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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

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  • Dustin Wilson
  • 15-04-18

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

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy D. Sowell
  • 24-11-17

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.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Shiva
  • 19-06-18

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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  • Annaraven
  • 29-12-17

every us resident needs this book

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • valerie rose
  • 26-12-17

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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  • Mariann
  • 10-07-18

Procedural Peanuts

The course is really good. It’s decided into 4 parts. General judicial stuff. How the court is structured, and the really big cases. I leaned a lot of that same stuff in Gov 201. Then it goes on to criminal law which was fascination and terrifying in equal part. I especially liked the episode on self defense law. After that the was legislative procedure. That part nearly killed me with boredom. It’s stuff like, if one person sues another and they are from different states, which court will it end up in. Then the history of how it ended there. All good knowledge, but so very obtusely complicated. (I think that’s the courts problem and not this course’s problem) but still it was mind numbing. Finally, the last quarter covered tort law. While it was still lawsuits, it was far more interesting so long as you don’t think too highly of humanity. Can someone really sue you and win, because they slipped in front of your house? Yup. It’s very informative and fun. So overall this is so, so worth it but not as amazing as some of the other great courses because of how un-engaging the procedural bit was. I’m not sure if you can actually make legislative procedure in lawsuits interesting. That might be like making tax law minutia interesting; But in any case it’s not. At least, not for me. Maybe you are more scholarly. The course also taught/narrated by three different professors but they are all amazing so it is just a nice change of pace now and then.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 04-05-18

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-10-17

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.

20 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • OnlyTheBestInCali
  • 31-05-18

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 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-10-18

I'm not completely ignorant anymore :-)

If you are starting from scratch as I was, it will require time, discipline and concentration to go through this course. The reward compensates by far on the effort, since this course will help you understand the very basics of common laws legal system and prepare you to dig in deeper in other topics if you wish. 100% recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful