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Business Law Certificate of Specialization

Juris Doctor students who have demonstrated a specialized proficiency in business law may receive a certificate in business law in addition to their Juris Doctor degree.

For Students Beginning J.D. Program in 2022 or Later

To qualify for the certificate, students who begin the J.D. program in 2022 or later must complete the following requirements. Note: If you began the J.D. program in 2021 or a previous year, certificate requirements are different and can be found below.

  1. Students must meet all general requirements for a J.D. degree.
  2. Students must complete a total of 17 semester credit hours that must include:
    • Business Organizations (four credits)
    • Commercial Law (three to four credits)
    • Federal Income Tax (three credits)
    • Drafting: Contracts or Drafting: Real Estate (two credits)
    • Five credit hours of elective study chosen from a range of business and tax courses (not all of which are offered each year).*
  1. Students must complete all certificate requirements with at least a B overall average and no grade lower than a B- in courses taken to satisfy the certificate.
  2. Students must write a paper that satisfies the seminar paper requirement dealing with business or tax law.
  3. Students may apply a maximum of six credit hours earned while participating in a business or tax externship toward the 17-credit hour requirement, such as the New Ventures Externship, a judicial placement with a bankruptcy court or trustee, or a placement with a corporate law department or a government agency such as the IRS or the SEC. The six-credit limit for externship hours does not include the hours taken in a required course associated with the externship.
  4. A student may not exercise a CR/NC option in a course that counts toward the certificate.

*Due to the evolving nature of the law school curriculum, new courses or seminars may count toward the certificate course requirements; inquiries about whether a particular course qualifies should be directed to the associate dean for academic affairs, who will consult with the relevant faculty members as necessary. The associate dean for academic affairs also has the authority to remove courses from the list of electives if they are no longer offered. Non-law school courses may be taken to fulfill the elective credit requirement with prior approval by the associate dean for academic affairs. Such courses will be approved by the associate dean for academic affairs in consultation with the relevant faculty members.

For Students Who Began J.D. Program in 2021 or Earlier

Students who began their J.D. degree in 2021 or earlier can view the requirements for this certificate here. Note: If you begin the J.D. program in 2022 or later, certificate requirements are different and can be found above.