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Harvard Law School

Harvard Law Makes Online, Pre-Term Course Free

Harvard Law is making its online, pre-term course free for all US law schools due to Coronavirus.

The law school announced that its “Zero-L” courses, aimed at giving students foundational knowledge about the legal field, will be offered for free in an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on incoming law students, The Harvard Crimson reports.

“This has been an incredibly challenging period for so many,” Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning says in a press release. “If Zero-L can help ease the transition and strengthen student success at other law schools as it has done at HLS, then we want to offer that support to all law schools by waiving the fee and making the course available for free this year.”


Zero-L is an online, pre-term course taught by HLS faculty. The name is a play on the traditional terms for first, second, and third-year law students (1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls).

A number of law schools, including Boston College, Northeastern University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Baltimore, use Zero-L to give incoming students a foundation in law.



While Harvard Law officials originally planned to charge a fee for Zero-L, the law school decided to waive that fee in response to the pandemic.

Participating law schools can begin offering the course to incoming law students starting July – at no charge.

This year’s course will also cover material that is typically provided in a law school orientation as law school shift to virtual orientations, the Crimson reports.

For many, the course is an important foundation setter prior to attending law school.

“I was able to fully focus my time on learning the material in my class, as opposed to spending a few weeks trying to figure out what was even going on,” Harvard Law School student Mara L. Chin Loy tells the Crimson.

Sources: The Harvard Crimson, Harvard Law Today

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