A student in good standing is eligible to participate in the certificate program based on the successful completion of the first full year of law study (31 hours). Students may apply for the program as early as the spring semester of their first year of the full-time program and spring semester of their second year of the part-time program. They may also apply at any time thereafter so long as there remains sufficient time to satisfy all certificate requirements before graduation. By applying, you are expressing a non-binding interest in earning a certificate. You are not committed to earning a certificate if you apply; you can change your mind at any time.
You will automatically be assigned a faculty advisor in health law as soon as you file your declaration-of-interest form and enroll in the certificate program.
You must submit a verification form confirming your satisfaction of certificate requirements no later than the drop/add date of your last semester in the JD program before graduation. For verification, you must provide your advisor with your verification form and extracurricular activities report. If your advisor approves them, you must file these forms with the Registrar by the drop/add date of the last semester before you graduate.
You must take a total of six courses (including one lawyering-skills course) as listed above plus complete a substantial writing project in health law. This may translate to 16 to 21 credit hours in order to satisfy the certificate requirements, depending on which course you choose in the bioethics or public health law focus areas; on which lawyering-skills course you choose; and on whether you meet the writing requirement through another required health law course (thus satisfying both the writing requirement and a course requirement with overlapping credit hours).
Because health law is a broad legal field, it draws from many legal disciplines. A strong foundation in basic legal knowledge and skills is essential to a well-rounded attorney practicing in the field. Many of the knowledge and skills basics taught in the general JD curriculum can be readily transferred to health law contexts. While the health law curriculum offers a rich array of elective courses, many of the core knowledge, skills, and values competencies can be developed in other courses and later applied in specific health law contexts as appropriate when you take further health law electives or enter practice.
Participation in extracurricular activities can promote many of the core competencies identified in the certificate program, including professional values and ethics such as leadership, community-building, developing professional identity, and commitment to pro bono service. While you must participate in either 15 hours of approved extracurricular activities or 5 approved events before you graduate in order to earn the certificate, there is considerable flexibility for full-time and part-time students in how you meet this requirement.
More questions? Feel free to get in touch with the Associate Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society to discuss the certificate program.