What does "Cetificate Program" mean, exactly?

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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:58 am

What does "Cetificate Program" mean, exactly?

Postby TulipMelody » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:53 am

Been reading a lot of ABA descriptions on law schools, and realized that many schools are selling how they have distinguished certificate programs.

Law schools have certificate program, too? What is the use of a certificate if you need to pass the BAR to get licensed?

The certification program is like a concentration, isn't it? Then, is it possible to work on more than one certificate?

And, yes, the main concern, what is the use of the certificate?


Thanks, guys!~

Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:29 pm

Re: What does "Cetificate Program" mean, exactly?

Postby JDcandidate » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:46 am

Not a whole lot. Certificates just indicate that you've accrued a certain number of credits in a certain type of coursework. So a certificate in tax could mean you've taken federal, state, and a few other finance and law classes or a tax clinic. It's kind of similar to a concentration in undergrad. A law school, per its generally disingenuous character, will try to sell the certificate program as being a significant factor in choosing one law school over another. But my experience is that it means very little beyond filling up space on a resume. Who knows, maybe professionally speaking, a client will look at your bio and confuse it with an LLM. Aside from manipulating that soon-to-be-dissapointed client's expectations, the consensus among my professors is that a certificate is pretty useless. It's more a pet of the administration than of the academics.

Than again, if you're thinking of casting a broad net in terms of employment, a certificate might help you penetrate a non-traditional job market. It certainly won't limit your options. But it also won't draw a reader's eyes to your resume over an equally-successful student. Or so I've heard. Hope that helps.

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