Civil Rights & Racial Justice Certificate Program

Colorado Law offers a Civil Rights & Racial Justice Certificate designed to underscore a student’s completion of concentrated study in civil rights and/or racial justice law. The Certificate prepares students for a career in civil rights and racial justice law by helping them understand the causes and effects of structural racism and subordination, while critically examining potential solutions. 

To qualify for the Certificate, a student must earn no fewer than 92 credits for graduation (as contrasted with the usual 89 credits), and earn at least 18 credits in the area of civil rights and/or racial justice, as outlined by “Course Requirements” below. Visit Rules of the Law School for complete details. 

To register for the Civil Rights & Racial Justice Certificate, please complete the following steps:

  1. Consult with the Certificate Faculty Advisor, Professor Scott Skinner-Thompson.  
  2. Complete the registration form.

Course Requirements:

Core courses (Choose at least one from the list)

  • American Indian Law
  • Civil Rights
  • Criminal Procedure Courses (Adjudication and Investigation)
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Seminar: Special Topics in International Law (Global Critical Race Theory Subtopic)
  • Immigration Law
  • International Human Rights

Specialized elective courses (participants can select from the core course list, from the following courses, or an elective course for which the student has obtained advance approval from the Certificate Faculty Advisor)

  • American Indian Law II
  • Copyright or Trademark & Unfair Competition Law (max one will count toward certificate)
  • Cultural Property Law
  • Disability Rights
  • Domestic Violence
  • Environmental Justice or Funding Climate Action (max one will count toward certificate)
  • Employment Law
  • Federal Courts
  • First Amendment
  • Foundations of International Legal Thought
  • Indigenous People in International Law
  • Information Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • Jurisprudence
  • Labor Law
  • Law and Politics: Race in America Colloquium
  • Poverty Law
  • Refugee & Asylum Law
  • Regulation of Financial Institutions
  • Seminar: Citizenship and Equality
  • Seminar: Law and Social Change
  • Seminar: Speech, Religion, and Equality: Constitutional Values in Tension
  • Seminar: Criminal Law in Context
  • Seminar: Advanced Criminal Justice
  • Seminar: Race and American Law
  • Seminar: Critical Theory Colloquium
  • Seminar: Gender and Criminal Justice
  • Seminar: Class and Law
  • Seminar: Constitutional Law Problems (civil rights focus)
  • Seminar: International Human Rights (cannot be counted if non-seminar version is also taken)
  • Sexuality and the Law or Seminar: Sexuality, Gender Identity, and the Law (max one will count toward certificate)

Capstone: Clinical and/or Additional Practice requirement (as a capstone project, students are required to complete one of the below clinics or externships (or another clinic/externship approved by the faculty advisor)


  • American Indian Law Clinic
  • Criminal Defense and Immigration Clinic
  • Criminal Defense Clinic

Externships/Additional Practice Opportunities (consistent with the limitations on practice hour credits, participants can dedicate 2 credit hours toward the Certificate credit requirements or the Capstone requirement using the following):

  • Externships in the field of civil rights, racial justice, international human rights, or American Indian/indigenous peoples law and policy.
  • These placements could be at agencies, non-profits, or law firms focusing on this field, such as the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the EEOC, or could include acting as a research assistant for a professor.