JD Certificate Programs

The University of Connecticut School of Law allows students to participate in certificate programs which allow them to tailor their experience to focus on specific aspects of the law. These programs are available only to students matriculated in the JD degree program at UConn School of Law. A list of required and elective courses for each certificate and the learning outcomes can be found in the Academic Regulations.

Corporate & Regulatory Compliance Certificate

UConn School of Law, in partnership with the School of Business, offers a certificate in Corporate and Regulatory Compliance for professionals interested in careers in compliance, ethics, internal monitoring, regulatory affairs and related areas. The program is open to JD candidates at the School of Law, those who hold a JD from another institution, and non-legal professionals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Successful graduates will gain a portfolio of skills at the intersection of law and management to lead effective compliance programs and to build organizational cultures that encourage ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance. Admissions for current JD candidates at the School of Law is managed by the law school registrar. For all other applicants, admissions is centralized at the School of Business.

Requirements

The certificate in Corporate and Regulatory Compliance requires course work at both the Law School and the School of Business at the university's downtown Hartford campus. JD candidates are strongly encouraged to take either Business Organizations or Administrative Law prior to embarking on the certificate. The certificate requires successful completion of 12 credits, as described in the Academic Regulations.

The certificate is open to all JD students. Before graduation, students must submit the Certificate Studies, Intention to Participate Form to the registrar’s office.

Advisors

Professor Peter Lindseth
peter.lindseth@uconn.edu

Energy and Environmental Law Certificate

JD students have the opportunity to pursue a Certificate in Energy and Environmental Law by creating an individualized curriculum of energy and environmental course work, as well as one of the following: an advanced writing project, a clinic, or an externship with an appropriate law firm, energy company, utility, regulatory or quasi-public agency, or public interest organization. Through the certificate program, students develop substantive knowledge in energy and environmental law while strengthening their analytical, lawyering, legal research, and writing skills.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Energy & Environmental Law, students will be able to:

  • Explain and apply core legal principles and policy considerations relevant to the practice of energy and environmental law.
  • Interpret and research federal, state, public utility, and local laws and regulations governing energy and environmental law practice.
  • Perform essential lawyering skills such as document drafting, collaboration, negotiation, and advising clients in energy and environmental law settings.
  • Analyze and solve complex legal problems involving cutting-edge issues such as climate change law, renewable energy law, international environmental law, and environmental torts.

Requirements

Twelve (12) credits are required to complete the certificate. There is one required course: Administrative Law.

Sustained Project (3 credits)

including any one of the following:

  • A writing project that produces a substantial paper of an intensive, analytical character which if of high quality that is supervised by a member of the energy or environmental law faculty. If there are multiple drafts, this paper may also be used to satisfy the Upper Class Writing Requirement;
  • Participation in the Environmental Law Clinic or the Energy and Environmental Law Practice Clinic; or
  • An externship or externship clinic in energy or environmental law with a significant writing requirement.

The certificate is open to all JD students. Before graduation, students must submit the Certificate Studies, Intention to Participate Form to the registrar’s office.

Please direct questions about the certificate program to Professor Joseph MacDougald, professor in residence and executive director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Law.

Advisors

Professor Joseph MacDougald
joseph.macdouglad@uconn.edu

Human Rights Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Human Rights, operated in conjunction with the UConn Human Rights Institute and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, enables JD students and CLAS graduate students to pursue a concentration in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of international human rights. To be eligible for this certificate, students must make formal application to, and be accepted in, the program. Courses may be taken at the School of Law and on the Storrs campus. Relevant courses taken abroad while pursuing a JD at the School of Law may be counted toward satisfaction of this certificate subject to the approval of the law school's director of the certificate program and the associate dean of academic affairs.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Human Rights, students will be able to:

  • Identify the substantive law and legal theories central to international human rights litigation and advocacy;
  • Apply relevant domestic and international law to modern civil rights and human rights problems; and
  • Effectively employ strategies for identifying, analyzing, and solving specific human rights problems in the manner expected of a lawyer in this field.

Contact Information

JD students should contact Professor Molly Land, professor of law and the law school's director of the graduate certificate in human rights. The LLM Certificate of Specialization in Human Rights is a separate program administered by the Graduate Programs Office. Interested U.S. Legal Studies LLM students should visit the LLM certificates page.

Requirements

The Certificate in Human Rights requires a minimum total of 12 credits, consisting of one core course and three electives. It is recommended that students take core courses first before moving on to elective courses. Core courses cover the main historical, philosophical and legal questions in human rights. Elective courses allow students to branch out into the various subfields of human rights such as indigenous and cultural rights, economic rights, human rights in Latin America and Europe and post-conflict justice. Certificate courses do not require pre-requisites, except for Advanced Constitutional Law as indicated.

JD students may apply at any time but are encouraged to apply in their second year to facilitate course planning and communication about human rights programming and professional opportunities.

Forms and instructions for applying to the H.R. certificate program are available here:

Advisors

Professor Richard Wilson
richard.wilson@uconn.edu

Insurance Law and Regulation Certificate

This program provides students the opportunity to study insurance law in greater depth than available at any other law school, and the Certificate recognizes students who do so.  UConn School of Law provides the most extensive and sophisticated insurance law curriculum in the United States.  Through its Insurance Law Center, the Law School offers at least eighteen different insurance law courses each year, along with related courses in banking, securities, compliance, and financial services law.  Every course is open to JD students and while some require Principles of Insurance as a prerequisite, no other prior background in insurance or insurance law is necessary.  Most of these courses are taught by adjunct faculty who are experienced practitioners and nationwide experts in their field.  In addition to its insurance law curriculum, the Center sponsors the student-run Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, hosts conferences each year, participates and sponsors international programs and regulatory training, and supports the largest insurance law collection available at any law school library.

Whatever area of law you work in, insurance will likely play an essential role.  Examples include litigation, tort, employment or contract law, health, environmental or human rights, consumer protection, financial services regulation, financial security for families and businesses, disaster recovery and relief, and  big data, privacy rights and predictive analytics.  Insurance and insurers may be directly involved in defending policyholders and paying claimants. Insurance operates in the background to funding (or not) health care, shape, individual and corporate conduct, and provide crucial financial tools for businesses and family-owned business in developing markets.  As Professor Peter Lindseth has noted, "Insurance is the area of the law that is the most practiced yet least taught in law schools."

The JD Certificate

In addition to a unique catalog of courses, students may also engage in real-world, hands-on experience through a field placement with a law firm, corporation, government agency, or advocacy organization.  Up to three field placement credits would count toward the certificate (placement must be pre-approved by the Certificate Advisors – the Director or Executive Director of the Insurance Law Center).  The Insurance Law Center has extensive professional contacts and can assist JD Certificate students to obtain field placements and post-graduate employment not only in Connecticut, but throughout the country, including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and the West Coast.  In addition, students can take advantage of the Law School’s Advanced Standing program to count certificate courses towards the Insurance Law LLM degree.  Under this program, students can earn up to half of the twenty-four credits necessary for an LLM degree while still a JD student.

The range of available courses allows students to shape their own program in the areas that most engage them, and to have faculty guidance throughout the process.  In addition, Insurance often plays an important role in other practice areas, such as Litigation, Environmental Law, Compliance, Construction Law, and Human Rights, and insurance law expertise can be both an unusual and valuable resource in these fields.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Insurance Law and Regulation, students will:

  • Have a thorough comprehension of the significant functions that insurance, insurers and financial services companies often have in multiple areas of law, including litigation, contract, tort and property law, cyber security, digital justice, and consumer and environmental protection.
  • Research and interpret the complex body of statutory and common law regulating insurance, the interplay between state and federal regulation, the growing relevance of international standards, and the historic and current policy debates surrounding how to regulate insurance and which areas of government should have primary responsibility.
  • Be able to use this knowledge and experience to better advocate for clients, and advise business, government, non-profit entities, and advocacy organization, in areas where insurance often has, or could have, an essential role.
  • Understand the potential roles for insurance in addressing major public policy issues, such as climate change and resilience, access to health care, firearm-related violence, human rights, disaster preparation and relief, and financial inclusion.

Requirements

Twelve (12) credits are required to complete the certificate, which includes Principles of Insurance and the research paper requirement.  The paper requirement can be satisfied through a paper written in conjunction with a course, as a special research project, or as a note or comment for the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal. Students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or greater for their certificate courses in order to obtain the certificate.

The certificate is open to all JD students. Prior to graduating, you must submit to the Registrar’s Office the Intention to Participate in Certificate Studies form.

Please direct questions about the certificate program to Professor Peter Siegelman or Professor Peter Kochenburger.

Advisor

Professor Peter Kochenburger
peter.kochenburger@uconn.edu

Intellectual Property Certificate

No area of law today is more dynamic than intellectual property law and Connecticut is at the epicenter of the emerging information economy. Located between Boston's Route 128 and New York's Silicon Alley, it is the home of many of the country's leading technology firms, including United Technologies, Xerox, and General Electric. Four major pharmaceutical companies, including the research facility for the world's largest pharmaceutical, and a cluster of other research institutions, create a robust presence for pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Connecticut is the first in the nation in the number of patents issued per capita. It is one of the top ten states in the country for the number of domain names registered. With such a variety of information economy industries; its strong tradition of Yankee ingenuity going back to the Industrial Revolution; and its location in the heart of New England, it is not surprising that Connecticut has recently been ranked one of the five leading states in preparing for the new economy.

The Program in Intellectual Property at the University of Connecticut prepares students to participate in this new information economy. It draws upon the strength of the Law School as the leading public law school in the Northeast United States; the school's commitment to international law, financial services and insurance law; and New England's and Connecticut's significant place in the new economy.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Intellectual Property, students will be able to:

  • Identify and formulate the substantive law, legal theories, and policy issues central to intellectual property law.
  • Establish conceptual and strategic links across a wide array of intellectual property regimes.
  • Apply the relevant domestic and international intellectual property legal rules to the protection and regulation of knowledge with special attention to the variety of global jurisdictions and the introduction of new technologies.
  • Demonstrate the professional skills that are generally regarded as necessary to effectively practice as attorneys in domestic US and international institutions that address intellectual property rights.

Requirements

There is no application procedure for the certificate in Intellectual Property Law, though students are encouraged to announce their intention to seek the certificate early in their studies. Additionally, students are not required to begin taking their intellectual property courses in a certain point during their law study.  All JD candidates for the certificate in Intellectual Property must complete:

  • (15) credit hours of courses, including the introductory Intellectual Property course plus at least one regime class (see below) or, alternatively, two regime classes. Students will also be required to take an intellectual property seminar.
  • Students may include in the (15) credit hours one class from a list of adjacent field courses.
  • A supervised writing (which meets the Law School's upper-class writing requirement) project under the direction of a member of the Intellectual Property faculty or, alternatively, a supervised externship in intellectual property, with a significant writing component; or participation in the Intellectual Property Clinic.

Regimes

At the core of intellectual property are its traditional regimes: copyright, trademark, and patent, as well as trade secrets, moral rights for artists, and rights of publicity.

  • Trade Secrets: protects concrete information of economic value which is the subject of reasonable efforts under the circumstances to maintain secrecy. This protection is most commonly provided under state law regimes, and does not require any formalities.
  • Trademark: provides for the protection of any word, symbol, or device adopted and used to identify goods and distinguish them from others. As established under the Federal Lanham Act, trademark protection may attach through use, although registration affords procedural and remedial advantages.
  • Rights of Publicity: grants an individual exclusive control over commercial use of his or her identity, including name, likeness, and performing style. These are protected as common law rights or through state statutes.
  • Copyright: grants holder exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or license his or her work. These rights arise automatically when an original work is fixed in a concrete medium of expression. As defined under the amended Copyright Act of 1976, the scope of copyright protection is limited in time and through such additional limitations as fair use.
  • Patent: confers rights upon any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of nature. According to the Patent Act, a patent may be obtained only through filing a timely application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which will determine if the invention falls within the subject matter of patent, meets its three requirements-utility, novelty, and non-obviousness as a over the prior art, and includes an enabling description.

    The certificate is open to all JD students. Prior to graduating, you must submit the “Certificate Studies, Intention to Participate Form” to the registrar’s office.

    Advisor

    Professor Steven Wilf
    steven.wilf@uconn.edu

    Law and Public Policy Certificate

    The certificate in Law and Public Policy requires course work at both the Law School and the Department of Public Policy (DPP). To be eligible for this certificate, students must make formal application to, and be accepted in, the Law & Public Policy certificate program.

    Interested students should submit an application to the Law & Public Policy Certificate Faculty Advisor, preferably before the start of registration for their third semester—i.e., by late March of their first year. The application should consist of a brief essay describing why the student is interested in public policy or non-profit management and laying out a proposed course of study that satisfies the requirements for the certificate. A current transcript is also required. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Faculty Advisor (and/or his or her counterpart at the DPP) before planning their application.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Law and Public Policy, students will be able to:

    • Describe the non-legal forces shaping public policymaking, including politics and  bureaucratic expertise, and explain how these forces interact with the legal system.
    • Demonstrate substantive mastery of one or more areas of public policymaking (such as budgetary practices and procedures).
    • Communicate effectively with non-lawyers involved in policy formulation, analysis, and implementation.

    Requirements

    The certificate in Law & Public Policy requires course work at both the Law School and the Department of Public Policy (DPP). To be eligible for this certificate, students must make formal application to, and be accepted in, the Law & Public Policy certificate program. All candidates for the certificate in Law & Public Policy must complete:

    • A 3-credit course in Administrative Law, which is a pre- or co-requisite for the program.
    • 12 credit hours of course work, which must include 2 courses at the DPP and 2 policy-related courses at the Law School.
    • Either a supervised writing project (sufficient to fulfill the Law School's upperclass writing requirement) on a public policy-related topic, or a supervised externship in public policy, with a significant writing component.

    Courses

    Rather than selecting from a menu of designated courses, students in the Law & Public Policy program design their own curricula in consultation with, and subject to the approval of the certificate program Faculty Advisor. All courses at the DPP are eligible for credit toward the certificate, as are all law school courses with a significant public policy component. Courses taken at the DPP are graded under ordinary DPP standards but recorded on a student's Law School transcript on a pass/fail basis. Up to 6 credits of DPP course work may be counted toward the 86 credits required for graduation. Such credits are not included when calculating a student's GPA and do not count as against the 12-credit limit on pass/fail grades. Students may request a transcript from the DPP with their actual (letter) grade on it, which upon request will be included in the student's Law School academic record.

    Advisor

    Professor Peter Siegelman
    peter.siegelman@uconn.edu

    Tax Studies Certificate

    Students in the certificate program for Tax Law participate in a supervised writing project, externship, or clinic in the area of tax law. They may begin their tax studies in Federal Income Taxation in their first year, and continue the study of taxation in a variety of courses during the last four semesters of law school.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Tax Studies, students will be able to:

    • Articulate, explain, and apply the full range of black-letter statutory and common law needed for legal practice in US federal income taxation of individuals and juridical entities.
    • Recognize unresolved issues arising under this body of law.
    • Evaluate at a professional entry level opposing views in matters of tax design and detailed application of tax rules and rank them according to their persuasive and functional value.
    • Develop original and legally valid solutions to transactional and long-term tax problems that arise in business, investment, and personal contexts.

    Requirements

    There is no application procedure for the certificate in Tax Studies, though students are encouraged to announce their intention to seek the certificate early in their studies.  Additionally, students are not required to begin taking their tax courses in a certain point during their law study.  All JD candidates for the certificate in Tax Studies must complete:

    1. Successful completion of 15 credit hours of tax courses, including the introductory survey class and the writing project, clinic or externship described below. The list of tax courses may be modified upon the recommendation of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
    2. A supervised writing project (which meets the two draft requirement of the upperclass writing requirement) on a tax topic, done under the supervision of a member of the tax faculty, a tax clinic, or a supervised externship in tax with a significant writing component. Please note: only 3 credits of externship may be counted towards the certificate.

        The certificate is open to all JD students. Prior to graduating, you must submit the “Certificate Studies, Intention to Participate Form” to the registrar’s office.

        Advisor

        Professor Richard Pomp
        richard.pomp@uconn.edu

        Transactional Practice Certificate

        For many lawyers, the practice of law involves more transactional work than any other subject area or skill set.  Employers want to hire lawyers who know about transactional law and who can structure deals and advise clients through them.  A Transactional Practice Certificate program provides students with the educational opportunities — in the classroom and through experiential placements — necessary to develop substantive knowledge in transactional law, as well as opportunities for experiential learning about transactional practice.  Students pursuing the certificate will have the ability to create and individualize curriculum of course work related to transactional law.

        Learning Outcomes

        Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Transactional Practice, students will be able to:

        • Understand, interpret, and apply the legal rules governing different types of commercial or financial transactions.
        • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different types of transactions from the client’s point of view.
        • Perform essential skills such as document drafting and review, negotiation, and advising clients in transactional settings.
        • Analyze and solve business problems by planning transactions.

        Requirements

        The Certificate in Transactional Practice requires successful completion of a minimum of 14 credits from a selected list of courses plus successful completion of a least 3 credits of one of the following supervised, experiential activities: (1) a clinic placement in the Center for Urban Legal Initiative (CULI) Inc., or (2) a faculty approved externship in transactional legal work, with an appropriate law firm, company, public interest organization or other entity.  The externship must be approved for credit toward the certificate requirements by one of the faculty advisors for the certificate program, prior to the beginning of the externship.

        The certificate is open to all JD students. Prior to graduating, you must submit the “Certificate Studies, Intention to Participate Form” to the registrar’s office.

        Advisors

        Professor James Kwak
        james.kwak@uconn.edu

        Professor Jessica Rubin
        jessica.rubin@uconn.edu