Computer Science for Lawyers

About the Program


PROGRAM LENGTH: 10 Modules (self-paced, online)


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
  • Have the opportunity to connect directly with the program faculty about the content, its application, and your questions
  • Practice what you’ve learned with assignments and quizzes
  • Gain access to additional supplemental reading materials to build on your learning

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 a 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 15 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, or be currently working in an organization in the legal sector.

Admissions Guidelines:

  • Participants should have a JD, LL.M., LL.B., or the equivalent, or be currently working in an organization in the legal sector.
  • 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.
  • There are no refunds for this program.

Visit the Admissions page for additional information on the process.

The Teaching Team

David J. Malan, Ph.D.

Doug Lloyd, J.D.

Learn more about the faculty by visiting our Faculty page and using the drop down menu (“Search By Faculty Type”) to select the program of interest.


Custom Programs

Need a more customized approach? We provide programming tailored to meet the specific needs of senior firm leaders. Learn more.