Elder Law Programs

JD Certificate in Elder Law

Distinguish Your Career in the Emerging Field of Elder Law

Barry Kozak

Director Barry Kozak

Originally developed as a part of The John Marshall Law School's Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits, a pioneer in legal education, the JD Certificate in Elder Law became one of the first degrees of its kind to address the intersection of elder rights and the law. Since it's inception, the Elder Law Studies program has grown into a unique and independent area proudly to offering candidates a specialized curriculum to enhance their employability in this relatively new field of law. With seniors living longer, more active lives than ever before, they face a whole new set of legal concerns.

Today's retirees comprise one of the wealthiest segments of the U.S. population, and they 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 elder rights. 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 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.


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 16 required credits and 9 elective credits, and must graduate with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.25 in elder law coursework.

Proposed Schedule

Year One
Required JD Courses (29 Credits)
Year Two, First Semester
Civil Procedure II (3)
Constitutional Law II (3)
Lawyering Skills III: Herzog Moot Court Competition (1)
Evidence (4)
Elder Law: Financial Aspects & Planning (2)
Elder Law: Preserving Independence & Dignity of the Elderly (2)
Year Two, Second Semester
Professional Responsibility (3)
Trial Advocacy (2)
Elder Law: Guardianship Issues in Illinois (2)
Elder Law: Mandatory Public Benefits (2)
JD Electives (7)
Year Three, First Semester
Lawyering Skills IV: Drafting for Elder Law (2)
Federal Income Tax (3)
Elder Law Electives (5)
JD Electives (6)
Year Three, Second Semester
Clinical Participation (2)
Elder Law: Externship & Clinical Classroom Component (1)
Elder Law Electives (4)
JD Electives (9)