Certificate in Law and Government

The Certificate Program in Law and Government provides students with a significant educational experience in the field of public law. Through personalized and rigorous training, students develop an understanding of the legal structure, function, and operations of national, state, and local governments. The program provides students with knowledge and skills about how to make, modify and influence public law and policy. The program benefits from its connection to the law school’s Center for Constitutional Government, which provides programming and faculty expertise, as well as from the presence of the Oregon Law Commission, which provides students and faculty with the opportunity to participate in Oregon law reform.

The Certificate Program in Law and Government requires at least 14 hours of specialized study (plus the practicum requirement) as part of the 90 hours required to earn the JD. Required courses include Administrative Law, Legislation, and State and Local Government. Students are also expected to write a substantial public law research paper in one of the many public law seminars offered in the upper-level curriculum, such as State Constitutional Law, First Amendment, or Public Health Law. In addition, students are required to complete a practicum project in the practicum course or another clinic or externship pertaining to law and government.

Preparing for Careers in Law and Government

Graduates of the certificate program are readily qualified to work, not only for legislatures and state agencies, but also for private law firms with regulatory practices. Possible career paths for certificate program graduates include attorney positions throughout state, county and municipal government, as well as elected positions. Other possible careers include working for public interest organizations, nonprofit corporations, and lobbyists. In addition, private law firms involved in representing clients before federal and state regulatory agencies hire attorneys with a practical knowledge of public law, governmental operations, and public policy issues.

Admission to the Program

Participation in the certificate program is open to 15 students from each class. First-year students interested in admission to the program must enroll in the Legislation and Regulation course offered in the spring semester. To be eligible for admittance into the Certificate Program in Law and Government, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher and submit a one-page application to the program director explaining the student’s interest in the program.

Learning Outcomes