Skip to content

Be prepared for law school success with Zero-L.

Developed by Harvard Law School, Zero-L is an online course designed to ensure that everyone can gain the foundational legal knowledge needed to thrive in law school and to enjoy a deeper understanding of how the U.S. legal system works in everyday life.

It’s time to bridge the legal knowledge gap. Zero-L is here to help.

Students come away from Zero-L:

“If I had not taken Zero-L, I would have been lost in class.”

Gonzalo Robles LL.M., HLS ’19

Zero-L Modules

Ensure incoming law students and law school applicants feel more confident and better prepared.

Intro to ZERO-L

A brief introduction to Zero-L’s structure and goals. 

Intro to law and the court systemS

This module deepens student understanding of what law is and how to “think like a lawyer.” Students learn about the structure of federal and state courts, the hierarchy of authorities, and the differences between various kinds of law.

How to Read a Case and Understand Precedent

Using a real case, students learn step-by-step how to read a case for class. They will also be introduced to standard common law arguments, and the role of precedent in judicial decisions.


Students learn how to locate and read statutes, and are introduced to the tools and major schools of statutory interpretation.


Students get a preview of the most commonly taught first-year courses so they are ready to excel in class starting from day one.


Students are introduced to their career options, the impact they can make as a lawyer, and how the profession continues to change and evolve.


Students gain exposure to some of the larger theoretical questions raised by law, questions which will often be lurking in the background of readings and classroom discussions.

Test Drive: Applying Learning

This capstone opportunity enables students to apply what they have learned in Zero-L in a final exercise that provides a perfect bridge to day one of class.

Learn more about the skills and concepts taught in Zero-L.

The Zero-L Learning Experience

Zero-L has been used by tens of thousands of law students nationwide to provide students from all educational backgrounds with the tools they need to feel more confident and better prepared for law school.

Compact Lessons

Quickly review high impact content.

Engaging format

Dynamic videos that teach and encourage.

Continuing Access

Access to course materials for one full year.

Comprehension Checks

Evaluate progress without any pressure.

Featured Faculty

Harvard Law School’s faculty is comprised of the top legal minds from every subject area, dedicated to excellence in teaching. Students no longer have to worry about what they don’t know when preparing for law school.

Glenn Cohen
James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law, and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics [Full Bio]

Student Testimonials

Mara Chin Loy
“Zero-L really helped prepare me for my first year. I could focus all of my time on learning in class, as opposed to spending weeks figuring out what was even going on.”

Mara Chin Loy, HLS ’21
Gonzalo Robles
“If I had not taken Zero-L, I would have been lost in class.”

Gonzalo Robles LL.M., HLS ’19
Andy Boes
“I didn’t have a lot of exposure to the legal world, other than the tangential background from political science classes. Zero-L’s lessons gave me a good foundation and made me feel more comfortable going into law school.”

Andy Boes, HLS ’21
HLS faculty are featured throughout Zero-L.

Students no longer have to worry about what they don't know when preparing for law school.

Zero-L is here to help with:

Frequently Asked Questions

Zero-L was created for students who are about to start law school but who haven’t yet crossed the threshold to their first or “1-L” year—hence the name “Zero-L”. Zero-L was designed to ensure that all these incoming law students, whatever their backgrounds and previous areas of study, start with the foundational knowledge to enable them to thrive in law school.

Zero-L was built for incoming law students and, over the last several years, tens of thousands of incoming law students nationwide have taken Zero-L. Because Zero-L was built for students who haven’t yet started law school, Zero-L is also beneficial for everyone in the process of applying to law school, thinking about applying to law school, or learning more about the law for their own curiosity.

In accordance with Harvard University policy, Harvard Law School does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. 

If you are an individual learner looking to enroll in Zero-L, please complete this short application. To join the next cohort of individual learners in Zero-L, please submit your application by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, July 5, 2024. We look forward to responding to your submitted application within 4 business days. There is no cost to apply.

Zero-L for individual learners is a fully online course that runs for six weeks, with new modules delivered every week and a brief online course orientation prior to the first module. All Zero-L content is fully asynchronous, so you can complete each module on your own schedule each week you don’t have to log in at any particular day or time. Modules contain videos, vocabulary, and short exercises to check comprehension. The estimated amount of work time each week is roughly 2-3 hours, although individual learners’ timeframes will vary. 

The fee for the Zero-L course for individual learners is $200. At this time, discounts aren’t available.

Individual learners accepted into the Zero-L course will receive an email from the Harvard Law School Online team with payment instructions. Payment is due in full by 5 p.m. Eastern Time the day before the course opens for orientation. If you wish to cancel your enrollment, you may request a full refund by emailing no later than one business day before the course opens for orientation. (Please note the business day concludes at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.) Requests must be received by this time to receive a full refund. After this asynchronous course opens, no refunds will be given. (If you have questions about enrolling a group of individual learners, please drop us a note at 

Please note that Harvard is not responsible for fluctuations in international exchange rates between payment and refund, nor is it responsible for interest charges or other fees due to the timing of credit card refunds.

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 

The inaugural cohort of Zero-L for individual learners begins with online orientation on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, with the first module opening on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. The course concludes on Wednesday, August 14, 2024. Please check back here or sign-up to stay in touch with us for dates of future Zero-L individual learner cohorts.

Upon completion of Zero-L, individual learners will receive a Certificate of Completion. Please note that Zero-L is ungraded and that no degree or course credit toward a degree is awarded for Zero-L completion. 

Please drop the Harvard Law School Online team a note at, and we’ll be glad to share further details of the Zero-L course experience for law schools, as well as work with you on Zero-L enrollment for your law school students.