Social Justice Certificate


Social justice lawyers give voice in the legal system to underrepresented clients and causes. The Social Justice Certificate is ideal for students interested in societal inequality and power differentials, particularly as these relate to class and economics, identity and rights, and the political process.

The certificate program allows students to deepen their knowledge and expand expertise in areas that intersect with social justice and prepares students for a career that aligns with their values. Hands-on work is an important component of the certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Students should notify the registrar of their intention to satisfy the certificate requirements before the end of their first full academic year.

In addition to all other J.D. degree requirements, students must complete the requirements below to earn the Social Justice Certificate.

Experiential Component

Complete one of the following experiential courses:

  • Legal Aid Clinic
  • Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies
  • Field Placement Program ‚Äď a field placement with an organization focused on social justice (with approval of the certificate director)

Elective Courses

Complete six courses from the list below. Courses not included in this list must be approved by the certificate director:

  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Legal Aid Clinic
  • Asylum and Refugee Law
  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Environmental Law Seminar (Environmental Justice)
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Feminist Jurisprudence
  • Independent Research (related to social justice)
  • Juvenile Law
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Seminar
  • Mass Incarceration
  • Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Representing Asylum Seekers
  • Special Topics: ___ (Social Justice Lawyering; Sexual Orientation & the Law)
  • A second course meeting the criteria for the experiential component requirement, as approved by the certificate director
  • Any additional courses as approved by the certificate director

Course descriptions


Kyle Velte
Associate Professor of Law