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International LL.M. and Graduate Students Guide

United States Courts and Government

Basics of Government

In this video from the official web site of the United States Courts judges discuss the Rule of Law.  A concept that laws are knowable, and apply equally to everyone.

The second video is from the National Constitution Center, a private nonprofit organization located here in Philadelphia, discusses federalism. Federalism is a system of shared powers.  In the United States Constitution states entrusted certain powers to the national government, but retained other powers to themselves which they exercise either at a statewide level or entrust to local governments.

The next two videos discuss Separation of Powers, a mechanism built into structure of the United States Government that divides powers among three branches, the legislative, executive, and judiciary to prevent any one branch of government from becoming too powerful.

The first video is from the official website of the U.S. Courts.  The second video is from the National Constitution Center.  

If you are unable to access YouTube videos from the National Constitution Center these and many more videos are available on their webpage



The National Conference of State Legislatures created this video to provide an overview of the structure and role of the courts in the United States.  


Laws are made by the legislature.  This video from the Library of Congress provides an overview of how the United States Congress makes laws. 

If you are unable to access this video on YouTube, or you would like to learn more about the legislative process in the United State the full series of videos is available at

The Presidency

The President is likely to be the most recognizable individual in the government of the United States.  This video from the National Constitution Center provides information about the events and ideas that have shaped the office.