LL.M. Practical Lawyering Certificate

The LL.M. Practical Lawyering Certificate provides an opportunity for LL.M. students to focus on building professional skills in addition to the rigorous coursework of the LL.M. program. The Certificate requirements are a mix of theoretical academic coursework and practical engagement with the practice of law.


    • 295K Professional Identity in U.S. Public and Private Sector Practice (Fall semester only) 
      • Application-only course. Admission to this course does not guarantee completion or the Certificate or admission to a field placement, practicum, or clinic.
      • Offered only in the Fall semester
    • A minimum of two units of professional responsibility coursework
    • A minimum of one simulation course 
      • This requirement may be satisfied by any course in the “Simulation Course” category or subcategory
      • This requirement may be satisfied in the Fall or Spring semester
      • No minimum unit requirement
    • A minimum of three units of a field placement, practicum course, or clinic
      • All practicum courses, clinics, and field placements are by application only, and admission cannot be guaranteed to students pursuing the Certificate
      • LL.M. students may only complete a field placement or clinic during the Spring semester
  • Note that LL.M. students attending Berkeley Law on a student visa may only enroll in a field placement if they complete the LL.M. Practical Lawyering Certificate. Clinics and Practicum courses do not require completion of the Certificate.


Application Process

The LL.M. Practical Lawyering Certificate application is now live! Click on the button below to download the fillable pdf. Please carefully read the submission instructions.

The application must be received no later than April 15, 2023, if students wish to be acknowledged in the commencement program.


Frequently Asked Questions

General Certificate Questions

Is this certificate a good fit for me?

That depends on your background and your goals! The LL.M. Practical Lawyering Certificate is primarily designed for LL.M. students who are early in their legal career and wish to focus their coursework on building practical skills. The experiential education courses that are required for completion of the certificate — a clinic, practicum, or field placement — are structured to provide exposure to the practice of law for students at the outset of their career, and are not often a good fit for students who have already accrued more extensive professional experience. They are also very time-consuming, and would need to be the primary focus of your second semester at Berkeley Law. We recommend that you meet with an ADP advisor or attend one of the pre-enrollment information sessions if you have questions about whether this Certificate is a good fit for your academic and professional goals.


Can I earn this certificate along with another certificate of specialization or coursework to become eligible for a bar exam?

With careful course planning, you may be able to earn multiple certificates of specialization or earn a certificate of specialization alongside taking bar eligibility coursework. 


Field Placement/Practicum/Clinic component

Will I definitely secure a place in a field placement, practicum, or clinic if I wish to earn this certificate?

Field placements, practicums, and clinics are highly competitive and admission is not guaranteed, even for students pursuing the Certificate.


For whom is a field placement a good fit?

A field placement is a good fit for students who wish to further their legal education beyond the bounds of the law school classroom, and particularly, those with limited experience of legal practice or wishing to pursue a public interest career path. Field placements allow students to develop practical lawyering skills, working under the supervision of an attorney, at select non-profit and government agencies, for academic credit. 


Please note that field placements are not designed to lead to a job offer or permanent position, and rarely do; these are unpaid educational opportunities, designed to provide current students with practical lawyering experience, not employment opportunities.


What kind of field placements are available?

Field placements allow students to extern at select non-profit and government agencies. LL.M. students may not do “away” placements, but are otherwise eligible for field placements in the following areas: Civil, Criminal, Judicial, and Environmental Placements. For more information visit the Field Placement Program page. 


Can I enroll in a field placement without the certificate?

No. Individuals who are present in the U.S. on a student visa may only pursue a field placement if they are fulfilling the requirements for the LL.M. Practical Lawyering Certificate. Students should speak with an advisor in the ADP office to determine if a Field Placement is appropriate in their proposed plan of study.


Can I enroll in a clinic or a practicum without the certificate?

It is possible to pursue a clinic or practicum without the certificate and without completing the course Professional Identity in US Public and Private Sector Practice. However, that course is strongly recommended for students seeking to build skills and knowledge to succeed in a clinic or practicum course.