Social justice is the province of all lawyers, not just those who choose to specialize in this field. Public interest and social justice lawyers give voice in the legal system to marginalized, subordinated, and underrepresented clients and causes. Santa Clara University School of Law has chosen Public Interest and Social Justice Law as an area of excellence and specialization.
Santa Clara University School of Law students may earn a certificate in Public Interest and Social Justice Law upon graduation, allowing them to serve community needs for social justice while studying law. Students particularly interested in criminal justice may elect to earn their certificate with a special emphasis in this area. However, students need not elect the special emphasis in order to earn a Public Interest and Social Justice Law Certificate.
Students need not earn a certificate in order to take advantage of the rich curriculum of public interest and social justice law courses where students gain the theoretical insight, practical knowledge, and skills training necessary to serve marginalized, subordinated, or underrepresented clients and causes. Some of the public interest and social justice law courses develop skills from other disciplines such as the social sciences. For example, students in the Law and Social Justice Seminar investigate social justice issues. For an introduction to approaching original research, please see Professor Jane Curry’s slide show presentation “Doing a Research Project” (PDF).
Forms for the Public Interest and Social Justice Law Certificate
- Public Interest & Social Justice Law Certificate (this document contains all information related to the general certificate, as well as the certificates with an emphasis in criminal justice).
To Apply – Application due dates – November 21 (Dec. Grads) and March 29 (May Grads).
Students can apply for multiple certificates on this single online form. Please submit an online form: Public Interest and Social Justice Law Certificate Application (see the Forms for Students link). If you are applying for a certificate with an emphasis in criminal law, please submit your application to Professor Cookie Ridolfi at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are applying for the general social justice certificate, please submit your application to Professor Anna Han at email@example.com.
For questions regarding the Public Interest and Social Justice Law certificate program, students should contact either Professor Han or Professor Ridolfi.