50 Fascinating Law Lectures for Professionals and Laymen

With laws constantly changing, lawyer fees increasing, and interest in law building, the internet has become a virtual library of legal resources. Below are the 50 best law lectures for anyone with a passing or professional interest.

Best TED Law Lectures

A leading site for free and often insightful lectures, TED also has resources for lawyers and laymen.

    1. Larry Lessig On Laws That Choke Creativity: A Stanford professor and famous internet lawyer, he is an authority on copyright issues. His talk argues for reviving our creative culture. Those with an interesting in inventing or the challenges surrounding it will enjoy this lecture.

    2. Charles Leadbeater On Innovation: He is a researcher at the London think tank, Demos, and discusses the rise of amateur innovation. Amusing and ideal for lawyers or anyone who needs some inspiration.

    3. Peter Hirshberg on TV and the Web: Lawyers looking to go into entertainment law or who are just curious can benefit by listening to this talk. Peter is a Silicon Valley executive who discusses the growing trends in both mediums. Both the past and future are discussed in this talk.

    4. Yochai Benkler on the New Open Source Economics: Get a history on collaborative projects from newspapers to Wikipedia from this expert. He talks about how the activities of today effect social production, along with a few laws.

    5. Howard Rheingold on Collaboration: Another expert on human collaboration, Howard discusses how participatory media and collective action are changing the world. He is an artist, designer, theorist, and community builder and specializes in our net-enabled lives.

    6. Woody Norris Invents Amazing Things: Anyone interested in invention and copyright law should give this talk by a leading inventor a look. He shows two of his newest inventions, which is his 44th patent. Also useful for those interested in innovation.

    7. Michelle Obama’s Plea for Education: The current First Lady, former Chicago lawyer, and Harvard law graduate speaks at a London girl’s school on education. Although no law is discussed, the talk is impressive in that it shows how a lawyer presents their argument. It is also one of her first lectures as First Lady.

Best University Law Lectures

You don’t have to be a law student or be a donor to a top legal universities to hear these educational and innovative legal lectures.

    8. Harvard Law School: With their very own YouTube channel, you can get many expert lectures. Choose playlists and then the topic of your choice to begin.

    9. Rice University: A quick search for law on their webcasts turns up 50 results. They include “What FDR Can Teach President Obama,” “Domestic Wiretapping,” and “The Protection of Free Expression.”

    10. Yale University’s Channel: Click on lectures to get loads of lectures by university professors and esteemed guests. You can also get information on open courses and iTunes. There are also many other non-legal lectures on the channel.

    11. NYU Law: Both the 2007 and 2008 Graduate Student Lecture Series are available for viewing on the site. They cover a variety of legal topics. Real Player is required.

    12. Berkeley Law: Instructor Holly Doremus explores fundamental legal and policy issues in environmental law. Videos actually contain lectures she gives in the classroom. Twenty one videos compromise the playlist.

    13. The University of Chicago Law School: Maintained by professors, The Faculty Blog links to lectures on law and even allow for discussion. You can also get a ton of other useful entries on the site. They even allow commentary and discussion.

    14. Duke Law: The Bernstein Memorial Lecture is a key event at this leading law school and dates back to 2002. Topics discussed include global law, subsidiarity, and international law. You can check out these, along with other webcasts and podcasts from this site.

    15. University of Virginia School of Law: The front page of the videos and podcasts section has an impressive list of topics. They include current events, life at law school, and careers in law. You can also get introductory videos on the university.

    16. Cornell University: A quick search on CornellCast turns up 26 matches for law. You can download a variety of specialties as video or audio. There are also other videos and lectures on many non-legal topics as well.

    17. Case Western Reserve University: Located in Cleveland, they have a library of law lectures available as webcasts or podcasts. There are a variety of topics discussed from international to humanitarian. You can also sign up to view upcoming webcasts.

Best M.I.T. Single Law Lectures

Not offered as a playlist, these single law lectures from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology often deal with tech law.

    18. Introduction to Copyright Law: Offered as an open course, this class also includes four video lectures. Topics discussed include an introduction, LexisNexis, music, and software licensing. You can also sign up for this course at no charge.

    19. Open Networks and Open Society: This lecture examines the relationship between freedom, law, and technology. Hal Abelson is a professor computer science and engineering and wants to deliver a one-two punch against the privatization of academic discourse.

    20. A Reverse Notice and Takedown Regime: Pamela Samuelson walks the audience through dense and murky regulations and case law surrounding digital rights management. Fair use, technical protection measures, and more are discussed. You can also get links to other related videos.

    21. Internet Regulation and Design: Alan Davidson is a member of Google and is on the front lines of internet policy. Although he is not a regular name, he does know the business from the inside. Learn more about internet regulation, net neutrality, and more on this lecture.

    22. Copyright, Fair Use, and the Cultural Commons: Four experts and a moderator engage in a panel to discuss these topics. The history and future of copyright law is focused on. The moderator begins the discussion by taking us back to 1790.

    23. Challenges to Implementation: In this panel about international drug pricing, speakers discuss the legal pitfalls and complexities involved in global pharmaceutical trade. Laws for different countries are discussed and evaluated.

    24. Human Rights Law in the Americas: Enforcement and Invasion: Jennifer Harbury is an attorney and human rights activist who examines the role of the CIA. She also tells the horrific story of her husband’s capture, detainment, torture, and execution at the hands of the Guatemalan military.

Best International Law Lectures

Because law doesn’t end at the border, check out these lectures by experts overseas.

    25. Edinburgh Law School: Located in Scotland, this law school keeps a list of blogs and podcasts on law. Get an array of audio MP3s on Scottish law by visiting the site. Everything from history to technology is discussed.

    26. University of Oxford: The Centre for Competition Law and Policy at this famous English university has papers and other materials available for viewing. They even tackle U.S. law, along with their own.

    27. University of Toronto: The Munk Centre for International Studies at this school has many events available to view on its site. You can choose from legal lectures such as international relations, religion in public, and more. Lectures are available as videos or MP3s.

Best Law Lectures from the Supreme Court

Hear legal lectures from the men and women who interpret United States law by checking out the below.

    28. A Latina Judge’s Voice: Before she was asked to be part of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor gave this lecture in 2001 to a crowd at the University of California, Berkeley. It is full of inspiration and controversy. You can get the entire lecture as text.

    29. William French Smith Memorial Lecture: In 2008, The Honorable Clarence Thomas gave this lecture at Pepperdine University in California. He spoke about his life, law, and more. Ken Starr is the moderator, and the entire event is available on YouTube.

    30. Great Lives in Law: She was appointed by then President Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court in 1993. In January 2005, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was interviewed by Professor Walter Dellinger of Duke University. You can view the entire event as a Real Media download.

    31. What Makes A Good Legal Writer?: In September 2008, Justice Antonin Scalia speaks about what makes good legal writing. Often humorous, it was an internet stream captured on YouTube. Get this video in two parts from this legal blog.

Best Law Lectures by Famous Lawyers

These famous lawyers hold, or have held, the top office and gave these impressive legal lectures.

    32. Office of the Attorney General: The highest ranking lawyer in the nation, speeches and lectures made by the attorney general can be found on the Department of Justice website. View the most current, or view the archives dating all the way back to 1996.

    33. Shell Distinguished Lecture Series: On September 7, 2001, then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spoke to a crowd at Rice University in Texas. Just four days before 9/11, he spoke on his role as the president’s lawyer. The event is available in video as Windows Media or Real Player.

    34. NAACP Centennial Convention: Attorney General Eric Holder made these remarks in July 2009 in New York. He discusses race, law, the Constitution, and more in this short text lecture.

    35. Too Many Americans Isolated, Alone: The first female attorney general of the U.S., Janet Reno delivered this lecture to Kansas State University in 1995. She speaks on how Americans have become more isolated due to external circumstances. You can get most of the lecture as text.

Best Collections of Law Lectures

These lecture collections have a specific legal audience in mind, but are available to anyone interested in the topic.

    36. Bar Review Students: BARBRI is a company who has helped one million law students prepare for the Bar exam. In this section, you can get sample lectures for those about to undertake the exam. Subjects include contracts, jurisdiction, property, and more.

    37. First Year Students: Provided by the same company as above, these sample lectures are intended for those just beginning an education in law. You can chose from civil, constitutional, criminal, and other areas of law. There are also many law student resources on the site.

    38. The American Lawyer Webinar Series: This leading magazine has many tools for lawyers or the legal minded. Simply sign up to register for their many free events. You can also view on-demand webinars on topics such as The Global 100 and Market Meltdown.

    39. Law School Dean Interviews: Want to know what top schools are looking for in an applicant? Then check out these interviews with the deans of law universities such as U.C. Berkeley and the Cornell Law School. The site also has more on law school and information for students.

    40. Law Guru: If you are interested in an answer to a more specific topic rather than a broad lecture, this site is for you. You can browse through the thousands of already answered questions, or submit one of your own at no charge.

    41. FindLaw Video: A leading legal site, they have tons of videos on all sorts of law topics to choose from. You can get them by topic, area, and many other related resources. There are also many other options for those who want to find a lawyer in their area.

Best Law Podcasts

Grab your Mac, PC, iPod, or mobile device and listen to these podcasts with tons of information for the legal minded.

    42. Lawyer 2 Lawyer: A consistent award winner, this weekly podcast often pairs lawyers of conflicting views and gives them a legal topic to discuss. The latest episodes include healthcare reform, Michael Jackson’s will, and many others. There is also a Legal Talk Network with many other legal tools.

    43. Law Technology Now: Monica Bay interviews key experts in the legal technology community about top issues confronting the profession. You can also get a ton of other law related resources on the site. Current topics include greening your career and Bernie Madoff.

    44. This Week in Law: Join Denise Howell and the panel as they discuss breaking issues in technology law including patents, copyrights, and more. Each episode comes with useful links to help you learn more about the topic. There are also other “This Week in” podcasts to choose from.

    45. Legal Broadcast Network: With several channels to choose from, you can find lectures and information on just about any topic from Voices of the Law to the Settlement Channel. They also have an extensive network for lawyers that is free to join. There are also many other legal resources on the site.

    46. The Law Report: Damien Carrick brings you this weekly podcast from the ABC Radio National. Recent episodes include smacking children, the UN, and lawyer drought. You can also listen to the award winning coverage of the Federal Intervention.

    47. Law Technology Today: This podcast is where lawyers and technology meet. Recent episodes include how to survive tough times, selecting a S.E.O., and power tips for practice. Ideal for anyone who enjoys law and/or technology.

    48. OUT-LAW Radio: This is a free, ten minute, weekly podcast provided by the international law firm Pinsent Masons, located in the United Kingdom. You can listen to the current episode or browse through the archives.

    49. Life of a Law Student: Several hosts make up this podcast to show you life behind the scenes in law school, court, and more. You can get tips on various sorts of laws and even an in depth look at many leading universities.

    50. The Legal Underground: Although he stopped podcasting in 2007, Evan Schaeffer still has over 50 interesting episodes on a variety of legal topics. They include depositions, preparation, and more. You also get links to more information on the topic.

By utilizing these top 50 law lecture sites, you can find more than just law lectures. They also contain legal information, advice for law students, resources for laymen, and hundreds of videos and podcasts.