PLEASE NOTE: This course is offered through GetSmarter, which provides cohort-based learning, personal coaching services, and access to a premier certificate from HarvardX.

With this highly practical course designed for professional impact, you’ll benefit from a unique blend of both contract management and contract law theory. Equipped with a theoretical background of contracts, trust and promise, have confidence in your ability to form contracts through valid offer and acceptance. Investigate the limits to enforcing contracts, issues excusing contractual performance, available remedies to broken contracts, the differences between civil and common law across the world, and how courts interpret contracts. Analyze the relationship of contracts to agency, partnership, corporations and regulation, and leave the course secure in your knowledge of contract lifecycle management for reduced cost, risk mitigation and maximum value.

As the mark of a transformative experience that delivers deep learning and meaningful connection, regular activity submissions build towards a Portfolio of Evidence that — when combined with your premier HarvardX certificate — serves as powerful validation of your expertise. 

What you'll accomplish:

  • Identify the basic terminology of contracts and contract law

  • Articulate the role of trust in the establishment of reliable contracts

  • Evaluate the enforceability of a contract

  • Argue for or against the decision of a court in a given case

  • Compare the various aspects of civil and common law as applied to specific cases

  • Analyze how the government deals with different kinds of mistakes, fraud, frustration and broken contracts

  • Draft adjustments to a given contract in order to best mitigate risk and ensure desired outcomes

  • Differentiate between human entities, corporations and third parties in relation to contract law

  • Plan a contract lifecycle management procedure for a business or organization 

Meet The Author

Charles Fried

Charles Fried

Beneficial Professor of Law

Charles Fried is the Beneficial Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he has been teaching since 1961. Most recently, Fried has taught Contracts and Constitutional Law. He was also the Solicitor General of the United States from 1985 to 1989, where he argued 25 cases in front of the Supreme Court. Fried was also an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts from 1995 to 1999. Fried has authored many books, including Anatomy of Values, Right and Wrong, Modern Liberty, Contract as Promise, Making Tort Law, and Saying Where the Law Is: The Constitution in the Supreme Court, in addition to more than 30 journal articles.

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