Oct 16, 2021  
2021-2022 Law Bulletin 
2021-2022 Law Bulletin

Public Interest Law & Policy Certificate

The Certificate in Public Interest Law and Policy prepares GSU Law students to serve traditionally underserved populations. The certificate program allows students to focus on a particular substantive area or to generally explore concepts and practice skills central to public interest and pro bono work. Experiential courses and pro bono volunteer opportunities put theory into practice. With faculty guidance and connections to practitioners, students build a foundation for a career serving the public interest.

Certificate Requirements

Required Courses

Elective Courses

Choose 2 courses:

Writing Requirement

Students must complete a substantial writing project on a public interest law and policy topic, which may also be used to satisfy the College of Law’s writing requirement. Written projects for Moot Court or writing competitions DO NOT satisfy the certificate writing requirement unless they otherwise meet the College of Law writing requirement. The writing project must be pre-approved by your faculty advisor and the faculty member who will supervise the project (if different). For substantial writing projects completed in courses or independent study credits not listed above, you should coordinate in advance with your certificate faculty advisor to ensure that the project will meet the writing requirement for this program.

Extracurricular Activity

Students must participate in 40 hours of approved pro bono work through the student-run Pro Bono Program and report these activities on the report form. Pro bono legal work done outside the student-run Pro Bono Program is eligible, subject to approval.

Coursework (including externships) and summer internship hours may not be counted.

Donating money to a cause or organization will NOT be counted as an approved extracurricular activity.


A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for all courses taken in satisfaction of the certificate requirements. A minimum grade of 3.00 is required for the writing requirement. If you take more than the minimum number of courses needed to fulfill certificate requirements, the Assistant Director will use the highest grades in courses that fulfill the certificate requirements when calculating GPA for the certificate. If a course includes both a pass/fail and graded component, the graded component will be counted. For example, externships taken pass/fail can fulfill the lawyering-skills requirement and will not be included in GPA calculation, but the grade in the one-hour externship course will be counted. If you take multiple courses that may count for a single requirement, the highest grade fulfilling that requirement will be counted for GPA purposes.

If you do not pass Constitutional Law II: Individual Liberties, you must take it again to earn the certificate. Both the failing grade from the first attempt and the passing grade from the second attempt will be calculated in the GPA for the certificate, and you must still meet the minimum GPA of 3.00. If you fail another course taken toward other certificate requirements, you may take a different course that satisfies that component instead, and the passing grade will be counted toward your certificate GPA. For example, if you select a course from the underrepresented communities list and do not pass it, you may take a different course satisfying that component, and the higher of the two grades will count.

Honors will be awarded for achievement of a GPA of 3.60 or higher in all public interest law and policy courses taken for the certificate and any additional public interest law and policy electives taken above and beyond the requirements. If you do not pass a course taken toward the certificate and you retake the course, both the failing grade from the first attempt and the passing grade from the second attempt will be calculated in the GPA, and you must still maintain a 3.60 to receive honors in the certificate program.