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Law School Approves Certificates in Business and International Law

By Andrew Cohen

Berkeley Law’s faculty has voted to approve the establishment of certificates in both international and business Law.

The business law certificate program allows students to receive recognition for successful completion of a rigorous course of study and advanced training in preparation for professional practice as legal advisors to businesses, business-oriented NGOs, and government entities. The curricular component requires students to develop a broad background in fundamental areas of law while also receiving advanced training in business practice and skills.

Students are allowed but not required to exercise some freedom in focusing their training on either the “transaction” or “litigation” concentrations within business law. They must complete five core courses—Business Associations, Securities Regulation, Antitrust, Taxation I (Basic Federal Tax), and Accounting for Lawyers—and completion of at least four additional courses aggregating to at least eight additional units from a host of advanced electives.

Students who have completed two semester courses of undergraduate accounting may substitute Financial Analysis for Lawyers as a core course rather than an elective. In addition, other courses at UC Berkeley with an accounting focus—such as those taken at the Haas School of Business—may satisfy this requirement with prior approval from the certificate administrator.

The International Law Certificate, similar to Berkeley Law’s existing certificate programs in Environmental Law and Law & Technology, requires curricular specialization and breadth as well as substantial research and writing. The total number of credits required is similar, but there are fewer specific required courses in order to accommodate the variety of fields that students may emphasize within the broad rubric of international law.

Students who wish to earn the certificate must take the basic course in International Law or Transnational Law; take a minimum of nine other course units in the Berkeley Law Course Listings’ “International and Comparative Law” category, which may include one semester in the International Human Rights Law Clinic and Seminar; and write a substantial paper on an international topic.

The paper requirement may be met through an international law course with a paper option, an independent study, or another seminar for which the student completes a major research paper on an international topic.

Students may meet the coursework requirement with no more than one unit for service on the Berkeley Journal of International Law or participation in the Jessup International Law or Vis International Commercial Arbitration moot court competitions. Graduate courses completed in other departments on campus or at other universities will be considered for fulfilling the certificate requirements on a case-by-case basis at the faculty's discretion.