Certificate Programs?

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Certificate Programs?

Postby JerichoJohnny » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:01 pm

I would have thought I could find previous threads on this, but some quick searches turned up nothing.

Anyway, I am skeptical of these programs and think a lot of my peers put way too much emphasis on them. I was shocked by how many students chose my law school just for its Top 25ish Environmental Law program.

I am at a T1 law school and contemplating whether or not one of these certificates is useful. The school has quite a few different certificates it offers, but the only two I'm really interested in are:

Environmental Law Certificate
Business Law Certificate

I have a few years of business and finance background before coming to law school. Nothing stellar, but I know a lot about that area and it holds an interest to me, particularly as someone who would probably be better suited to transactional law.

I don't know a lot about Environmental Law - if I was going that route I'd probably want to work private sector or state agency, and not NGO or non-profit.

Both of the programs as offered at my school require a major time commitment and a number of specific classes plus a select list of electives. Both of the lists contain classes I'm interested in, but you can't do them both, obviously, as they don't overlap at all.

So my major question is: Should I bother with either? Is it going to help me get a job with a firm / agency dealing with business / environmental to have this extra piece of paper?

Also, what role do the rankings play in this? Like I said the environmental program is well-regarded, although I believe it used to be in the top 10 and has fallen in the last few years. I have no idea where the business law program is ranked, but probably not high, though I understand we have a solid tax faculty.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Certificate Programs?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:23 pm

Totally not worth it. I think it can be helpful for environmental jobs to have a certain core of relevant classes, but it's more helpful actually to do environmental work in school. And isn't all corporate law/biglaw really "business" law?

If anyone ever asked why you *didn't* do one of the certificates (which would shock me, but we'll pretend for the moment), you could just point out the restrictive nature of the certificate and talk about how you wanted to get a well-rounded legal education/make sure to take bar classes or some such thing.

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