This course is a variant of CS50x 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.
Through a mix of technical instruction and discussion of case studies, this course empowers students to be informed contributors to technology-driven conversations. In addition, it prepares students to formulate technology-informed legal arguments and opinions. Along the way, it equips students with hands-on experience with Python and SQL, languages via which they can mine data for answers themselves.
Topics include algorithms, cloud computing, databases, networking, privacy, programming, scalability, security, and more, with a particular emphasis on understanding how the work developers do and the technological solutions they employ may impact clients. Students emerge from this course with first-hand appreciation of how it all works and all the more confident in the factors that should guide their decision-making.
Watch an introduction
How to Take this Course
Even if you are not a student at Harvard, you are welcome to “take” this course for free via this OpenCourseWare by working your way through the course’s ten weeks of material. If you’d like to submit the course’s ten assignments for feedback, be sure to create an edX account, if you haven’t already. Ask questions along the way via any of the course’s communities!
- If interested in a verified certificate from edX, enroll at cs50.edx.org/law instead.
- If interested in a certificate of completion for yourself from Harvard Law School Executive Education, apply at hls.harvard.edu/executive-education/programs/online-programs/computer-science-for-lawyers.
- If interested in a custom program for your firm from Harvard Law School Executive Education, request information at hls.harvard.edu/executive-education/programs/custom-programs.
How to Teach this Course
If you are a teacher, you are welcome to adopt or adapt these materials for your own course, per the license.