Making It Plain: How to Make Legal Language Understandable and Accessible

This 6-week asynchronous, on-demand course seeks to deconstruct the barriers that prevent access to and knowledge of legal terminology for the everyday person. Course goes live on April 1, 2024.
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Course Description

This course is for anyone who has expressed the following sentiment when watching news about legal cases, rules, and policies: “I know what was said, I know what was written, but what does any of it mean?” 
In many instances, the comprehension of law has been relegated only to those who are legal professionals, and those who are involved in either the criminal legal system, the civil courts system, or both. This course seeks to deconstruct the barriers that prevent access to and knowledge of legal terminology for the everyday person.

During this asychnronous learning experience, the journey of discovery, led by experienced litigator and professor, Natasha L. Robinson, J.D., includes the exploration of the origin of legal terminology, the application of prominent legal terms used in criminal and civil courts, and the activation of analysis when the legal terms are understood and taught to the everyday person generally, laypersons, and faith leaders specifically, leading to the transformation of students into teachers. 
asynchronous content
pre-recorded videos
real case studies
discussion forums
small group exercises
expert support

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, adult learners will: 
  • learn key legal terms and concepts used in criminal and civil legal systems in the United States;
  • explore the similarities and the differences between terminology used in criminal and terminology used in civil law;
  • apply different criminal and civil terms to everyday criminal and civil issues and cases in the news;
  • create ways for how we can teach legal language to non-legal persons to widen the network of legal terminology comprehension and application;
  • collaborate on how to facilitate discussions in sacred spaces involving faith leaders and laypeople regarding the current legal issues of our time.
Meet the instructor

Natasha L. Robinson

Natasha Robinson, J.D. (aka “Grace’s Mommy”) is the creator and curator of Legaleaze Please! LLC, an online legal education business dedicated to decoding, deconstructing, and demystifying legal language for lifelong learners of the law. Her commitment to legal education spans over 20 years as a criminal justice professor, high school educator, and licensed criminal defense attorney. Natasha is also a recurring TV guest legal analyst as seen on CourtTV and WGN9 News.
Natasha earned her Bachelors of Arts in English from the University of Iowa, her Masters of Arts in English from Chicago State University, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School.