Students must complete six courses of program-related study (including a lawyering skills course) plus complete a writing project, and engage in approved extracurricular activities. The totality of this course work will equal 16 – 21 credit hours, depending on a student’s mix of two- and three-credit courses as detailed below.

Requirements to earn a certificate in health law

Students must take the following courses to earn a certificate in health law. There is no mandatory sequence for taking the courses, although you are encouraged to take them as early as possible after your first year. You should discuss your course scheduling with your faculty advisor.

 Public health law options:  Bioethics options:

In addition, you must take one lawyering skills course of your choice. To fulfill this requirement, you may choose a clinic experience, an externship in health law, or an experiential-learning course that provides instruction in practical lawyering skills. You are encouraged to take more than one lawyering skills course before graduation. To fulfill the certificate requirement, you may choose from the following courses in the health law program or from the JD curriculum in general:

 Options from the health law curriculum:   Options from the JD curriculum:


Externships and clinic opportunities may have requirements, applications, and deadlines that differ from the certificate program. If you are interested in an externship or clinic opportunity, please review the details for these programs carefully.

In addition, you must complete a substantial writing project, which may also be used to satisfy the College of Law's writing requirement. You must earn a grade of 3.0 or better to satisfy this writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied in a variety of ways:

  • Any 2-3 credit health law course that qualifies as a legal writing course for the College of Law's writing requirement, including:
  • A 2-credit independent research project on a health law topic under health law faculty supervision (with the Associate Dean's prior approval)
  • A law review note on a health law topic that meets the College of Law writing requirement (because a law review note is normally an ungraded writing project, it must be approved in advance and reviewed by the student's health law advisor, other supervising faculty member, or Director of the health law program or his/her designee to ensure that it fulfills the writing requirement, including the minimum grade level required)
  • A paper written in conjunction with a practicum of clinical experience that has prior faculty approval and otherwise meets the College of Law writing requirements
  • NOTE: Written projects for Moot Court of health law writing competitions do not satisfy the certificate writing requirement unless they otherwise meet the College of Law writing requirement.

You must get prior approval for your writing project from your faculty advisor and from the faculty member who teaches in the health law program who will supervise your project. If you desire supervision by a faculty member outside the health law program, that faculty member should coordinate in advance with a health law faculty member about the scope and nature of the proposed project in order to ensure that it will meet this writing requirement for the certificate program. You should provide an early outline of proposed paper content to the non-supervising health law faculty member for this purpose. The supervising faculty member retains the authority and discretion in assessing the quality of the final product in such a case and assigning the grade.

There are important domains in health law knowledge that are not included in the core competencies in an effort to not have too many required courses and to not require overly-broad content coverage in any of the required courses. In-depth coverage of these domains - such as emerging significant developments in the fields of biotechnology law, international and human rights law, constitutional law (civil liberties), and tax law - are all offered in elective courses within the health law program and the JD curriculum more generally. You should consult with your faculty advisor about these courses and other health law electives related to your areas of interest.

Participation in extracurricular activities can promote many of the core competencies identified in the certificate program, particularly professional values and ethics such as leadership, community-building, developing professional identity, and commitment to pro bono service. To satisfy the extracurricular requirement of the certificate program, you must participate in (a) 15 hours of approved extracurricular activities, or (b) 5 approved events. You may begin counting these activities and events starting with your second full year of law study (i.e., after 31 hours of law study). Participation in these activities and events must further at least one of the core values competencies of the certificate program.

Events and activities that are pre-approved and will automatically meet this extracurricular activity requirement are:

  • Events sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility;
  • Events sponsored by the Center for Law, Health & Society;
  • Events sponsored by the Student Health Law Association (presentations, bioethics at the movies, Carver High mentor program, etc.)
  • Programs approved for Continuing Legal Education credit in the State Bar of Georgia in the area of health law; and
  • Community volunteering activities in health-related or health-promotion activities (e.g., participation in walks/runs and other fundraising activities for health-related conditions, programs, and organizations; blood drives; Habitat for Humanity; March of Dimes, etc. )

Some alternative activities and events will partially satisfy the extracurricular requirement. Because such activities can also further one or more core values, any of the following may be counted as either as 5 hours of approved extracurricular activities or as 2 approved events:

  • Participation on a Moot Court team;
  • Participation in law review;
  • Participation in a legal clinic (if not already counted to meet the curricular requirements of the certificate);
  • Leadership in a student legal association/club/society;
  • GRA position; or
  • Attending a health law conference

If you opt to count one of these alternative activities toward your extracurricular hours or events, the remaining 10 hours or 3 events must come from the activities or events outside of this alternative activities option.

For all other extracurricular activities not listed above, you may seek approval to have them counted toward the extracurricular requirement from your health law faculty advisor on the basis that the activity furthers at least one, and preferably more than one, core values competency. Faculty advisors have discretion to approve an activity, provided that at least one core values competency is furthered and EXCEPT THAT donating money to a cause or organization may NOT be approved as an extracurricular activity or event.


Any exceptions from or modifications of these certificate requirements in individual cases are within the sole discretion of the Director of the health law program. Before requesting an exception or modification from the Director, consult with your faculty advisor for their approval.

Requirements may change:

The health law field has changed dramatically over the past several decades, and it will continue to change over the next decades. As the health law field evolves in the future, the health law program reserves the right to change to meet the needs of becoming a successful lawyer in the health law field in the 21st century. Additional or alternative courses may be offered or required to fulfill the specific components of the certificate program; some courses may be discontinued. Appropriate advance notice will be given to all students enrolled in the program.