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Certificate Programs

St. Thomas Law offers four certificate programs. St. Thomas Law offers a certificate in Elder Law, Environmental Sustainability, Intercultural Human Rights and Tax Law. These programs are designed for students who want to focus on a particular area of practice while in law school. To qualify for a certificate the student takes a number of classes and in some cases takes continuing legal education courses in the area of focus and/or performs pro bono work in the area of focus.

The certificate programs allow the student to gain greater insight into a particular area of the law. If the student completes all the certificate requirements then, upon graduation, he/she is provided a certificate and would have greater familiarity with that area of practice which the student might then continue to explore in practice or post-J.D. education. The requirements for each of the certificates can be found in the law school catalog.

The Law School requires students to declare a certificate program a semester prior to completion of degree requirements for the Juris Doctor program.

Applications for the certificates can be found at the links below.

Certificate in Elder Law – Director, Prof. Gordon Butler (Application)

A certificate in Elder Law will be award to a J.D. student who takes and receives a minimum of 12 credit hours in the doctrinal and skills courses designated below, and who has attended two CLE seminars presented by the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar. Courses making up the core of the certificate program are Elder Law (3 credits), Guardianship Law (3 credits), and a four-credit externship in Elder Law or Civil Practice focusing on an Elder Law-related area.  Additional courses to make up the total required credit hours include Family Law Wealth Management (3 credits), Advanced Trusts (2 credits), Administrative Law (3 credits), Statutory Interpretation (3 credits), Legislation (3 credits), Federal Income Taxation (4 credits), Disability Rights: Law and Practice (2 credits), Law and Bioethics (3 credits), Poverty Law and Economic Justice Seminar (2 credits), Advanced Problems in Taxation Seminar (2 credits), Selected Issues in Taxation (3 credits), Federal Estate and Gift Taxation (3 credits), Estate Planning (3 credits), and Government Benefits (3 credits). These courses introduce the student to all fundamental principles of elder law that are tested on The Florida Bar's Elder Law Certification examination.

Certificate in Environmental Sustainability – Director, Prof. Alfred Light (Application)

Environmental lawyers, whether in private practice, government, or public interest, must have a sound grounding in the technical issues and concepts that form the basis for environmental regulatory programs, and that frequently arise in environmental litigation, transactions and site cleanups. A Certificate in Environmental Sustainability will be awarded to those J.D. students who obtain a minimum of 10 credits, including either the one-credit course, Human Rights and the Environment, or the one-credit course Environmental Justice: Domestic and International, and at least nine credits from among the following courses: Administrative Law (3 credits), Comparative Water Law (1 credit), Ecology and Ecosystems Management for Lawyers (2 credits), Energy Law and Policy (3 credits), Seminar on Environmental Law and Policy (2 credits), Environmental Law (2 or 3 credits), Environmental Litigation Practicum (3 credits), Environmental Negotiations (1 credit), Environmentally Sustainable Development: Law and Institutions (1 credit), Seminar on Exploring Principles of Earth Jurisprudence (2 credits), International Environmental Law (3 credits), Land Use Planning (3 credits), Natural Resources Law and Policy (2 or3 credits), Real Estate Development and Finance (3 credits), and Remedies (3 credits).

Certificate in Intercultural Human Rights – Director, Prof. Siegfried Wiessner (Application)

The courses offered in the LL.M. program are open for credit to all J.D. students at St. Thomas University. A Certificate in Intercultural Human Rights will be awarded to those students who receive a minimum of 10 credits from among the required courses of the LL.M. Program in Intercultural Human Rights.

Certificate in Tax Law – Director, Prof. Mark Wolff (Application)

Obtaining the Tax Law Certification will require taking a minimum of 12 credit hours and attending at least two CLE seminars that qualify for credits awarded by the Florida Bar Association. Students must also either participate in the Tax Clinic or perform at least 25 hours of volunteer service in the St. Thomas Law School VITA program.

The 12 credit hours will consist of the following three required courses: Federal Income Taxation (4 credits), Federal Estate and Gift Taxation (3 credits), and Corporate Taxation (3 credits); In addition to completing one of the following elective courses: Estate Planning (3 credits), Selected Issues in Taxation (2 or 3 credits), Comparative International Taxation: Aspects of Law & Policy (3 credits), Partnership Taxation (3 credits), Legal Accounting (3 credits), Family Wealth Management (3 credits), Federal Tax Practice and Procedure (2 credits), Guardianship Law (3 credits), Elder Law (3 credits), and Advanced Problems in Taxation (2 credits).