Certificate in Governmental Affairs

Certificate in Governmental Affairs

Recognizing the heritage of the University of Alabama School of Law as a training ground for leaders of our state and nation’s legislative, executive and judicial branches, the Law School is pleased to offer its students the opportunity to obtain a certificate in governmental affairs.  In order to receive the certificate:

1.         Students must successfully complete either the Federal Externship or a state government externship approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.   The Associate Dean shall not approve a state governmental affairs externship for purposes of completing this requirement unless a significant portion of the extern’s responsibilities relate to the process of policy development.  Neither judicial externships nor externships with prosecutors will usually qualify to fulfill the externship requirement; and

2.         Students must complete (i) either Legislation or Political and Legislative Writing or Legislative Drafting and (ii) Administrative Law; and

3.         Students must complete 12 credit hours from any of the following elective courses (These courses relate to the functioning of governmental institutions, acquaint the students with tools that are useful in doing policy analysis or provide important policy background to matters that are frequently the subject of legislation:

Law School Courses: Law and Economics; Law and Social Science; Disability Law; Consumer Protection; Antitrust Law;  Health Care Law; Environmental Law I; Environmental Law II;  International Trade Law and Investment; Tax Policy; Regulated Industries; Securities Regulation.

Political Science Courses (graduate level): American National Government Executive and Legislative Institutions (PSC 615); State Politics (PSC 614); Survey of Public Administration (PS 565)1

4.         Students who wish to count courses not designated as elective courses may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  The petition shall explain how the particular course relates to the government service the student wishes to pursue.  Credit for elective coursework will not normally be given for courses taught by adjunct faculty.


1Students should note that they may count a maximum of six (6) hours of non-Law School coursework toward degree requirements and a maximum of twenty-five (25) hours of coursework that is not traditional law school coursework. This latter category includes externships, law review, moot court, independent study and courses outside the law school for which credit is granted. Thus, for example, a student who takes the 10-hour Washington externship and is receiving course credit for law review or moot court activities may not be able to take courses outside the Law School for credit toward graduation. Students who take a large number of pass/fail credits may also be ineligible for academic honors such as membership in Order of the Coif.

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