March 21-22, 2002

 

ITEM 114-1003-R0302                Approval of a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law; The University of Montana-Missoula

 

THAT:                                       The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes the School of Law of The University of Montana to award a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law to those students who successfully complete the requirements for the Certificate in connection with the completion of their requirements for the Juris Doctorate degree.

 

EXPLANATION:                        Law school programs across the country exhibit an increased emphasis on specialization, reflecting the trend toward specialization in law practice.  In an effort to recognize students who concentrate legal studies in a particular area, recognized law schools have initiated “certificate programs.”  As a result of this trend, prospective students look for a law school that offers a certificate program in an area in which they intend to specialize.  In addition, law firms and other legal employers look for certificates to distinguish students who have exhibited an interest and obtained a level of background in a particular area of legal studies.  During the 1999-2000 academic year, the Law School faculty undertook a year-long review of its curriculum.  The faculty approved a single certificate program:  Environmental and Natural Resources Law.  The Law School has long prided itself on its program in this area--a natural niche for The University of Montana--and it represents the single area in which the Law faculty agreed the depth and breadth of offerings supported a certificate program.  It also represents the most popular subject for certificate programs across the country.

 

The completed signature page resides on file at the President’s Office, The University of Montana-Missoula.

 

ATTACHMENT:                         Proposal and Budget