Corporate Lawyers: Ethics, Regulation and Purpose

Course Type
MOOC, Distance learning

This course will teach you about the role of lawyers in society and about how they can (and should) balance their obligations to their clients against wider obligations to the public interest. We will cover how different lawyers are regulated, and explore key debates in lawyers’ ethics: how we might decide whether what lawyers do is right or wrong. 

We will talk with experts in legal ethics and the regulation of lawyers about their views on the proper role of lawyers in society. We will also talk with members of the public, and invite you to share your experiences and opinions. And we will talk with practising lawyers and with the regulators of legal services.

What is a MOOC?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course - these are free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of Higher Education to learners from across the UK and the world. The University of Birmingham is delivering new MOOCs in partnership with FutureLearn, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University. 

Delivered by world-class academics from the University of Birmingham, the courses enable learners worldwide to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform from a leading global University, increasing access to higher education for a whole new cohort of learners. 

The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured in line with our other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University of Birmingham.

This course has been developed by the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER).

Course knowledge requirements

The course will be of interest to anyone who is captivated by lawyers, big business and questions of right and wrong. You might be a current or future law student, a practising lawyer, a regulator, or a member of the public. 

The course will take an interactive approach, allowing you to both share your own opinions and experiences of lawyers, and learn from experts in legal ethics and legal services regulation. All jargon will be explained, so that you can join in without any specialist knowledge.

Course duration and content

This course is three weeks long. We will look at the different ways in which we can theorise about lawyers’ ethics, and we will then apply those theories to a series of case studies: some general (in Week 2); some focussing on specific research on corporate lawyers working for the world’s largest law firms (in Week 3).


Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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How To Apply

The next start date for this free online course is currently to be confirmed. You can register your interest in participating at the FutureLearn website.

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