This course, taught by a former trial lawyer and Massachusetts Superior Court Justice (Ret.), will examine seventeen of the greatest trials across the globe in search of the truth, from Socrates to O.J. Simpson, Kyle Rittenhouse, Derek Chavin, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This journey will take us from ancient Athens to the village of Salem, Massachusetts, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, all examined from the perspective of witnesses, attorneys, judges, the public, and the lens of history.
This course will promote and advance an understanding of the trial as a great force for social, economic, and political change throughout history by building and improving skills such as critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, team collaboration, persuasive argument, and advocacy; heightening your awareness of social and legal issues; and providing an educational process that fosters communication, cooperation, and respect for diversity. Throughout this course, you will discover how the most significant trials have changed the course of history, examine whether justice was accomplished through the trial, and discern the real social and political issues at play during these historic events.
The course will feature daily short lectures, accompanied by robust discussion boards where you will respond to thought-provoking questions and engage each other thoughts and perspectives.
• Promote and advance an understanding of the trial as a force for social, economic and political change throughout history;
• Build and improve basic life skills such as critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, team collaboration, persuasive argument, advocacy, and public speaking;
• Heighten the awareness of social and legal issues presented by famous trials; and
• Provide an educational process that fosters communication, cooperation, and respect for students with diverse abilities, backgrounds, and interests.
• Each trial serves as a springboard for a robust discussion of important social, political and legal issues.
• Each trial displays examples of effective as well as ineffective trial tactics and trial advocacy.
• Improve your public speaking and advocacy skills;
• Discover how the greatest trials have changed the course of history;
• Decide whether justice was accomplished through the trial;
• Discern the behind-the-scenes social and political issues at play during the trial;
• Understand how to present compelling arguments; and
• Develop critical thinking skills.
The material is rich, thought-provoking and touches on the cutting edge of issues that have, and in some cases, continue to roil society. It lends itself quite naturally to students who wish to major in political science or pre-law, or are simply intrigued with the great trials throughout history.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.