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Graduate Certificate Programs

Students who wish to learn about law or prepare for a bar exam but who do not have time to invest in the J.D. or LL.M. degrees should consider pursuing a graduate certificate program in law. Each of these programs can be completed in one semester. The College of Law has certificate programs available for

  • non-lawyers who work in fields where legal knowledge would enhance their occupational success and satisfaction;
  • graduate students in other disciplines;
  • lawyers who would like to gain additional knowledge and skills to enhance their legal practices; and
  • foreign-trained lawyers.

Students interested in any of the certificate programs described below should contact either: Nora Burke Wagner at 513-556-0801 or nora.wagner@uc.edu Associate Dean Nancy Oliver at 513-556-0065 or nancy.oliver@uc.edu .

Certificate in Legal Studies

This certificate program is available to anyone with an undergraduate degree interested in studying law. This program would be of interest to professionals in fields for which legal knowledge would benefit them, students in other UC graduate programs, and lawyers wishing to obtain new skills and knowledge. Many non-lawyers work in fields where legal knowledge would enhance their occupational success and satisfaction. Human resource professionals deal with employment and labor law on a daily basis. Journalists need to understand their legal rights and the limits of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Business professionals increasingly benefit from knowledge of laws related to business entities, legal compliance, intellectual property, employment, tax, and other topics. Health care workers benefit from knowledge of health and drug regulation and reimbursement systems. Criminal justice workers benefit from knowledge of criminal law and procedure. Many other professions could be added to this list. Students in other UC graduate programs would benefit by increasing their knowledge in law. This could include students in engineering, pharmacology, architecture, business, design, political science, social work, race, gender, and sexuality studies and many others. Other students may be lawyers who would like to gain new knowledge and skills to enhance their legal practices. A lawyer who would like to add criminal law as a new component of her law practice may be interested in the program. A lawyer who left the practice of law temporarily to raise children may wish to refresh legal skills and knowledge. Students earn at least 12 credit hours (and up to 18 credits), consisting of two core courses (4 credits) and 3 or 4 elective courses (8 or more credits). The required courses are:

  • Intro to Law. This 1-credit course provides students with a common grounding in basic legal concepts, historical context, legal institutions, and the language of law and legal reasoning. The course will also familiarize students with how to prepare for and participate in courses at the College of Law.
  • The U.S. Legal System. This 3-credit course helps students gain an understanding of the critical features of the U.S. legal tradition, the functional components and participants in our legal system, and key legal concepts from various fields of law.

These required classes may be waived for practicing attorneys for whom these basic courses would not be beneficial. Students will select the rest of their classes from the curriculum related to the field of law of interest to them. The College of Law offers classes in the following areas of practice: business and entrepreneurship law; criminal law; general and small practice; intellectual property law; international law; law of health, the environment, and technology; litigation and alternative dispute resolution; and public interest law. Students who are participating in the J.D. or LL.M. programs are not eligible to participate in this certificate program. Classes taken in this program will not transfer to the J.D. or LL.M. programs. Additional information on the requirements and application process can be found under Certificate Admissions.

Certificate in U.S. Law

This certificate is designed for foreign-trained attorneys who wish to study the U.S. legal system to better represent U.S. clients and to become more prepared to negotiate and litigate with U.S. parties. This certificate would be attractive to students who are not able to devote sufficient time and/or resources to pursue a two-semester LL.M. degree but who would benefit from studying U.S. law and living in the U.S. Students will earn at least 12 credit hours (and up to 18 credits), consisting of two core courses (4 credits) and 3 or 4 elective courses (8 or more credits). The required courses are:

  • Intro to Law. This 1-credit course provides students with a common grounding in basic legal concepts, historical context, legal institutions, and the language of law and legal reasoning. The course will also familiarize students with how to prepare for and participate in courses at the College of Law.
  • The U.S. Legal System. This 3-credit course helps students gain an understanding of the critical features of the U.S. legal tradition, the functional components and participants in our legal system, and key legal concepts from various fields of law.

Students will select the rest of their classes from the curriculum related to the field of law of interest to them. The College of Law offers classes in the following areas of practice: business and entrepreneurship law; criminal law; general and small practice; intellectual property law; international law; law of health, the environment, and technology; litigation and alternative dispute resolution; and public interest law. Applicants must have a law degree from a foreign university—undergraduate or graduate. Successful applicants will demonstrate that they have strong academic and/or professional backgrounds indicating that they have the skills necessary to meet the demands of participation in this program. The target grade point average is a 3.0. Students must demonstrate English proficiency to be able to fully participate in law school classes, which involve in-class dialogue about complex legal issues and substantial reading of sophisticated legal texts. Additional information on the requirements and application process can be found under Certificate Admissions.

Certificate in Fundamentals of U.S. Law

This certificate program is available to foreign-trained attorneys who would like to study the fundamentals of U.S. Law in order to prepare to take a bar examination in a U.S. jurisdiction. A foreign-trained lawyer could pursue this certificate alone or could pursue it while engaged in our LL.M. program. Participating students will build fundamental skills and knowledge that will make it more likely for them to pass a bar examination and better serve their future legal clients. Students will earn at least 12 credit hours, but may earn more credits based on their particular needs. The certificate will require students to take six credits from the College curriculum that represents fundamental courses that are frequently tested on the bar exam and include: contracts; torts; civil procedure; legal research and writing; constitutional law; criminal law; property; criminal procedure; legal ethics ; corporations; evidence; federal courts; payment systems; real estate transactions; secured transactions; wills and estates, trusts and future interests; federal income tax; agency, partnership, and unincorporated businesses; sales; administrative law; family law; and future courses that may be added of this type. For their remaining credits, students may select other fundamental courses of interest to them or other courses based on the type of legal practice they wish to pursue. The curriculum of the College includes courses in the following areas of practice: business and entrepreneurship law; criminal law; general and small practice; intellectual property law; international law; law of health, the environment, and technology; litigation and alternative dispute resolution; and public interest law. Applicants must have a law degree from a foreign university—undergraduate or graduate. Successful applicants will demonstrate that they have strong academic and/or professional backgrounds indicating that they have the skills necessary to meet the demands of participation in this program. The target grade point average is a 3.0. Students must demonstrate English proficiency to be able to fully participate in law school classes, which involve in-class dialogue about complex legal issues and substantial reading of sophisticated legal texts. Students who have been accepted in the LL.M. program and who are in good standing will be automatically eligible to participate in the certificate program. Additional information on the requirements and application process can be found under Certificate Admissions.