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Prepare for the realities of business law practice.

Available to all Hamline JD students, the Business Law Certificate combines coursework, research and writing, practical experience, and networking opportunities that provide knowledge, skills, and insight critical to the successful practice of business law.

The certificate provides a strong foundation of core knowledge and skills but also allows for plenty of flexibility. Through electives, practical experience, extra-curricular activities, and the writing requirement, students can focus on a specific area of business law or explore several different areas and niches.

A unique feature of Hamline’s Business Law Certificate is its ethics requirement. Ethical decision-making is essential to successful business practices, so every certificate student will take at least one business ethics course that introduces important ethical issues and perspectives.


To successfully complete the certificate, you must fulfill the following requirements. Please see the Certificate Handbook for detailed information and requirements.

  • Coursework: Consists of core foundational courses, a business ethics course, and electives or specialty courses, depending on which certificate you are working towards. This requirement provides you with core knowledge and skills.  A 3.2 GPA, not including first year curriculum, is required for all BLI certificates.
  • Accounting & Finance Knowledge: You will demonstrate a basic knowledge of accounting and finance through the law course, Basic Accounting and Finance, offered fall term. This requirement provides you with the knowledge and tools to understand a client's business. 
  • Writing: You will complete a 25-page paper on a business law topic through coursework or participation on an approved Law Review/Journal. This requirement allows you to explore a specific business law topic in greater depth.
  • Practical Experience: You will obtain practical experience through a Hamline clinic or externship. This requirement allows you to engage more deeply with business law concepts and professionals and strengthens your skills, knowledge, and networks.
  • Extra-Curricular Activities: You will participate in at least six extra-curricular activities or events. This requirement will introduce you to critical or timely business law issues and provide networking opportunities with the business and legal communities.

You will also meet with BLI faculty or staff upon admission for an initial advising meeting and upon completion for an exit interview.  Prior to registration for each term you will meet with a BLI faculty advisor to help you plan your course schedule and help ensure completing the certificate.  A planning worksheet is available from the Forms & Resources page.


You may apply at any time but are encouraged to apply early in your law school tenure so that you have sufficient time to plan for appropriate courses and complete the certificate. Please refer to the Certificate Handbook for more information regarding the application procedure. An application to the certificate program is available from the Forms & Resources page.


Contact Donna Rauch at 651-523-2535 for more information. 

About Hamline's Business Law Institute

The Business Law Institute provides a platform for coordinating and bolstering Hamline Law's already solid core of corporate and commercial law offerings. The enhanced business curriculum better equips Hamline students with basic skills in business planning, management, and finance that will enable them to provide value-added lawyering as they guide transactions and solutions to disputes. BLI balances experiential learning and problem solving with key doctrinal subjects relevant to business. By organizing expanded course offerings, clinical opportunities, externships, academic symposia, and partnerships with other organizations, BLI exposes aspiring business lawyers to the real-world concerns of business owners as well as academic and policy concerns at the core of business law.

Visit Hamline University's Business Law Institute to learn more.