Introduction to the Courts of the United States

Subject Matter Experts:

Danielle Trujillo

Stacy Worby


The importance of courts in our society cannot be overstated. It seems that every day we see the critical role courts play in upholding the Rule of Law. But, what exactly are courts and why do they exist? What functions do they perform? Has the role of courts changed over time? This course will elaborate on the purposes and responsibilities of courts, the types of cases courts hear, the complexity of the U.S. Court system, the facets of court administration, and the importance in supporting the court’s mission.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, or sequence of courses, what do you want the learner to know and be able to:

  1. Identify what courts are, their unique nature, how they align within the branches of government, and what purposes they serve.
  2. Identify basic court functions and sources of authority.
  3. Identify the diverse types of courts and how they are structured.
  4. Understand the roles of judges in adjudication and administration.
  5. Recognize the responsibilities, functions, and role of court administration.
  6. Recognize the importance and role of court staff and other judicial system actors in support of the court’s mission.
Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 5 Modules
  • 5 Quizzes