By Tanuj Kalia
What are the purposes of an online law course?
Good courses provide you good study material (text, video, forums) and ways to engage with that (tests and exercises) and give you a recognized ‘certification’ for it.
Good online course providers will have:
A. A team of researchers who’d have selected the best material for you.
B. A team of writers who’d have put that in an engaging format.
C. A support team to help with anything technical.
D. Faculty to clear your doubts.
A good course thus spoon-feeds you the law. A great course will challenge you and engage you in a variety of tasks that tests you on what you’ve learnt. These things are worth the money!
Are they necessary?
To learn any law you need to do some basic things: read, research, write and maybe discuss with your fellow students/faculty. For that you don’t need a course!
Again, if you need a ‘certification’ for that, a couple of publications in a good law journal have as much ‘weight’ as an online law course.
Just to give you some idea, most good certificate courses in Law are priced anywhere between Rs. 2000-Rs. 8000. If I think as a recruiter, if you have 2 good publications (on a related subject of course) in good law journals, I’d consider those 2 publications equivalent to doing a certificate course.
A Diploma Course (Rs. 15,000-Rs. 50,000) can be matched by say getting 6-7 good publications or maybe maintaining a well researched blog, updated fortnightly for a year (that’s 24 blog posts). These are just guidelines; not strict rules.
You could show-case similar knowledge of the law by doing well in moot courts (quarter-finalists-winners).
Conferences and Seminars (which have little entry barrier) don’t hold similar value.
Still, some ‘old-thought’ government institutions or organisations might like to see a certificate by a University in your CV; so that you’ll have to consider that too.
Again, courses certified by Universities (especially good Universities) add valuable points to your CV.
So, to summarize, I’d recommend online law courses (if they are good); but well, it’s not that you have to do them.