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General Health Law Certificate

Available to all Hamline JD students, the General Health Law Certificate combines coursework, experiential learning, and networking opportunities that provide students with knowledge, skills, and insight critical to the successful practice of health law. The certificate shows future employers that students have concentrated their studies in health law and have acquired a significant understanding and practical application of health law concepts.

Courses are taught by Hamline Law faculty and industry professionals in multiple areas, allowing students to explore health law from a variety of perspectives or focus on a specific area of interest. The 14-credit curriculum* is designed to leave students with an adequate opportunity to take bar courses and recommended non-health law electives because the best health lawyers need to first be well-rounded, skilled lawyers.

With their certificate advisors, students design a curricular plan that incorporates bar courses and recommended non-health law courses that are particularly relevant to their anticipated area of practice. Health Law students are also encouraged to look beyond the expansive law school curriculum and to take relevant courses offered through Hamline University's graduate school and School of Business.

The General Health Law Certificate will appear as a special designation on the JD transcript. Certificate recipients will also receive a paper certificate upon successful completion of the program.

* Students who began Law School in Fall 2012, and subsequent classes, will be required to complete a 17-credit curriculum  

Application Procedure

Only current Hamline University School of Law students may be admitted to the General Health Law Certificate program. To apply to the certificate program, students must submit the General Health Law Certificate Application.

Students are encouraged to apply early in their tenure so they can meet with their certificate advisor to develop a completion plan and have sufficient time to complete the certificate. Refer to the Certificate Handbook for complete information regarding the application procedure or contact Kari McMartin at 651-523-2130.

Certificate Requirements

To receive a General Health Law Certificate, students must complete all of the following requirements prior to graduation; all coursework must be completed while enrolled as a JD student. Refer to the Certificate Handbook for detailed information and requirements.


Students must complete a minimum of 14 credits* of health law courses and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (calculated at the time of graduation) in these core and elective courses.

Students will establish a strong foundation in health law through eight** credits of core courses and at least six credits of elective courses. Elective courses are offered in a variety of areas, including health policy, corporate/transactional, compliance/regulation, and litigation. Suggested electives are listed on the Certificate Planning Tool, and students may refer to the General Health Law Certificate course descriptions for more information.

Being a good health lawyer requires having a well-rounded competence in the law. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students complete their bar courses and some additional courses, depending on their area of interest in health law.

* Students who began Law School in Fall 2012, and subsequent classes, are required to complete 17 health law credits
** Students who began Law School in Fall 2012, and subsequent classes, are required to complete 11 credits of core courses

Experiential Learning

The experiential learning requirement is a cornerstone of the certificate program; it provides students with real-world experience in the practice of health law. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in the Health Law Clinic, the Health Law Externship, pro bono work in an approved health law setting, or an agreed upon internship experience. Because the clinic and externship offer the fullest practical experience, most certificate students choose these options.

In the Health Law Clinic, students represent clients in administrative hearings with faculty guidance and supervision. Clinic work has involved professional licensure, maltreatment, and unemployment compensation cases before the Minnesota Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.

Students also have unique experiential opportunities through the Health Law Externship, which allows students to learn health law and lawyering skills in an actual legal setting. The externship includes both a field placement with a health law attorney mentor and a classroom component. Students work with their attorney mentor for a minimum of 114 hours. Past Health Law Externship placements have included the United States Attorney's Office, Minnesota Department of Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, and the Minnesota AIDS Project.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Students must participate in at least six extra-curricular activities that introduce health law issues or provide networking opportunities with leaders in the health law community. These activities may include lectures, conferences, symposia, CLEs, or breakfast/lunch meetings. These events provide opportunities for networking and substantive engagement; as a result, students generally exceed the required six activities. Students must record the activities they attend on their Requirements Checklist.

Any events sponsored by the Health Law Institute or the Health Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) are qualifying events. Non-HLI and non-MSBA events may qualify but must be approved by your certificate advisor. Information sessions and student group meetings will not count toward this requirement.

Certificate Advisor

All General Health Law Certificate students will meet with a certificate advisor a minimum of two times: upon admission for an initial advising meeting and upon completion for an exit interview. The certificate advisors help guide students to appropriate electives, experiential learning opportunities, and extra-curricular activities that are in line with the students’ health law interests and desired career path. The Program Manager of the Health Law Institute will contact students once they are admitted to the General Health Law Certificate program to schedule the initial advising meeting. Throughout the program, students will use the Biannual Progress Report to record certificate requirements as they fulfill them; students will then submit the completed Requirements Checklist at their exit interview.

About Hamline's Health Law Institute

Hamline University School of Law established the Health Law Institute in 2006 to provide a broad range of learning opportunities to students, scholars, and health care professionals. Since its inaugural year, the Health Law Institute has educated the leaders of today and the leaders of tomorrow with specialized classes and externships from professors who know both the courtroom and the boardroom. Through a national speaker series and advanced expertise classes for working professionals, the institute has partnered with the Upper Midwest's health care community to instilling practical skills, providing a forum for health law policy issues, and nurturing scholars and practitioners through our curriculum and events. Visit Hamline University's Health Law Institute to learn more.