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.
The course is gorgeous!!! Although I am an experienced lawyer in my country it was an excellent training for my brains, more over, the lectures were really very interesting!!! Strongly recommended!!!
von Jolene R C•
I am hopeful that the information I've learned in this course will show its usefulness in the future. I feel that the course could've been organized a little better (and if I had it to do over I would check out the Reading a Case very early on in the course.) As a teacher, I am disappointed at the rubric that is given because students are grading each other and may not know what an "average" response is I feel that the rubric should be better structured to help give a more objective grade.
von Julius G•
This course is far more difficult to complete for credit than it seems based on the syllabus and marketing materials, and that is a good thing for serious learner. The readings are long and complex and must be completed in order to get anything of value from the course. Just watching the lectures only gives you a small percentage of the concepts being transmitted in this course which is really for pre-law students or serious learners.
One serious drawback is the peer grading system which you have to go through in order to complete assignments and get a certificate. Too many of the students do not complete the assigned readings and then try to answer the professor's question based only on the 5-10 minute lecture or their pure opinion. Often written in poor English (because the student is not a native English speaker), these same students are the ones who will grade my serious assignment. The results are not good - too much pettiness and downright revengeful grading. I got through it but it is a serious flaw because it's unfair. These are not peers.
Other flaws are the the course length (it should be spread over about four to six weeks instead of three), and there is no participation by teaching assistants (none, zero, zilch).
In the end I got a lot out this course but I was persistent and I have already have two degrees from major universities.
TL/DR: If you can get through it, its content might come in handy later, but look for other lecturers.
I'm a social justice nerd, with a Bachelors in Sociology, and ten months into a paralegal studies program, or as I like to refer to it, "law school beta". I took this course as a means to continue to do something productive while in this coronavirus quarantine state we're all under right now. Keep the mind active while in-between school quarters. This course was tough to get through at times. Took me 2x as long as the "three weeks" it claims to get through it, in part because I lost interest to sit through it at the pace it it proposes. The lectures are dry to listen to. The professor stumbles through his words, goes off on anecdotal tangents that aren't particularly helpful, and his attempts at humor and pop culture fall flat. The topics the lectures are super pertinent for any would-be legal professional, but his explanations often leave you having to Google or find other videos to clarify what he actually might have meant. The videos aren't particularly stimulating visually to maintain interest, and it's clear that there were some bumps in coordinating between the teleprompter, the slideshow, and the camera. If nothing else, the course serves as a helpful primer that not all law professors are going to be helpful in how they lecture, and that your success on the material is often in spite of the professor you have.
The most challenging part of the course was probably the readings and peer review assignments. Some readings are in excess of 30 pages, so the "10 minutes" that it says it should take you to read are grossly underestimated. Also, part of the assignment's grading is whether you can articulate these responses in under 250 words. That's basically trying to summarize complex legal principles or case law in a tweet. Most "classmates" wrote well excess of the prompt, averaging 320-450 words. Some of your peers are gonna grade tough, but offered great feedback for strengthening your argument or correct your incorrect premise. Others I'm pretty sure are those "atta boy" graders who just give everyone A's for effort. However, there were a number of peer reviews that I read that helped me make greater sense of the readings than I may have had on first impression.
In all, it took me about 24 hours to take detailed handwritten notes, skim the readings, and complete the prompts or roughly 3-4 hours a week. I would have liked if the course had been broken up into 4-5 weeks versus 3, and had perhaps some guest speakers, or varying content like supplemental videos instead of the very mediocre lectures in a dark studio and an under-prepared lecturer.
von Laura B•
This course lies about how long it takes. You need much more time than predicted. If you plan to do the set reading, it it likely to take you a minimum of 100 hours. It is also badly organised, with more work in the first two weeks than in the final week and with easier topics in the final week than the first two weeks. The transcripts are full of misheard transcriptions. The passing grade for the assessments appears to be 80% and you cannot pass the course without getting a minimum of this grade on each of the assignments. Most of the assignments require considerable reading and therefore cannot be done in the time anticipated.
von Alexandre M•
The content is interesting but the professor is bad at lecturing (lack of structure, some rambling).
von Anyanwu A D•
I think the explanation of the whole course is too advanced. I'm a slow learner and it took me lots of self research for me to understand even a topic. The explanation is very extremely low and I don't these topics.
von romero k•
the instructor does a poor job explaining concepts
von Daniel H•
The course is very good and well organized, although, given its objective of approaching certain basic concepts, it can sometimes surprise and seem disjointed. But the course self has a high level.
Personally I studied law in Belgium and there are chapters that I had to revise several times to understand all the nuances and subtleties, so I suppose that all students, who do not have a basic training in law, must face a number of problems and need more time..
Small negative point: the evaluation of the number of hours necessary to complete the course. To really benefit from it, you need to review lectures several times and some readings are 80 pages. So I took about 3 times more time than the advertised time (19 hours) while in other systems, the advertised time corresponds more or less to the time that I need.
von Raghunandan P•
The course was exceptional and the way it was designed by the Yale university also looks very interesting , lot of videos by prominent professor, very good links for the readings on particular topics and I give a grand of applause to the people who have really worked out with "Reading Resources" and the important one is "Assessment" part which have been tremendously made (which could improve and works on the Analysis, Reading, Judging part of the students or the enrolled) I have learned many new concepts of the Law which were interesting and awesome and I definitely make an attempt to recommend the course to others as well, One last thing is The certificate could have been given free of cost to some of the best performers - Considering the pandemic situation
von JoAnne E R•
Coursera: Please note that we had a series of tornado storms, and flash floods. Over the weekend my previous session automatically switched to the next session. I have already completed my last essay, and I believe I am ready to take the final. Should I wait until the next start date, or should I ask you to return me to my last session? The next session doesnot start until August 14, 2017. I can wait, or if you immediately switch me back, I can complete the course now. Please email me. Comet, JoAnneRichardson@gmail.com. I just completed the William v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co. Please reply, I must know now.
When I received an invitation to do a law program at Yale University, I could not believe an Ivy League University would allow me to attend without a rigorous prerequisite! I have always maintained A's throughout college; yet, I knew Yale University would be challenging. I did it again! In addition, learned a tremendous amount about legal tools, terminology, writing briefs, and case studies. All of which I can instantly apply in today's world. Thank you Professor Ian Ayres.
- Dr. Manya Boyd
von Peter H•
I took this course as an adult learner interested in better understanding law, as opposed to a student preparing for law school or reviewing for exams. I found the lectures engaging and the assignments challenging - but appropriately so - and also enjoyable. Reviewing classmates' assignments also gave an opportunity to further understand the material. One thing I would note - the required and suggested reading typically took longer than suggested, and I'm a reasonably fast reader.
von Nimish B•
Coming from an engineering background, I had my reservations about learning Law but just going through the initial video modules of this course by Professor Ayres completely changed that. He describes the nuances of law in a very simple and understandable manner. I have to say I understood more about the logic behind the existence of Law in those first few sessions by the Professor than I would have by just reading books and I am really motivated to learn further.
von Lara Y•
Great experience. Even thought the lectures could be more interesting and dynamic once they are scripted. Also, could have more tests on the platform, not so many assignments. For me, not a native english speaker, had a bit of trouble to get along throught the classes, so if you do not dominate the language, keep that in mind. Anyway, I am very happy with my results and achievements, super recomend for anyone interested in this area. :)
von Loulou d S•
This course was one of my best opportunity in life. Practical and rich, worth every minute I spent. You really learn to understand the moves of good and capable lawyers, by the end of this course. The professor did an excellent effort to keep this course logic and the sessions independent. Haven't enjoyed such exceptionally simple (but not easy) presentation of mind twisting knowledge in years. Highly recommended. Thank you.
von John C U•
This online course is very timely because of this pandemic. Yet, it made me feel that I have the capability to show especially in critical thinking about laws and some cases. I know these are just the basics yet I've learned a lot! I'm genuinely happy! I'm excited to take another online course from Yale University! God bless! As I give this review, I feel like I'm answering a new assignment. Cheers!
von Kathryn S•
I highly recommend this course! The video's are short and engaging and it is packed full of basic information for a person who is interested in law. We read a wide range of real life legal cases and judges decisions/opinions. We were given the opportunity to think deeply about laws and court procedings. There is too much to put in a short review, so take the class and see for yourself!
A Law Student's Toolkit is my first course taken on Coursera. I am beyond grateful to both Professor Ayres and Coursera for an opportunity to obtain useful knowledge in a convenient, clear, and concise manner. I really liked Quizzes and Written Assignments. Also I liked that we - the students - graded each other's assignments and provided reviews for future improvement. Thank you!
von Jingyuan Z•
This is really a good set of tools for law students. I have finished the first week, and it really helped a lot already. The videos are not very long, so you can just spend 30 minutes everyday for one or two small videos. The professor uses formal legal language that may require extra work but if you like the legal reasoning, it's such a wonderful exercise!
von Anton V•
This is very good course. You actually have to use your brains for a change and compare to some other courses and it is not trivial especially for somebody who is begginer in law. I also like very much the material, lectures and how they were lectured. Profesor is very good and very clear at explaining and it is fun and pleasure to listen to him.
von Deleted A•
This was an unbelievable journey to learning about the basics of the law. As a potential law student, I feel I am already ahead of the curve-- which it is needless to say. Professor Ayres does a great job taking you the student step by step through the aggressive curriculum. Very great starter kit for law students everywhere in America today!
von Saidazim S•
This course gave me so many new helpful skills and opened insights that I will employ in my future career. A lot of thanks to professor Ayres! His lectures were very effective and interesting. Do recommend this course to everyone who associates his life with law. Thanks Coursera for providing this course for everyone from all over the globe!
von Jonathan N R H•
This is an excellent course. The explanations were really clear. I confess that I had some struggles at the beginning trying to understand Legal English and the perks of Common Law and resolutions (my country uses Continetal/Roman Law). I found it as a experience full of professional growth and development of English Language Skills.
The course covers basic topics and tools to help excel in Law School. It's suggested reading and assignments shed more light on the issues discussed and gives a broader look into them.
The Professor is brief and provides examples for every topic learned.
If you are interested in Law school or Law in general then this is for you!
von Rachael W•
Excellent course! Just what I needed to get back into the academic mindset before going back to school.
The readings are lengthy and difficult, but it's worth it.
The only change I might suggest is balancing the workload better between the three weeks. There are 4 assignments due in week 1, 2 in week 2 and only 1 in week 3.