Innovative Study

Certificate Program in Law and Business

The Certificate Program in Law and Business provides Willamette law students with a uniquely integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of business law. The program is designed to lead to a special understanding of the relationship between the law and the objectives of business clients. The analytical framework gives certificate holders an important advantage in providing their clients with sound and effective legal advice.

The current formal requirements for the Certificate in Business Law are described below. These requirements include certain core business classes, as well as a number of unique classes that combine the study of law and business. In the past, the Certificate Program's requirements included additional business law classes; however, those requirements have been eliminated because the Certificate Program Committee anticipates that those seeking the business certificate will enroll in most, if not all, of these additional courses even if they are not formally required. Accordingly, the Certificate Program Committee believes the current requirements provide Certificate students with greater flexibility without any loss of content.

Certificate students are encouraged to meet regularly with the Program Director and members of the Program Committee to discuss course selection, as well as career options.

The Law and Business Program at Willamette

A long tradition of excellence in business law is a distinguishing hallmark of legal education at Willamette University College of Law, which offers two innovative programs for students interested in business and corporate law practice. Students may elect the Certificate Program in Law and Business, a specialized program of study within the three-year J.D. program, or the Joint Degree Program, which leads to the conferring of both the J.D. and the M.B.A. after four years of study. Both programs are designed to meet the professional needs of law students interested in careers representing business clients - whether large or small, publicly or privately held, domestic or international.

Although Willamette's Law and Business Program offerings are demanding, their rewards are great. Those who apply themselves diligently will be especially well prepared for careers in business law or related fields, enabling them to enjoy the fuller professional experience that comes from engaging in joint problem solving with business clients.

From the Starbucks Coffee Company in Washington state to the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., you will find talented and respected corporate counsels and tax attorneys who were well trained at Willamette.

Targeted, Real-World Training

Willamette law students are trained to respond in innovative ways to the ever-changing needs of business clients in both the private and public sectors - whether the client is a high-tech company seeking legal strategies in protecting intellectual property and technology assets or a coalition of farmers seeking representation on land-use issues.

Entry into the Program

To enter the Certificate Program a student must (1) have a cumulative GPA of 2.4 or higher and (2) apply and be admitted to the Certificate Program.

Students from each class are selected based on:

  1. Academic performance in the course Introduction to Business Law: Economics, Finance & Risk (if taken prior to enrollment in the program);*
  2. Cumulative GPA;
  3. Personal statement; and
  4. Such other considerations as the Program Admission Committee deems appropriate.

* Although most Certificate students choose to take the Introduction to Business Law in their first year at the College of Law, applications from students who have not yet taken that class will also be considered.

Program Requirements

To receive the Certificate, a student must successfully complete a total of 15 hours in the Certificate Program courses and the writing requirement listed below. All requirements for the Certificate Program must be completed prior to graduation. However, if a Certificate candidate is unable to complete all requirements prior to graduation for good reason shown, the student, upon application to and with the discretionary approval of the Certificate Program Committee, may be permitted to continue post-graduation at the College of Law to complete the Certificate requirements. In all such cases the Certificate requirements must be fully completed within the academic year immediately following graduation.

1L Required Introductory Course (3 hours)

Introduction to Business Law (Law 115). Although recommended for the first year, Introduction to Business Law may also be taken in the second or third year.

2L/3L Required Core Courses (6 hours)

Business Organizations (Law 202)

Federal Income Tax (Law 215)

2L/3L AGSM Elective (3 hours)

A course offered at the Atkinson Graduate School fo Management acceptable to the Program Director. Permission of the Atkinson instructor may also be required.

2L/3L Business Lawyering (3 hours)

Business Lawyering (Law 379)

3L Writing Requirement (3 hours)

The third-year writing requirement must be completed within the business field.* It can be done in connection with either a paper or seminar course or in connection with another course with professor approval. A presentation of the paper may also be required.

*The field of business is broadly defined to include, among other things, employment law, finance financial distress, intellectual property, international business, mergers and acquisitions, real estate law, and tax.

Total Credit Hours: 15

Program Faculty

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