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Juris Doctor Program

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Certificate Programs

The law school offers 8 certificate programs:

  1. Advocacy
  2. Business and Commercial Law
  3. Elder Law
  4. Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  5. International Trade and Finance
  6. Media, Law, and Technology
  7. Tax Law
  8. Tribal Lawyer

Each allows students to focus on an area of law and develop expertise in it. The requirements for each program are in the Academics section of the law school’s website. During their first year of law school, students should notify the associate dean for academic affairs of their intention to meet certificate requirements.

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Advocacy Certificate Program

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.

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Business and Commercial Law Certificate Program

The certificate program in business and commercial law is a response to the longstanding demand for attorneys with expertise in the field. Completion of the certificate requirements allows a student to 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. Courses available to students include Business Associations, Commercial Law, Bankruptcy, Securities Regulation, Taxation of Business Enterprises, and Real Estate Finance.

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Elder Law Certificate Program

The percentage of Americans over 60 has been growing steadily and significantly. The Elder Law Certificate program allows students to focus on the substantive law upon which an elder law practice is based, as well as on unique issues relevant to client counseling and professionalism when dealing with this expanding population. Participation in the Elder Law Externship is one of the requirements of the program.

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Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate Program

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 intrude into other, more traditional fields of practice such as real estate, insurance, and corporate law. The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate introduces 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 contexts they arise. The program’s requirements include participation in one of several available clinical or writing programs, including the Legislative Clinic, the Public Policy Clinic, an externship with the Kansas City regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency or a local environmental or natural resources law public interest group, or preparation of an Independent Research (LAW 924) project or a note or comment on a relevant topic for the Kansas Law Review or the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.

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International Trade and Finance Certificate Program

Legal practice is global in character. As part of its International and Comparative Law Program, the law school provides students an opportunity to undertake special preparation for such practice — and in particular to study the business nature of that practice — by earning a Certificate in International Trade and Finance. The certificate requires at least 22 credit hours of specialized work including

  1. 3 core courses related to international trade, commerce, and investment;
  2. 2 international finance and economics courses;
  3. 1 business sector course;
  4. 1 comparative and public international law course; and
  5. A writing project.
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Media, Law, and Technology Certificate Program

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. The program’s requirements include participation in 2 of these 3 clinics: Public Policy Clinic, Legislative Clinic, Media Law Clinic.

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Tax Law Certificate Program

Demand for attorneys with expertise in the tax field continues to grow. 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 is familiar with many of the intricacies of tax law and practice. One of the program’s requirements is a minimum of 20 hours of participation in an Internal Revenue Service-sponsored Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program or a similar nonprofit tax assistance program.

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Tribal Lawyer Certificate Program

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 program 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. Among the program’s requirements is an internship with a tribal legal department or a private or public interest law firm specializing in Indian law or participation in the Tribal Judicial Support Clinic.

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The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.