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Professional Certificates

In today's fast-paced and competitive legal world, it pays to stay on top of current legal trends in your field, as well as gain specialized knowledge that helps you stand out in the job market. 

Our graduate legal studies program offers certificates and non-degree programs for professionals wishing to obtain specialization skills. You do not need to be a current Denver Law student to apply to enroll in one of our certificate programs.

 

 

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Professional Certificates

  • Certificate of Studies in Natural Resources Law & Policy

    Credit Hours: 16
    Eligibility: For professionals who wish to obtain specialization skills in natural resources law but are unable to devote a full year to masters degree study. Open to applicants with a JD or foreign equivalent, or a natural resources-related undergraduate/graduate degree.

    Description: 

    The field of natural resources and environmental law has rapidly evolved into an ongoing international concern. For example, in the past decade over 100 nations have either introduced or are drafting new mining laws. In addition, renewable energy and sustainability issues have become pressing domestic and international concerns. Both legal and non-law professionals in this active legal environment must understand both domestic natural resources law and how resources are regulated in international jurisdictions if they hope to compete in the global arena.

    We recognize a vital need for advanced graduate studies in this complex legal field and offer a comprehensive, multilevel program to help attorneys, natural resources professionals, and government regulators increase their knowledge of the issues, policies, and laws that affect resources and the environment worldwide.

    Our program offers a curriculum of courses relating to natural resources law, policy, economics, regulation, contracts, and international transactions, including several classes offered by no other university in the world.

    Join us and expand your academic credentials for a rich and rewarding career in the global natural resources and environment industry.

  • Certificate in Corporate & Commerical Law for Practicing Attorneys

    Denver Law is pleased to offer a certificate in corporate & commercial law. Practicing attorneys may take business law courses (including courses with hands-on drafting exercises) either to retool or advance their understanding and expertise in the area. If you have an interest in learning more about the Certificate, please contact [email protected].

    Credit Hours: 16
    Eligibility: Practicing Attorneys
     

    Description:

    The course work can be completed in one semester or over multiple semesters.

    1. Certificate students must take two of the following classes: (These courses, however, may be waived and other more specialized classes substituted upon approval of the Director of the Program.)

    • Corporations
    • Commercial Law
    • Agency, Partnership and LLCs
    • Accounting for Lawyers
    • Securities
    • Bankruptcy

    2. All lawyers seeking the certificate will be required to take one drafting class approved by the program. Currently, the program offers corporate drafting and contract drafting, business negotiation and drafting, and negotiating business transactions. Other classes that involve a significant amount of drafting will qualify.

    3. Lawyers seeking the certificate will also be required to take one critical thinking class (see list of select critical thinking courses below). Critical thinking classes are taught as seminars and involve practical exercises and/or problem-solving.

    4. Finally, each lawyer will be required, unless a suitable course substitute is approved by the program faculty director, to engage in directed research for one to four credit hours with the ultimate goal of producing a paper of publishable quality. The expectation is that some or all of the papers would be published by the University of Denver Law Review.


    Select List of Courses

    Antitrust and Unfair Competition. The expansion of our economy over time has required the federal government and the courts to rethink their respective roles in regulating business conduct in the United States. The laws regulating business conduct are as dynamic as the notion of competition itself. This course teaches the history and fundamentals of antitrust and unfair competition laws in the United States. This course will discuss the competitive problems which arise from monopolization, price and supply agreements, tying arrangements, exclusive dealings, cartel activity and mergers. The course will also examine the interplay between federal, state and private enforcement of these laws.

    Business Negotiation and Drafting. The course will cover, through simulated lawyer activity, the negotiation of business or corporate transactions and the drafting of the resulting organizational and transactional documents or agreements. A central goal of the course is to understand the process of negotiation in business transactions, including communications, preparation & evaluation of negotiations, negotiating styles, techniques and stages of the negotiating process. Equally important is the ability to draft agreements that accurately reflect the results of such negotiations. This course will cover the memorialization of negotiations through the drafting of contracts and other related documents. Course activity will involve lecture and discussion but primarily immersion in simulated lawyer activities.

    Capital Formation: Procedure and Practice. This course is designed to help law school students understand the law, as well as the role lawyers play as problem solvers and negotiators in the world of start-up businesses and capital formation. This course focuses on the nuts and bolts of capital formation from the perspective of practicing lawyers. By covering substantive corporate and securities law, as well as the practical, all as aspects of capital formation, the role of each participant in the process, and the business and financial factors driving capital investment, this course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of capital formation. This course will be taught “in context” using the transaction documents currently used by leading law firms in the field.

    Non-Profit Organizations. The courts will provide a thorough overview of non-profit organizations, including units on governance, fundraising, finance and tax matters, and risk management. The class will examine foundation documents (articles and bylaws), types of organizations (membership v. non-membership), structure, and the duties and role of the board of directors. The class will also review state regulations applicable to fundraising, non-profit audit and tax requirements, and privacy issues.

    Representing Clients before the SEC. SEC insiders explain the processes and practices of the Division, intertwined with discussion and analysis of SEC enforcement actions past and present. This course gives students critical information to effectively represent a wide variety of clients before the Division, among them public companies, regulated entities, defrauded investors, and perpetrators of crime.

    *These are courses we have offered in connection with the Corporate & Commercial Law Program. We try to offer them annually. However, there can be no guarantee that we will be able to offer these or any other courses.

  • Legal Administration Certificate (Online)

    The legal administration certificate program is designed to provide an academic credential for persons who are not candidates for the master of science in legal administration (MSLA) degree. The program allows for flexibility; enrolled students may design the certificate curriculum to suit their individual needs. Practicing administrators are encouraged to apply for candidacy. A bachelor’s degree is required for the certificate.

    Certificate available in the following concentrations:

    • Law firm administration
    • Court administration

    The certificate in legal administration requires completion of 18 semester hours and may be completed in class, online, or a combination of both.

    For federally required disclosures regarding this program, please click here.

  • Solo & Small Practice Management Certificate

    Credit Hours: 16
    Eligibility: For those currently holding a JD or foreign equivalent law degree

    The solo and small practice management certificate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law provides attorneys with the necessary business skills and knowledge to open and operate a legal practice. This program helps attorneys bridge the gap between lawyering and operating a solo or small legal practice. The 16 semester-credit-hour certificate can be completed in one year and will cover all aspects of operating a law practice and a business, including but not limited to: client service and relationship management, trust accounts, accounting processes, marketing, law practice administration, business development, social media, and billing and fees.

    The solo and small practice management certificate is available to those currently holding a J.D. or foreign equivalent law degree. In order to complete the certificate, students must complete a total of 16 credit hours, which are comprised of the following four classes (plus two electives). These classes are:

     

    Certificate Requirements/Course Title Course Number Credit Hours
    Introduction to Small Practice Management L 4421 3
    Accounting for the Small Legal Practice L 4002 3
    Business Development: Marketing and Client Service L 4089 3
    Legal Practice Seminar L 4420 3
    Electives   4
    Total Credit Hours   16

    Course Descriptions

    Accounting for the Small Legal Practice (3 credit hours): This course will provide an introduction to basic accounting fundamentals, provide key concepts that apply to attorneys and solo practitioners, and explore situations where accounting plays a role in the practice of law. Topics include: understanding the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, and changes in owner’s equity; accrual vs. cash basis accounting; partnership vs. LLC; income tax accounting; money management and cash flow in a law practice; retainers; trust accounts; income measurement; auditing; and, billing/fees/timekeeping.

    Introduction to Small Practice Management (3 credit hours): This course will provide an introduction to the administrative essentials necessary to open and operate a solo or small legal practice. This course will address the administrative needs specific to various types of legal practices; space, facilities, leases, and virtual practices; technology needs for the practice; document management systems; malpractice insurance; outsourcing; health insurance; conflicts; and human resources issues.

    Business Development for Solo Practitioners: Marketing and Client Service (3 credit hours):This course will provide students with the tools to effectively market a solo practice and connect with the client. Topics include: client relationship management; social media; building a brand; networking fundamentals; website development; managing client expectations; effective communications; and, referrals.

    Legal Practice Seminar (3 credit hours): This course provides an overview of the business functions of a law practice. Students learn how effective law practice administrators and managers base policy and management decisions on a comprehensive understanding of the law firm as a complex and interdependent equation.

    Elective coursework must total 4 credit hours. Students may choose from either JD or MSLA courses if approved by the Program Director or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs


    Domestic Applicants

    To complete the application, please submit the following:

    • Completed Application: Click here to complete an application. Please note that the $65 application fee is non-refundable. 
    • Resume: Please upload a copy of your resume in the given space in the application.
    • Official Transcripts: Please have official transcripts from all institutions attended (including your JD-granting institution) mailed to the address listed below.
    • Essay: In no more than two pages, please write an essay responding to the prompt “Why I Wish to Pursue the Solo/Small Practice Management Certificate”.

    Please mail all application materials to:

    University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    2255 East Evans Ave. Suite 390
    Denver, CO 80208

    Documents can be emailed to [email protected]


    International Applicants

    To complete the application, please submit the following:

    • Completed Application: Click here to complete an application. Please note that the $65 application fee is non-refundable. 
    • Official Transcripts: Please have official transcripts from all institutions attended (including your JD-granting institution or foreign equivalent) mailed to the address listed below.
    • Test Scores: We require all applicants whose first language is not English to adequately demonstrate English competency as a part of the application process. Students may demonstrate competency by submitting scores from IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the TOEFL. Our institution requires an overall band score of a 6.5 or higher on the IELTS. For the TOEFL, minimum scores 600/250/100 (PBT, CBT, iBT) must be met. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your official test scores be sent to the address below. We do not accept unofficial Test Report Forms from students. An institutional code is NOT required. For the TOEFL, please have ETS send your scores directly to the address below as well (institution code 484230). For further information regarding the IELTS, please visit http://www.ielts.org
    • Essay: In no more than two pages, please write an essay responding to the prompt “Why I Wish to Pursue the Solo/Small Practice Management Certificate”.
    • Financial Verification Form: Provide an original bank letter showing cash availability or official proof of scholarship/government sponsorship. Monthly bank statements will not be accepted. Photocopies of financial verification documents will not be accepted. **NOTE: the financial verification form does not apply to students who have filed documents to become permanent residents (resident aliens).

    Please mail all application materials to:

    University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    2255 East Evans Ave. Suite 390
    Denver, CO 80208

    Documents can be emailed to [email protected]

  • Certificates in Select Environmental & Nature Resources Courses

    A non-degree program open to professionals, lawyers or non-lawyers, who wish to select courses relating to specific disciplines in environmental and natural resources law. Must enroll at least in five courses. Please see special status application procedures below.

    Enrollment Details

    • You must hold a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for special status.
    • To apply, complete the special-status form with the appropriate departmental signature. You must re-apply to the appropriate graduate department each term. Proof of degree is required.
    • Once accepted, you may register with new students immediately prior to the beginning of each term (not during priority registration).
    • Some academic units do not allow special-status enrollment.
    • Admission as a special-status student does not guarantee admission to any regular DU graduate degree program.
    • Special Status students are not eligible for federal financial aid or scholarships. For information on private financing options, please go to the Office of Financial Aid’s website.
    • International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency and complete the international supplemental form.

    If, at a later time, you want to enter a graduate degree program at DU, you may apply up to 15 special status quarter hours or 10 semester hours to your degree, with departmental approval. Just follow the regular graduate application requirements, including submitting the application fee, to get started.

  • Non-Degree/Auditing Options

    You can take several Denver Law courses through the University of Denver to update or enhance your education, even if you do not intend to enroll in a formal graduate degree. You can also begin as a non-degree student to try out classes and matriculate into a degree program during a later term (restrictions apply).

    You may take courses as a special-status student for credit at a regular tuition rate.

    Enrollment Details

    • You must hold a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for special status.
    • To apply, complete the special-status form with the appropriate departmental signature. You must re-apply to the appropriate graduate department each term. Proof of degree is required.
    • Once accepted, you may register with new students immediately prior to the beginning of each term (not during priority registration).
    • Some academic units do not allow special-status enrollment.
    • Admission as a special-status student does not guarantee admission to any regular DU graduate degree program.
    • Special Status students are not eligible for federal financial aid or scholarships. For information on private financing options, please go to the Office of Financial Aid’s website.
    • International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency and complete the international supplemental form.

    If, at a later time, you want to enter a graduate degree program at DU, you may apply up to 15 special status quarter hours or 10 semester hours to your degree, with departmental approval. Just follow the regular graduate application requirements, including submitting the application fee, to get started.


    Auditing Policies

    • All auditors are enrolled as “special status” non-degree seeking students. Auditors cannot take course examinations and cannot receive academic credit for audited courses under any circumstances. Community members may audit a course subject to classroom capacity and professor approval (or departmental approval, if auditing a Tax course).
    • The current rate per quarter credit hour for auditing tax courses and current rate per semester credit hour for auditing Law courses is listed here.
    • Alumni of the Sturm College of Law (from any degree or certificate program) may audit one course at no charge.
    • Tax courses are cross-listed with law courses; normal CLE credit approval through CBA applies.