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Publisher's Summary

The skills lawyers wield in courtrooms across the country are the result of years of study. As much as we'd like to cultivate these same skills, the truth is that you cannot know how a lawyer thinks and works without studying the law itself.

Now there's an easier way to get the same foundational knowledge as lawyers - without the enormous time and financial commitment. Over the span of 48 lectures, four experienced lawyers and teachers recreate key parts of the first-year law student experience, introducing you to main areas of law most every beginning student studies.

You'll start with 12 lectures on litigation and legal practice that offer eye-opening answers to many questions about the art and craft of legislation. In the second 12 lectures, you'll learn how criminal law and procedure - an area of law dramatized by countless TV shows - really works. Additional lectures investigate the civic procedures courts follow to resolve disputes about substantive rights and examine broader questions any system of litigation must address. And 12 lectures are devoted entirely to the stranger-than-fiction topic of tort law.

Enriched with famous cases from the annals of American law and powerful arguments by some of history's most successful lawyers, these lectures offer access to an often intimidating, surprisingly accessible, and civically important field.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eye opener

Informative, educational, and interesting. The legal system is no longer intimidating to me. Before listening to this, I had zero knowledge of the subject, now I have a new respect and fascination with it. Thank you

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Very Interesting and Entertaining

This is the first (and only) “multi-professor” course I’ve had wherein all four professors were articulate, engaging, well-prepared and just plain entertaining. The legal subjects covered are wide-ranging and the professors include both historic and current reasoning and examples. The “reasoning” is especially interesting because they don’t just describe the current environment but also provide background on what it was like in the past and why it changed. This in one of my favorite courses and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the law and/or our legal system.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic series!

This is an excellent and interesting lecture series by 4 eloquent professors. It’s packed with information, so be ready for dense lectures. The Audible app on my phone didn’t show that I had access to the booklet PDF. I discovered that only when I signed in online. I would have preferred to know this sooner. The PDF doesn’t include all the important info that the professors discuss, so I took additional notes.
Professor Molly Bishop Shadel talked too fast, so it was difficult to take notes.
Professor Peter Smith could have described a clearer outline of jurisdiction. I found the rules and limits hard to follow.
It would’ve been useful to have a 15-second rewind option in addition to the 30-second option.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Well Formatted, Highly Informative, Occasional Problematic Narration

The information presented throughout the courses, the legal precedents, attention to accurate case context in history, various perspectives/counter arguments, and in many cases an ‘open ended’ method in judging merits (in final evaluation of various court decisions, across all manners of law), strike me as having been presented exceptionally well and striking an excellent unbiased overall teaching balance.

At least one of the lawyers could have done equally well for himself selling ‘Recordings to lull you to sleep’, but that aside it’s excellent and I highly recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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engrossing no matter what your interests are

If you simply want to understand things that were on the news or you want to help yourself on legal matters, these lectures will appeal to you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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every us resident needs this book

very useful background info on aspects of the us legal system, interestingly and convincingly presented

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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great overview of our legal system

In 25 hours, you can listen to the history that makes up our legal system. From the roots in common law traced to England to modern tort cases that make every day citizens ask if the legal can handle the complexity of the modern word and every landmark case in between. A definite book to listen to from the great courses.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Way too much to digest

Way too much to digest in one listen. I found myself rewinding often at first then decided otherwise. Wish this course was divided into the basics first then advanced. Much of the material presented is not relevant for most cases...multistate parties with unusual conflicts.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

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excellent overview + very contemporary

1. unlike some other great courses books, this book covered cases from as recent 2017.
2. Almost each lecture explained the larger-picture trade offs behind specific cases that a good judge must recognize.
3. the book made me want to read actual legal cases referenced (and I am not a lawyer).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Some lecturers better than others

Very good intro to law. Would like to see additional courses going into more detail on these topics.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful