I was reading Money magazine recently when I came upon a wonderful resource for busy attorneys. As we all know, running a successful law practice can be stressful and all consuming, but taking time to nourish your brain with first rate material should be up there on the priority list right next to regular physical exercise. The great news is that a number of top tier universities have made their lectures available for free over the web. Whether it’s Civil War history by a Yale professor or interviews with faculty at Wharton, there are lots of sources for lectures, often accompanied by syllabuses and Study Guides.
I love to learn while I workout in the morning…the perfect multitasking activity. Many listen to music on the treadmill or while lifting weights, but my iPhone is loaded with podcasts, lectures and full courses. I’m sure I’ve received enough information for a couple of PhDs over the years. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new sources. The one place most users are familiar with is iTunes. Right in the iTunes Store, there’s a link to “iTunes U” where lots of universities have placed great material free for downloading. I was particularly impressed with the University of Utah’s selections on Business and Entrepreneurship, but there are classes and courses in every area that might interest you. There was even a Mini Medical School offering from Emory University.
Another treasure trove is at AcademicEarth.org where a buffet of video lectures is available to all. These are the actual lectures from courses at Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Berkeley, to name some of the top schools represented. Courses that caught my eye were the Introduction to Literary Theory by Paul Fry from Yale; The Morality of Murder by Harvard’s Michael Sandel and the Importance of Vision by Stanford’s Jeff Raikes.
Many universities on their own sites are offering classes, so it’s well worth a trip around the web to locate them. I’m reminded of the old ad for Time magazine that said, “reading Time would make everything more interesting, including you.” This unprecedented access to the finest minds in the world can’t help but have the same impact.