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Computer Science for Lawyers will equip you with a richer appreciation of the legal ramifications of clients’ technological decisions and policies.

Most attorneys rely on computers, mobile phones, and the cloud every day. But few have an in-depth understanding of how these technologies work or the privacy implications associated with their usage.

Computer Science for Lawyers will equip you with a richer appreciation of the legal ramifications of clients’ technological decisions and policies. This online course is delivered as a series of video modules that you may access on your own schedule. Topics include programming languages, algorithms, cybersecurity, cloud computing, database design, and challenges at the intersection of law and technology. No prior programming experience is required.

Through a mix of technical instruction and discussion of case studies, Computer Science for Lawyers will empower you to be an informed contributor in technology-driven conversations. It will also prepare you to formulate technology-informed legal arguments and opinions and, ultimately, to serve clients better.

This course is ideal for attorneys who work closely with and advise decision-makers on legal matters that impact or intersect with technology. We encourage applicants to consider participating in this program with colleagues. This will provide you with a natural cohort with whom to debrief after each module, create opportunities to deepen your learning, and increase the subject knowledge within your organization.

The HLS Executive Education Advantage

Taking Computer Science for Lawyers with HLS Executive Education offers distinct advantages. With us you will:

  • Earn a signed Harvard Law School Executive Education certificate of completion that is delivered as a Certified Electronic Certificate
  • Have the opportunity to connect directly with the program faculty about the content, its application, and your questions.
    • Next virtual live sessions:
      • TBD
  • Practice what you’ve learned with assignments and quizzes
  • Receive feedback from course instructors
  • Gain access to additional supplemental reading materials to build on your learning

About the Computer Science for Lawyers program


    This course empowers participants to be informed contributors to technology-driven conversations, and it prepares them to formulate technology-informed legal arguments and opinions.

    Participants will develop fundamental understanding of a variety of computer science concepts and languages.


    The Learning Model

    Computer Science for Lawyers is an online course comprised of 10 modules. The topics are explored through a combination of technical instruction and discussions about applying the concepts in a legal setting. Each module includes a video lecture, related assignments, and supplemental materials. Along the way, the course equips you with hands-on experience with Python and SQL,  languages with which you can mine data for yourself. In addition, each semester you will have the opportunity to ask questions and delve deeper into the topics with the program’s faculty.

    This self-paced course will take approximately 20 hours to complete. Participants have 1 year from the date of access to complete it.

    Module Topics:

    • Computational Thinking
    • Programming Languages
    • Algorithms & Data Structures
    • Cryptography
    • Cybersecurity I
    • Internet Technologies & Cloud Computing
    • Web Development
    • Database Design
    • Cybersecurity II
    • Challenges at the Intersection of Law and Technology

    This course is designed for attorneys who expect to work closely with and advise decision-makers on legal matters that impact or intersect with technology. Applicants should consider participating in this online course as part of small cohort from their firm or organization. Completing the course as a group will provide participants with a natural cohort with which you discuss program content and its application within their organization.

    Participants should have a JD, LL.M., LL.B., or the equivalent, be currently working in an organization in the legal sector, or be enrolled in a JD, LL.M., LL.B or equivalent program at an accredited law school.


    Admissions Guidelines:

    • The application includes one short answer question: “Please describe why this course is relevant to you.”
    • Accepted participants will gain access to the course after payment is received. Access will be provided within 2 business days.
    • There are no refunds for this program once you have accessed the course.

    Visit the Admissions page for additional information on the process.


    Our core faculty are members of the Harvard Law School faculty – distinguished academicians, educators, researchers, authors, and practitioners in their respective fields. Representing various disciplines, they are close to practice through relationships with law firm leaders and through personal involvement as consultants for top firms around the world.

    Teaching Team

    David J. Malan, Harvard University – Faculty Chair

    Doug Lloyd, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education


    Computer Science for Lawyers can provide organizations an efficient way for a large number of employees to gain key technology insight and knowledge. Harvard Law School Executive Education is pleased to offer special group or organization-wide pricing.

    Do you have a group or cohort ready to enroll in the Computer Science for Lawyers program? View our tiered pricing model. This option is best for organization who will have a set number of participants and can prepay.

    Please contact us at to discuss Computer Science for Lawyers for your group or organization.

Watch the Recent Webinar: Understanding Impacts of AI on the Legal Profession

In this talk titled “Understanding Impacts of AI on the Legal Profession,” David Malan and Doug Lloyd from Harvard Law School Executive Education’s Computer Science for Lawyers program discuss the fundamentals of AI and its implications for the legal profession, using ChatGPT as an example. The session covers AI techniques, such as reinforcement learning and deep learning, and explores the applications of AI in the legal industry.

Watch the webinar

Harvard is authorized to offer distance education under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an agreement that allows institutions of higher education in Massachusetts to offer distance education to students residing in other states that participate in SARA. For information about SARA-related student complaint processes for distance education students, please see