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Certificate Programs

St. Thomas Law offers nine certificate programs. St. Thomas Law offers a certificate in Admiralty and Maritime Law, Business Law, Criminal Litigation, Elder Law, Environmental Sustainability, Immigration Practice, Intellectual Property Law, 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 Admiralty and Maritime Law – Director, Prof. Jay Silver (Application (coming soon))

A certificate in Admiralty and Maritime Law will be awarded to J.D. students who successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of designated course work and complete a skills component, the latter of which may be met by completing two CLE seminars sponsored by the Admiralty Law Section of The Florida Bar. The 12 credit hours will consist of the following courses: Admiralty Law (3 credits); and at least one of the following: Boating and Cruising Law (2 credits), Marine Insurance (3 credits), International Law, and Water Law (3 credits); and any additional courses necessary to reach the total required credit hours from among: include Administrative Law (3 credits), Conflicts of Law (3 credits), Environmental Law (3 credits), Federal Courts (3 credits), International Business Transactions (3 credits), Transnational Litigation (3 credits), and Water Law (3 credits).

Certificate in Business Law – Director, Prof. Jennifer Martin (Application (coming soon))

A certificate in Business Law will be award to J.D. students who receive a minimum of 12 credit hours in the designated doctrinal courses; completion of either a four hour credit filed placement/skills course or twenty hours of continuing legal education programs sponsored by Business Law Section of The Florida Bar or the American Bar Association. In addition, all students must complete a minimum of 4 hours as part of a CLE program sponsored by the Business Law Section of the FBA or the ABA. Students may take two courses from the following required course: Bankruptcy (3 credits), Corporate Finance (3 credits), Federal Income Taxation (4 credits), Legal Accounting (3 credits), Payment Systems (3 credits), Secured Transactions (3 credits), and Sales (3 credits). Additional courses students may take to bring the total credit hours to a minimum of 12 credits: Commercial Law Survey (3 credits), Consumer Law (3 credits), Debtor and Creditor Rights (2 credits), Essential Concepts of Business for Lawyers (2 credits), Family Wealth Management (3 credits), Federal Income Taxation (4 credits), Federal Income Taxation (4 credits), Insurance Law (3 credits), Intellectual Property Overview (1 credit), International Business Transactions (3 credits), Law Office Management (3 credits), A Legal Issues for Startups (2 credits), Negotiations (1 credit), Real Estate Development & Finance (3 credits), Transnational Business and International Human Rights (3 credits), and White Collar Crime (3 credits).

Certificate in Criminal Litigation – Director, Prof. Nadia Soree (Application (coming soon))

A certificate in Criminal Litigation will be awarded to J.D. students who receive a minimum of twelve credit hours of designated course work and complete the Criminal Practice Externship or Appellate Litigation Clinic. Required courses: Criminal Procedure I (3 credits) and Florida Criminal Procedure (2 credits). Additional courses to make up the remaining required credit hours include Capital Punishment (2 credits), Criminal Procedure II (3 credits), Florida Criminal Practice (3 credits), International Criminal Law (3 credits), Juvenile Law (2 credits), National Security and Fourth Amendment (1 credit), Topics in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Seminar (2 credits), and White Collar Crime (3 credits).

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 Immigration Practice – Director, Prof. Lauren Gilbert (Application (coming soon))

A Certificate in Immigration Practice will be awarded to a J.D. student who successfully completes a minimum of 12 credit hours of designated course work and completes a Field Placement Internship. The field placement courses are Immigration Clinic (6 fall/6 spring) or Civil Practice Field Placement (4 credits summer or 8 credits fall/spring). The field placement requirement may also be satisfied by completing a minimum of 25 hours of service at the Karnes Family Detention Center or at another venue approved by the Director.

The 12 credit hours will consist of the following required course, Immigration Law (3 credits) and at least one of the following additional required courses: Asylum & Refugee Law (2 or 3 credits), Human Trafficking Law & Policy (3 credits), Immigration Law Seminar (2 credits), or The Protection of Refugees (1 credit). Students have the option of selecting any of the following courses to make up the total required credit hours: Administrative Law (3 credits), Comparative Immigration Law (3 credits), Hispanics, Civil Rights and the Law Seminar (2 credits), Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation (2 credits), Law Office Management (2 credits), Poverty Law and Economic Justice Seminar (2 credits) and Family Law (3 credits).

Certificate in Intellectual Property Law – Director, Prof. Ira Nathenson (Application (coming soon))

A Certificate in Intellectual Property Law will be awarded to a J.D. student that completes a minimum of 12 credit hours of designated course work and completes a skills component. The program course options provide innovative skills and writing opportunities to help students prepare for the digital economy. Many of the program courses provide an emphasis on integrating doctrinal studies with a practical context. Students will oftentimes engage in simulations of legal practice in order to develop practice skills, professional knowledge, and to assemble job placement portfolios.

The certificate requires students to complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of designated course work. Students must first complete at least three of the following four courses: Intellectual Property Overview (1 credit), Branding and Trademark Management (3 credits), Copyright and Content Management (3 credits), and Innovations and Inventions through Patents & Trade Secrets (2 or 3 credits). Second, students may also take any of these courses to meet the total required credit hours: Administrative Law (3 credits), Advanced Civil Procedure: Complex Litigation (2 or 3 credits), Bioethics: Controversies in Law and Medicine Seminar (2 credits), Cyberlaw (3 credits), Cyberlaw Seminar (2 credits), Cyber Security Law Seminar (2 credits), Entertainment Law (3 credits), First Amendment Law (3 credits), First Amendment Law Seminar (2 credits), Intellectual Property (3 credits), Internet Governance Law & Policy Seminar (2 credits), and Sports Law (2 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).