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COVID-19: Free Online Courses For Lawyers

The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed on all Nigerians a lifestyle of staying at home that we must all obey as a preventive measure for containing the spread of the virus. The isolation has affected all aspects of work life sparing not even the legal profession.

Dr Babatunde Ajibade SAN shared with us online courses tailored for lawyers in all aspects of practice. So, whether you are a general counsel, a Counsel in a law firm or a rights activist in the civic space, we have outlined some free online Ivy League University Courses that will keep you learning in this isolation period.

CS50 for Lawyers Harvard University via edX
This course is a variant of Harvard University’s introduction to computer science, CS50, designed especially for lawyers (and law students). Whereas CS50 itself takes a bottom-up approach, emphasizing mastery of low-level concepts and implementation details thereof, this course takes a top-down approach, emphasizing mastery of high-level concepts and design decisions related thereto. Ultimately, it equips students with a deeper understanding of the legal implications of technological decisions made by clients.

Bioethics: The Law, Medicine and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics – Harvard University via edX
Bioethics provides an overview of the legal, medical, and ethical questions around reproduction and human genetics and how to apply legal reasoning to these questions.

This law course includes interviews with individuals who have used surrogacy and sperm donation, with medical professionals who are experts in current reproductive technologies like In Vitro Fertilization and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, and bioethicists and journalists who study the ownership and use of genetic information within human tissue. Additional Harvard colleagues will also share with you their thoughts on topics such as disability law as it relates to reproductive technology.

Seeking Women’s Rights: Colonial Period to the Civil War – Columbia University edX
As we see American women coming into positions of economic and political influence, we start to wonder: why now? The Women Have Always Worked MOOC, offered in four parts, explores the history of women in America and introduces students to historians’ work to uncover the place of women and gender in America’s past. After a brief survey of the emergence of women’s history as an academic field and its impact on the study of history as a whole, we will begin course one with a look at the experiences of women in Colonial America. We will explore the lives of enslaved women, of indentured servants, and of the rural housewife. We will learn the ways that women struggled to loosen the constraints of family by proclaiming that they, like men, possessed individual rights.

As this course progresses through the emergence of an industrial era, we will follow women from the home into the workplace, and explore how this shift influenced family life, power relationships within the family, and the ability for women to organize politically. Together we will examine the customs, cultures, and ideologies that governed women’s lives in Colonial America and the early 19th Century.

Fighting for Equality: 1950-2018 – Columbia University edX
As we see American women coming into positions of economic and political influence, we start to wonder: why now? The Women Have Always Worked MOOC, offered in four parts, explores the history of women in America and introduces students to historians’ work to uncover the place of women and gender in America’s past.

The final segment of the Women Have Always Worked series begins with an examination of how the Cold War reinforced the ideals of the suburban, nuclear family and how these ideals impacted women’s trajectory towards independence and equality. We will explore the growing discrepancy and conflict between the breadwinner-homemaker system of beliefs and efforts for peace, economic fairness, and gender equality. We will discover how the feminist movement grew and evolved from the 1960s to today.

Introduction to Corporate Finance – Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
This course provides a brief introduction to the fundamentals of finance, emphasizing their application to a wide variety of real-world situations spanning personal finance, corporate decision-making, and financial intermediation. Key concepts and applications include: time value of money, risk-return tradeoff, cost of capital, interest rates, retirement savings, mortgage financing, auto leasing, capital budgeting, asset valuation, discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, net present value, internal rate of return, hurdle rate, payback period.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A Strategic Approach – University of Pennsylvania
Developed by Penn and the Satell Institute, this course provides theory and practical working concepts in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), exploring cases that demonstrate the great potential CSR may have to improve communities in the world, and to create awareness of potential pitfalls.

Students will learn (a) how to leverage corporate structures and nonprofits’ experience to undertake CSR activities that have real public benefit, (b) the relationship between philanthropy and corporate self-interest, and (c) how ventures can assess whether they are doing good CSR, exploring topics including measurement, attribution, and cost benefit analysis.

What is Corruption: Anti-Corruption and Compliance – University of Pennsylvania
Have you ever paid someone for doing you a favor?

You may be accustomed to tipping wait staff or other service providers, but what if you paid a police officer for NOT issuing a parking ticket? Or if you gave a “gift” to a government official for signing a contract with your company? Tipping might be okay, but paying a bribe is a violation of the law.
Bribery is widespread and exists almost everywhere and in many forms. Compliance programs address this and other forms of corruption.

Justice – Harvard University via edX
Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.

Constitutional Interpretation – Princeton University via edX
Though the Constitution is widely credited for the success of the United States’ republican democracy, people often disagree about how it should be interpreted. What does the Constitution mean? What does it require, and what does it forbid? In this course, we will examine competing theories of, and approaches to, constitutional interpretation.

The Age of Sustainable Development – Columbia University via Coursera
The Age of Sustainable Development” gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Contract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract – Harvard University via edX
Learn about contracts from Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, one of the world’s leading authorities on contract law. Contracts are promises that the law will enforce. But when will the law refuse to honor a promise? What happens when one party does not hold to their part of the deal? This version of the course adds new units on Interpretation, Agency, Partnerships, Corporations, and Government Regulation.

Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
This course offers an introduction to the U.S. Constitution and landmark Supreme Court cases interpreting it. It explores the Constitution’s origins, its amendment over the years, and methods of constitutional interpretation. Topics include the nature and structure of the federal government, the powers of the federal government, and individual rights.

Civil Liberties – Princeton University via edX
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

These stirring words from the Declaration of Independence are at the very foundation of the American tradition of civil liberties. In this course, we explore this tradition from its beginning with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, through a number of notable historical and contemporary cases in which claims to rights and liberties have been at stake.

Revolutionary Ideas: Utility, Justice, Equality, Freedom – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
What is the purpose of government? Why should we have a State? What kind of State should we have?

Even within a political community, there may be sharp disagreements about the role and purpose of government. Some want an active, involved government, seeing legal and political institutions as the means to solve our most pressing problems, and to help bring about peace, equality, justice, happiness, and to protect individual liberty. Others want a more minimal government, motivated, perhaps, by some of the disastrous political experiments of the 20th Century, and the thought that political power is often just a step away from tyranny. In many cases, these disagreements arise out of deep philosophical disagreements.

The aim of the course is not to convince you of the correctness of any particular view or political position, but to provide you with a deeper and more philosophically-informed basis for your own views, and, perhaps, to help you better understand the views of those with whom you disagree.

Introduction to Intellectual Property – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Intellectual property is the currency of the tech world, with the world’s most valuable intellectual property assets dwarfing the value of their real-world counterparts. Apple’ trademarked brand was valued at over $100 billion as of 2017. J.K. Rowling’s Harry potter franchise has generated over $25 billion to date. But how did the law come to create such enormous value in intangible assets?

This course will introduce the various types of U.S. intellectual property: patents, which cover inventions and process innovations; copyright, which protects original works of authorship; and trademarks, which protect a business’ commercial identity as the source of valuable goods and services. You will then explore case studies of how global businesses have used intellectual property law to generate enormous value from these intangible assets.

Intellectual Property Law and Policy: Part 1 – University of Pennsylvania via edX
Can you really get a patent on a rectangular cell phone shape? Do artists and musicians need over a century of copyright protection for their works? Can you trademark red shoe soles? These are some of the questions that U.S. Congress and the courts have addressed in recent years — and in this IP course, we will, too.

Touching on most areas of commercial and artistic activity, intellectual property (IP) law is an essential component of modern society. In this course, Part 1 of a two-part series, learners will be introduced to a broad overview of the intellectual property laws, the theory underpinning this area of law, and an individual look at patent law.

Intellectual Property Law and Policy: Part 2 – University of Pennsylvania via edX
In this course, Part 2 of a two-part series, students will explore the modern realities and debates of copyright and trademark laws, and then consider alternatives to intellectual property and the future of this exciting area of the law.

The focus of this two-part series is on learning some of the seminal legal cases in each area, while also considering the policy implications of the law as it stands.

No previous law experience is required. Join us as we explore the IP laws and policies that influence and shape our modern lives.

Corruption – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

You can’t understand the world today if you don’t understand corruption. Every day, we see high-level government officials resigning, governments changing, hundreds of thousands of people standing in squares, holding up signs, and often risking their lives to protest the corruption in the world. It’s critically important to the health of our societies to understand what people are protesting against. We want to understand corruption. This course is designed to teach you about what corruption is, what causes corruption, the effects of corruption, and how to control corruption. We’ll be talking about this from a global perspective using examples from all over the world. We’ll also be talking about corruption from the perspective of countries, governments, businesses, citizens, and the people within these entities. At the end of this course, you’ll have a better understanding of why the world is changing according to the path of corruption. If you’re in a position to make changes within your respective entity, to make decisions about corruption, you’ll be able to make better decisions.

Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice – Harvard University via edX
Across the world, children are at risk from violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Conflict and natural disasters have forced millions to flee their homes and confront the dangers of migration and displacement. Commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, child labor, and child marriage are problems in many countries. At-risk children and adolescents need their rights enforced if we are to protect them from harm and to ensure that they develop to their full potential.

This course will teach you the causes and consequences of child protection failures. You will consider the strategies, international laws, standards, and resources required to protect all children. You will be able to link legal frameworks and child-rights approaches to the work of policymakers, lawyers, health workers, educators, law enforcement, and social workers. Learners will come to understand how they can ensure the protection of children and apply child protection strategies to their own work.

Intellectual Property in the Healthcare Industry – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
This course begins with an overview of general intellectual property law in the United States, then examines how the policy choices behind those laws shapes the behavior of major players in the healthcare industry. We will examine how patents and trademarks shape the behavior of pharmaceutical companies, and how complex issues involving medical research in university settings, and ownership of genetic information and material, are resolved by intellectual property laws. The course concludes with in-depth case studies of an international pharmaceutical company, a major medical device company, and a start-up in the emerging DNA-testing industry.

Privacy Law and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
What does it take to comply with privacy laws?

In this course, we’ll look at the practical aspects of navigating the complex landscape of privacy requirements. Better understanding privacy laws and data protection will enable you to protect your organization and the constituents that depend on your organization to safeguard their personal information. First, we will examine the historical context that drove the creation of laws, best practices, and other standards for protecting personal information. We will also consider where in the U.S. privacy laws exist and which sectors remain unregulated. Next, we will focus on the federal health privacy law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) – and what it takes to comply with it. How do you know the scope of the requirements? And once you know HIPAA applies, how do you actually put measures in place to ensure compliance?

Trademark Law – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
The protections afforded under trademark law have created incredible value in intangible assets, with the value of the world’s most valuable brands such as Amazon, Apple and Google each exceeding $100 billion. But what exactly is trademark law, and how is such enormous value created?

This course examines the fundamentals of U.S. trademark law and the ways in which the manufacturers of various products and services can establish and protect their identities and the identities of their products in the marketplace.

Copyright Law – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Copyright law is unique in the greater intellectual property regime, as it protects original expression that is fixed in a tangible medium and is the product of authorship. This course is designed for creative professionals — such as screenwriters, musicians, documentary filmmakers or artists — who want to understand the scope and limits of which works can enjoy U.S. copyright protection. The course will introduce students to the workings of copyright law through an examination of the system’s basic principles, rules, and institutions. Topics will include; the justifications for copyright law, copyrightable subject matter, authorship, the nature and scope of copyright’s exclusive rights, fair use, and remedies for infringement.

Patent Law – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
In our modern technologically-based economy, the creation and enforcement of patent rights can make or break a business. With record numbers of patents being issued every year, the stakes for inventors (and, indeed, their lawyers) continue to rise, even as the patent law and its administration faces growing criticism.

This course begins with an examination of the fundamental justifications for and creation of U.S. patent rights as well as the relationship between patent law and other “intellectual property” concepts. We will then delve into the details of the U.S. requirements for patentability, and explore the scope of patent rights, again considering how the policies expressed reflect the justifications for patent rights. Then we will look at an actual patent document and analyze the different pieces of an issued patent with a special focus on the importance of patent claims. Finally, we will explore strategies for dealing with patent infringement.

Privacy Law and Data Protection – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
What does it take to comply with privacy laws?

In this course, we’ll look at the practical aspects of navigating the complex landscape of privacy requirements. Better understanding privacy laws and data protection will enable you to protect your organization and the constituents that depend on your organization to safeguard their personal information. First, we will examine the historical context that drove the creation of laws, best practices, and other standards for protecting personal information. We will also consider where in the U.S. privacy laws exist and which sectors remain unregulated. Next, we will focus on the federal health privacy law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) – and what it takes to comply with it. How do you know the scope of the requirements? And once you know HIPAA applies, how do you actually put measures in place to ensure compliance?

American Contract Law I – Yale University via Coursera
American Contract Law I (along with its sister course Contracts II) provides a comprehensive overview of contract law in the United States. The course covers most of the key concepts found in a first year law school class. Each lecture is based on one or more common-law cases, integrating legal doctrines with policy discussions. The course also covers key sections from the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which governs the sale of goods.

American Contract Law II – Yale University via Coursera
Course description: Contracts I & II provides a comprehensive overview of contract law in the United States. The course covers most of the key concepts found in a first year law school class. Each lecture is based on one or more common-law cases, integrating legal doctrines with policy discussions. The course also covers key sections from the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which governs the sale of goods.

Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities – Columbia University via Coursera
The course is part of a sequence in social policy that has an HONORS TRACK. This track will prepare the learner for masters-level work in policy, which involves reading the literature, writing concise summaries and probing critiques. Over the sequence the learner will develop a policy analysis that will create a foundation for professional policy analyst assignments.

Protecting Children in Humanitarian Settings – Columbia University via edX
Globally, an unprecedented 131 million people are affected by humanitarian crises worldwide. Children, who constitute just under half of the affected population, are particularly vulnerable in these situations, which present grave risks to their physical health and psychological wellbeing.

This course examines how children’s social environments at different levels, such as the family, community and societal levels, influence children’s adversity, development and resilience. Course participants will engage in critical thought about current international child protection practice and how to strengthen it. The course will invite participants to identify opportunities for using the learning from science and practice, to enrich current child protection approaches in humanitarian settings.

This course is aimed at child protection practitioners who work internationally in humanitarian settings and is also designed for those who want to learn more about, or start working in, the sector. The course is not intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to child protection programming in humanitarian settings. Instead, it focuses on select areas that are ripe for enrichment.

Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization – Columbia University via edX
Are you interested in understanding freedom of expression and information? Do you want to learn how it is defined under international law, who abuses it and how it is protected on or off-line?

Adopting a global standpoint, this course will present the international human rights norms and laws that define free speech and the global jurisprudence that has developed to safeguard it. It will explore political expression, press freedom and freedom of expression on the Internet. It will outline the legitimate restrictions to freedom of expression, and discuss its most pressing challenges and violations globally.

Taught with the support of journalists, human rights defenders and press freedom activists from around the world, this course is a formidable introduction to a complex fundamental right, at the heart of today’s many global challenges, from the Internet to national security, freedom of religion and privacy.

Freedom of Expression and Information in the Time of Globalization: Foundational Course – Columbia University via edX
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was promulgated, defining freedom of expression as the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The technology revolution of the last two decades has given the world the means to realize this commitment. Technology has shaped, reshaped, and radically transformed the production and distribution of information, profoundly impacting whole societies and greatly influencing, if not defining, information and communication. However, as the course will demonstrate, the foundation of a global protection of freedom of protection and information largely predates the IT revolution of the last decade.  This course will present and analyse the global norms that have emerged over time to enshrine the protection of freedom of expression and information, across and above national and regional differences.

Freedom of Expression and Information in the Time of Globalization: Advanced Course – Columbia University via edX
This course will focus on the multiple challenges to freedom of expression brought about by the technology revolution of the last two decades. On one hand, it has given the world the means to realize its commitment to freedom of information without frontiers. Technology has shaped, reshaped, and radically transformed the production and distribution of information, profoundly impacting whole societies and greatly influencing, if not defining, information and communication. On the other hand, it has also precipitated or heightened a range of normative, regulatory and political issues related to the protection of free speech, on and offline. This course will examine the complex, and often awkward, interplay of global information flows with national jurisdiction and state sovereignty, its effects on democracy and fundamental rights, and what it means for the realization of a borderless vision for the right to freedom of expression.

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster – Harvard University via edX
From the Syrian refugee crisis to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, humanitarian emergencies have reached unprecedented dimensions and proportions. As need for humanitarian aid grows, how can efforts to alleviate human suffering evolve with it?

This course from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and HarvardX seeks to prepare learners to recognize and analyze emerging challenges in the humanitarian field. The course explores the ethical and professional principles that guide humanitarian response to conflict and disaster. Participants will learn the legal and historical frameworks that shaped these principles, test their applicability to the challenges faced by humanitarian actors today.

US Health Law Fundamentals – University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
This course explores how statutes, regulations, common law, and market forces help or hinder three major goals of policy makers: increasing access, reducing cost, and improving quality. We will examine the Supreme Court’s rulings on the ACA and other legal aspects of modern health care reform. Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to describe the laws, regulations, common law and market forces that shape our health care system and identify areas where ideas and innovation are needed; explain the malpractice system and how it influences medical practice; and analyze legal aspects of the ACA.

Lessons from Ebola: Preventing the Next Pandemic – Harvard University via edX

Like no other event in recent history, the 2014 Ebola outbreak has made clear the fragility of existing health systems. While responding to the current epidemic is critical, we also have an opportunity to learn lessons to prevent the next global health catastrophe, forge partnerships across borders and disciplines, and demonstrate our commitment to value all human lives.

This four-week course provides the context in which to understand the Ebola outbreak — why now, and why did so many people suffer and die? The course lays out the global governance structure — what was the global response supposed to look like, and where did it fail?

The course will feature practitioners, experts, and scholars who will focus on cultivating a better understanding of the Ebola epidemic and implications for future health systems to ensure that the world is more effective in preventing the next pandemic.

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