KU Law offers seven certificate programs in which students can hone their expertise in a specific area. Students who intend to pursue certification should notify the associate dean for academic affairs during their first year of law school.
Effective advocacy requires a solid grounding in all aspects of litigation — planning the lawsuit, pretrial practices and procedures, trial advocacy, and post-trial matters — and in alternative forms of dispute resolution. This certificate program provides the means for students to develop basic knowledge and skills in effective advocacy.
The Business and Commercial Law Certificate is a response to the longstanding demand for attorneys with expertise in the field. Students in the program develop the knowledge and skills needed to begin a successful career as a business lawyer. A student who obtains the certificate receives a solid grounding in the basic principles of business and commercial law and is familiar with many of the transactions that business and commercial lawyers commonly encounter in practice.
Since the inception of modern environmental and natural resources law in the late 1960s and 1970s, the field has become increasingly important, both in its own right and as a result of the frequency with which environmental and natural resources law issues overlap with other, more traditional fields of practice such as real estate, insurance, and corporate law. The Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Law Certificate exposes students to the basics of this constantly changing area of practice so that they become competent to address environmental and natural resources law issues in whatever context they arise.
The globalization of business has forced nearly all lawyers to have some general familiarity with the rules of international trade, commerce, investment, and finance, and it has created exciting new opportunities for those lawyers who want their practice to focus specifically in these areas. The International Trade and Finance Certificate assists students in preparing for this increasingly global practice of law, and in particular to emphasize the business nature of that practice.
Private enterprise and governmental institutions increasingly depend on, and are affected by, communications media. As a result, legal representation in both the private and public sectors is enhanced by an understanding of media influence on the development and administration of law and public policy. The Media, Law and Technology Certificate focuses on legislative challenges, judicial decision-making, and administrative policy in an era increasingly shaped by information technologies, global networks, and the media.
There is a growing demand for attorneys with expertise in the tax field. Completion of the Tax Law Certificate requirements allows students to develop the practical and technical skills needed to build successful careers. Certification also assures employers that the student not only has a mastery of basic principles of individual and entity taxation but also has been exposed to many of the intricacies of tax law and practice.
Effectively representing Indian nations and tribes requires an understanding of the extremely complicated body of federal, state, and tribal law that affects every aspect of indigenous societies. The Tribal Lawyer Certificate ensures that law students who plan careers representing indigenous nations have the skills necessary to appreciate and strengthen the unique nature of tribal legal systems and governments.
The Director of the Certificate Program may approve an appropriate course(s) to substitute for a course necessary to complete the Certificate, particularly in instances when the necessary course is not offered or cannot be taken because of an irreconcilable schedule conflict. However, the Director may not lower the number of credits or courses necessary to complete the Certificate. Students are expected to plan their Certificate studies carefully in advance, and should not expect the Director to exercise this discretion routinely.