Summer law school: Upskill through online courses based on Seinfeld and more

SOURCE: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix/AFP
Jerry Seinfeld attends the LA Tastemaker event for Comedians in Cars at The Paley Center for Media on July 17, 2019 in Beverly Hills City.

By U2B Staff 

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Learning something new about law doesn’t have to be dull, especially not at the “Yada Yada Law School” – a free summer programme developed by University of Iowa Associate Professor Gregory Shill that provides law classes based on the hit 90s sitcom Seinfeld.

According to The Daily Iowan, “The 10-week law course will raise donations for the COVID-19 relief fund of Legal Services New York City, based on the location of Seinfeld, a popular television show and the inspiration for Yada Yada Law School.”

Shill said that with a total of 180 episodes, the sitcom references various areas of law and will serve as the main assignment due to its “comical yet relevant content” for those interested in law.

Seinfeld is a sitcom from the 90s and Shill wasn’t sure if it still appealed to students of the current generation, and wasn’t expecting so many students to sign up.

With nearly 4,000 signatures on the program’s website and more than 2,000 views on YouTube, Shill deemed the programme a success and decided to use it as an opportunity to raise charity funds.

“We chose Legal Services NYC who have the COVID relief fund. Hundreds of people individually donated, and we had one class so far.”

Sara Bronin, property-law professor at Yada Yada Law School, said that she hopes to spark an interest in people in law or law school and show people that law is everywhere.

She said it’s been interesting to revisit Seinfeld and teach appropriate legal principles drawn from its plot, but most importantly, she wants students to have fun and enjoy thinking about how the law applies in everyday situations.

Yada Yada Law School also ties real-life cases into its curriculum to show students courtroom procedure.


Attend summer law school through online courses

If you aren’t a fan of Seinfeld, you can still check out online courses to upskill or learn something new about law this summer.

According to IE Law School, “The lawyers of tomorrow must be able to adapt to the changing landscape of the legal profession. This requires being equipped with non-legal skills such as, but not limited to, risk management, creative thinking, and knowledge of business-related areas. In this way, upskilling also represents a cultural shift in the workplace as the workforce embraces more modern and future-forward ways of doing things.”

Choose a course that’s engaging and uses real-life contexts to help you understand and apply law principles in real life.

For example, Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms is a seven-week course offered by the University of Chicago through Coursera that explores the relationship between law and technology with a strong focus on the law in the US.

Interested in judiciary? There’s also The Modern Judiciary: Who They Are, What They Do and Why it Matters, an online course on FutureLearn by King’s College London, which explores the role of judges in the UK and the daily business of judging, from common law to judicial diversity.

If you’re thinking of a career shift, check out courses like International Human Rights Law on EdX by UCLouvain, which is free unless you wish to pay for a verified certificate.

Through these online law courses, you can spend your summer upskilling in an aspect of the law that interests you without leaving the comfort of your own home, and you learn something new while adding something impressive to your resume.