Special Curriculum & Certificate Programs
Like most law schools, we believe your legal education must rest on a solid foundation. Even if you are dedicated to a career in environmental law, you need to understand the fundamentals of contracts, torts, and tax law. After those fundamentals, however, you will have ample opportunity to focus your studies.
We offer Certificate Programs in
- Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Certificate in American Indian Law
- Certificate in Natural Resources & Environmental Law
We offer concentrations in
The University of Montana Certificate Program (of special interest to law students)
Because the average lawyer writes more than the average novelist, we devote special attention to legal writing throughout our curriculum. In your first year, you will begin with the basics of legal research, legal analysis, and legal writing. By the end of your first year, you will have completed several legal memoranda, drafted legal pleadings, written two briefs to a court, argued a motion for summary judgment, and drafted contract provisions. Your research and writing experiences at UM are integrated into many of your courses, even in the first year.
UM's legal writing program has its foundation in the first year, but extends through all three years. To enhance the skills acquired during the first year, all second-year students enroll in Business Transactions, in which students negotiate and draft business agreements. In addition, all students must fulfill our Advanced Writing Requirement by completing a major written piece (and presenting or defending it orally) during their second or third year. To further underscore the importance of legal writing, roughly half of our elective courses involve writing papers or legal memoranda.
Professor Larry Howell is the Director of UM's legal writing program and coached UM's 2000 National Moot Court Champions. It is no coincidence that our Moot Court Team's brief placed second in the nation; rather it is a testament to UM's commitment to excellence in legal expression. This excellence starts with our legal writing program.