Think you need to go to law school to get a basic understanding of the law? Think again.
Learning the law outside of expensive university programs is now possible with the help of the internet and a little bit of creativity.
Ready to find out more? Here are 5 tips for learning the law.
1. Learning the Law Online
The internet is the great democratizer of information and there are several methods of learning the law online.
Open University, FutureLearn, and Open2Study all provide opportunities for people with no experience to take on free, specialized short law courses wherever they live – without parting with a single dollar.
Many existing law schools have also set up YouTube channels to house guest lecture series, speeches, and moot court sessions.
Don’t forget to search the education archives of regularly frequented websites to find hidden gems.
2. ABA Recommended Books
Looking for information on a specific subject? Take a class without the classroom by picking up the book.
Sometimes learning the law is as simple as heading over to an academic publishing website and browsing the books most closely associated with your interests.
Interested in company law, family law, dispute resolution, or international law? There’s a textbook out there that covers it.
Don’t feel limited to academic readers. Check out law-related paperbacks written on specialist subjects to get a better feel for how the law works in action.
3. Job Shadowing
It’s possible to read legislation all day long without ever understanding how it’s used in practice.
Job shadowing is a great way to learn not only more about the law but what the law means and how it’s applied.
Even if you only come away with sore feet, you’ll at least learn just how much reading, writing, and reciting goes into the daily lives of lawyers.
4. Lawyer Blogs
Don’t have the time or energy to take on a full course or tackle a big book? Check out some of the free internet resources available for law students.
Blogs are a great way to gather insights into the available only in law school. The ABA regularly publishes articles and blogs posts designed to explain important topics and enhance learning.
There’s also a dedicated ABA blog for law students (including for pre-law students) that not only provides insight but accessible resources, like books, to help students get ahead.
Is the ABA a bit too heavy? Check out the information provided by legal services, like lawsonlegal.com.au, on their own websites.
Sure, it’s possible to figure some of this stuff out with endless searching, but it’s also nice to have direction.
5. Visit Your Local Government
People who watch enough TV might be convinced that the law is interpreted blindly. Attend a real court case and see that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Visiting the local government, especially an open court session, is the easiest way to get started in case law. Bring a pen and pad, though, because you’ll want to take notes.
Get the Expertise – Without a Degree
From books to blogs to videos, anyone can find resources for both theoretical knowledge and practical applications of the law.
Thinking about getting involved in the legal profession? Check out the What Your Boss Thinks archives for everything you need to know about changing careers.