion.
Courses offered by Amnesty International in English are:
- Digital Security and Human Rights
- Human Rights Defenders
- Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees
- Make Your School Human Rights Friendly
- The Right to Protest
Similarly, World Intellectual Property Organization Academy provides a distance learning program consisting of both general and advanced online courses in relation to Intellectual Property Law. The duration of courses are from 3 to 120 hours. WIPO organizes courses in 10 languages as well. Although learners in most cases receive a certificate of completion from passing the course’s final exam, bear in mind a number of courses do not involve certification.
Free courses provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are:
- Executive Course on Intellectual Property and Exports
- General Course on Intellectual Property
- Introduction to the Patent Cooperation Treaty
- IP Panorama
- Primer on Intellectual Property
- Specialized Course in the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills at Work
This free online course is designed by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding for learners to achieve positive and effective collaboration in the workplace. Generally, it divides 4 hours of work into 2 weeks, to be studied at your pace. It is also upgraded to unlimited access including peer reviews, articles, videos, quizzes and validated tests. A certificate of achievement is generated after completing the course and its assessments.
- Handling information at work
Learning Curve Group delivers this free online course with the aim of improving learners’ ability to handle information and data which meets their organization’s work expectations. It is a self-paced course, and you may earn a certificate of completion once passes are demonstrated in the knowledge sections.
The above learning platforms and the variety of free online courses offered are greatly beneficial to strengthen your qualities, especially in the legal field. Particularly, “Communication and Interpretation Skills at work” and “Handling information at work” are skills courses recommended by the National Careers Service. Learn anytime, anywhere in a course of your interest!
Once you have completed some of these courses, you may feel that you have enough experience to begin applying to some legal roles, so head over to The Legists ‘Law Jobs’ page to see available roles.
By Yvette Ng