Legal Empowerment 101: Combining the Power of Law with the Power of People 


Legal Empowerment 101 began on 25th September, 2023. Registration for the course is now closed.

The course is available in English, Spanish and French


This course draws from examples of legal empowerment work around the world, offering a roadmap for people seeking to address injustices in their own communities. Whether you are new to legal empowerment or have been practicing for years, these lessons will inspire and equip you with useful tools.

This is a hybrid online course that combines self-paced learning and live virtual discussion sessions. 

The course pulls together lessons from years of in-person learning events and case studies that show what’s possible when people impacted by injustice know, use, and shape the law.

What will you learn?

Through real-life examples and discussions with peers, you will explore how justice advocates use legal empowerment to create change. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe what legal empowerment is and how it differs from other ways of making change
  • Be inspired by the exciting results created in multiple sectors
  • Draw from examples of legal empowerment around the world to consider how to address a problem faced in your community

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn from the successes of people who are advancing justice by helping others to know, use, and shape the law. Learners may be experienced legal empowerment practitioners, justice advocates who are new to legal empowerment, or individuals who are new to the justice field overall.  

How long will the course take? 

The course spans ten weeks, starting on September 25, 2023. The online component of the course (five lessons) will take about ten hours to complete. In addition to the self-paced online component, you will have opportunities to interact with other participants through the course discussion forum and through the live virtual discussion sessions. 

There will be three live plenary sessions on the following dates, all at 1:00-3:00 pm GMT: October 4 – Opening Session; November 9 – Law and Organizing; November 28 – Closing Session.  In addition to these plenary sessions, there will be small group discussions throughout the course.   

We estimate that this course will take about two hours per week, on average, for the entire ten-week duration of the course.  

What are the main contents of the course? 

The course has five lessons:

  1. Introduction to Legal Empowerment

This introductory lesson provides an opportunity to check what you already know about legal empowerment, reflect on what you’re interested in learning, share about your work, and get to know about the other participants and their work.

  1. Combining the Power of Law with the Power of People

In this lesson, you will learn about the key elements of legal empowerment and the rich history of the legal empowerment movement.  

  1. Legal Empowerment Case Studies

In this lesson, you will have the chance to watch and read case studies of legal empowerment practitioners from around the world as they support communities to know, use, and shape the law. The inspiring results show changes in many types of injustice – from land use to domestic violence.

  1. Diving Deeper Into Legal Empowerment

This lesson provides an opportunity to gain deeper insights into the process of building power within communities. You will learn more about how justice seekers combine the power of law and organizing in practice.  

  1. Your Role in Creating Change

This final lesson will give you an opportunity to have a synthesis of all your learning throughout the course and reflect on how you will apply what you have learned to your current work or future plans to address injustices in your community.