Elder Law Programs

JD Certificate in Elder Law

Distinguish Your Career in the Emerging Field of Elder Law

Our JD Certificate in Elder Law remains one of the first programs of its kind to address the intersection of elder rights and the law. Today's retirees comprise one of the wealthiest segments of the U.S. population, who need particular advice on how to pass along assets to their children or others, future housing and assisted living arrangements, medical care, incapacity or impairment, and other areas specific to aging. On the other hand, a large segment of elderly individuals are poor and need competent legal advice from governmental agencies and legal aid organizations. The JD Certificate program is designed to equip future attorneys with the skills necessary to advise elderly clients regarding estate planning, wills and trusts, conservatorship and guardianship, health care planning, Medicare/Medicaid planning, employee benefits, and elder rights.

Our cutting-edge curriculum will help you develop a successful, rewarding career advocating for aging and elder clients. The foundational class is a 3-credit doctrinal course exposing students to the statutes and cases that form the constitutional, property, civil procedure, contracts, agency and fiduciary legal framework for elder law. Then, all of the required and elective courses are seminar-style, which provide skills to be a competent, successful, and practice ready elder law professional. The general curriculum has been recently adjusted to strengthen the marketability of our graduates in the current economic environment.


Degree candidates interested in enhancing their career opportunities with the JD Certificate in Elder Law must complete a minimum of 25 elder law credit hours, including 13 required credits and 12 elective credits, and must graduate with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.25 in elder law coursework. As all John Marshall students must complete a clinical experience during their tenure, the Director of the Certificate program must approve that the clinical experience adequately touched the lives of vulnerable elderly individuals in need of justice.

Proposed Schedule

Year One
Required JD Courses (30 Credits)
Year Two, First Semester (14 Credits)
Civil Procedure II (3)
Constitutional Law II (3)
Lawyering Skills III: Herzog Moot Court Competition (1)
Evidence (4)
Elder Law: Basics (3)
Year Two, Second Semester (16 Credits)
Professional Responsibility (3)
Trial Advocacy (2)
Elder Law: Planning for Property (2)
Elder Law: Planning for Health & End of Life (2)
JD Electives (7)
Year Three, First Semester (15 Credits)
Elder Law: Guardianship Issues in Illinois (2)
Lawyering Skills IV: Drafting for Elder Law (2)
Elder Law Electives (5)
JD Electives (including approved clinical experience) (6)
Year Three, Second Semester (15 Credits)
Elder Law: Mandatory Public Benefits (2)
Elder Law Electives (7)
JD Electives (6)