6 Unique Ways to Broaden Your Understanding of the Legal System

The law governs society. If you want to understand society and how it works you must understand the legal system. The law affects nearly every aspect of our lives, so gaining a broad understanding of the legal system and how it works has many benefits. It is not enough to be a little aware of what is happening in the world but to understand its legal context too. Here are 6 unique ways you can broaden your understanding of the law.

Attend Court Hearings

One of the best ways to understand the legal system is to observe it in action. Attending court hearings allows you to witness legal procedures and arguments directly. You can see firsthand how judges and attorneys operate in the courtroom. You can also see how different judges react to different arguments. It can simply be for general knowledge or be used in the future. Hearing different perspectives on legal issues helps you gain a more balanced understanding of complex topics. Attending court is free and open to the public, so take advantage of this opportunity to look inside the legal system.

Participate in Mock Trials

Mock trials simulate real courtroom trials to allow participants to gain hands-on experience with legal procedures. You can be an attorney, witness, or juror to practice making opening statements, conducting witness examinations, presenting evidence, and deliberating to reach a verdict. Participating in mock trials teaches you practical skills while broadening your understanding of the trial process. Mock trials are often organized through high schools, colleges, law schools, and legal education organizations.

Read Legal Literature

Please don’t yawn as you read this point. Legal literature encompasses case law, statutes, books, websites, blogs, etc. Reading broadly on legal topics expands your vocabulary, exposes you to important concepts and precedent cases, and helps you explore legal theory and history. Following reputable legal blogs and podcasts keeps you current on current issues. Some recommended resources for understanding the US legal system include Supreme Court opinions, American Law Reports, and literature published by the American Bar Association.

Listen to Attorney Podcasts

Attorney podcasts provide a convenient way to stay on top of current events in the legal world and gain insights from experienced lawyers. Podcasts discuss recent cases, hot legal topics, law practice management, and what it’s like to work as an attorney. In the technology-savvy era, where you can easily multitask and gain information, podcasts are one of the best ways to do so. Listening to podcasts in your free time helps you absorb useful information to broaden your legal knowledge engagingly and entertainingly.

Volunteer with Legal Organizations

Volunteering with legal aid organizations, law clinics, and community advocacy groups exposes you to real-world legal issues in your area. You can help with client intake, legal research, and community education. Working directly with lawyers and clients gives you a firsthand look at how the legal system functions and impacts people’s lives. Legal volunteer work also provides an opportunity for mentorship and networking. Organizations nationwide welcome volunteers, both with and without a legal background.

Take a Legal Course

You can do all the research you want, but nothing is better than being taught by a professional or a proper institution. Taking a course on law or the legal system is one of the best ways to gain a structured education. Law schools, colleges, and online course platforms offer classes for non-lawyers on topics such as an introduction to law, civil litigation, criminal law, constitutional law, and legal ethics. Courses teach legal terminology and concepts through lectures, readings, discussions, and case studies. Mock trials give you an understanding of what happens in real life, but these degrees and courses can give you a great idea of the necessary background and legal literature. Earning a certificate in a legal program provides an in-depth understanding of the subject area and demonstrates your commitment to continual learning.


Great, now you have read a few of the many ways you can learn more about the legal system. While the law can seem complex, don’t be intimidated. Make sure you utilize all the resources available to you. You can start slow by reading some legal books and cases and then attend hearings much later when you are more comfortable with the jargon.

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