Media, Law & Technology Certificate

The nation's media historically have had important influence on the public's understanding of the legal system. In news and advertising, as well as in movies and other forms of entertainment, the media have illuminated or scrutinized the work of lawyers, judges and legislators.

Now, because of advancements in digital technology, the media are expanding, as is their influence in society. No longer are media limited mainly to such print publications as newspapers and to radio and television broadcasting. Media now range from mobile phones to social networks.

The Media, Law & Technology Certificate gives students an opportunity to study how both traditional and new, digital media affect the relationship between law and society. Through certificate courses, students gain insight into how media affect the legal system, relate to government and business, and influence legislation and public policy. In addition, students have an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skill in the diverse legal subjects that are of concern to media lawyers. These subjects range from such traditional areas as censorship, libel, freedom of information and prejudicial pre-trial publicity to licensing of intellectual property, digital privacy rights, media liability insurance, electronic data collection, storage and transfer, and security of wireless and online communications.

In their first year, students who intend to meet the certificate requirements should give notice to the associate dean for academic affairs. The students will qualify for the certificate if they meet the requirements for the Juris Doctor degree and earn credits as follows:

Certificate Requirements

A core comprising any three of these courses:

  • Copyright Law and Digital Works
  • Digital Privacy Rights in an Open Society
  • Intellectual Property
  • Media and the First Amendment
  • Media Law Clinic
  • Special Topics (when offered for at least three credits on a topic related to media, law and technology*)

Any one of these courses that include a writing requirement:

  • Externship Clinic (when completed for at least three credits with a government agency or nonprofit or public international organization related to media, law and technology*)
  • Independent Research (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least two credits)
  • Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least two credits)
  • Kansas Law Review (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology for at least two credits*)

At least two credits from among the following courses on expressive freedom or other subjects of interest to media lawyers:

  • Contracts III
  • Insurance
  • Introduction to Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works
  • Law and the Arts
  • Moot Court Competition (on the First Amendment or other media-related subject*)
  • Patent Law
  • Product Liability
  • Research Workshop (on a media, law and technology topic*)
  • Sports Law
  • The State and Religion
  • Torts II

Two courses from among these electives that address law of interest to media and relate to government and public policy:

  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Constitutional Topics
  • Elections and Campaign Finance
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Judicial Clinic
  • Legislation
  • Local Government Law
  • Research Workshop (on a topic of interest to media and related to government and public policy*)
  • State Constitutional Law

Course descriptions

The certificate program director, subject to School of Law policies and procedures, may authorize course substitutions upon a showing of extenuating circumstances, such as an omission of a course from a schedule or an unexpected cancelation of a course offering.

* Enrollment for certificate credit is subject to approval by the certificate program director.


Mike Kautsch
Professor of Law

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