Media, Law & Technology Certificate

The nation's media historically have had important influence on the public's understanding of the legal system. In news and advertising, as well as in movies and other forms of entertainment, the media have illuminated or scrutinized the work of lawyers, judges and legislators.

Now, because of advancements in digital technology, the media are expanding, as is their influence in society. No longer are media limited mainly to such print publications as newspapers and to radio and television broadcasting. Media now range from mobile phones to social networks.

The Media, Law & Technology Certificate gives students an opportunity to study how both traditional and new, digital media affect the relationship between law and society. Through certificate courses, students gain insight into how media affect the legal system, relate to government and business, and influence legislation and public policy. In addition, students have an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skill in the diverse legal subjects that are of concern to media lawyers. These subjects range from such traditional areas as censorship, libel, freedom of information and prejudicial pre-trial publicity to licensing of intellectual property, digital privacy rights, media liability insurance, electronic data collection, storage and transfer, and security of wireless and online communications.

In their first year, students who intend to meet the certificate requirements should give notice to the associate dean for academic affairs. The students will qualify for the certificate if they meet the requirements for the Juris Doctor degree and earn credits as follows:

Certificate Requirements

A core comprising any three of these courses:

  • Copyright Law and Digital Works
  • Media and the First Amendment
  • Media Law Clinic
  • Digital Privacy Rights in an Open Society
  • Intellectual Property
  • Special Topics (when offered for at least three credits on a topic related to media, law and technology*)

Any one of these courses that include a writing requirement:

  • Topics in the Law of Cyberspace
  • Externship Clinic (when completed for at least three credits with a government agency or nonprofit or public international organization related to media, law and technology*)
  • Independent Research (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least two credits)
  • Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least two credits)
  • Kansas Law Review (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology for at least two credits*)
  • Public Policy Clinic

At least two credits from among the following courses on expressive freedom or other subjects of interest to media lawyers:

  • Contracts III
  • Law and the Arts
  • The State and Religion
  • Introduction to Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works
  • Insurance
  • Law and Literature
  • Legal Aspects of the Music Industry
  • Sports Law
  • National/International Moot Court Competition (on the First Amendment or other media-related subject*)
  • Product Liability
  • Patent Law
  • Research Workshop (on a media, law and technology topic*)
  • Torts II

Two courses from among these electives that address law of interest to media and relate to government and public policy:

  • State Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Constitutional Topics
  • Elections and Campaign Finance
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Law and Economics
  • Judicial Clerkship Clinic
  • Legislation
  • Local Government Law
  • Research Workshop (on a topic of interest to media and related to government and public policy*)

Course descriptions

The certificate program director, subject to School of Law policies and procedures, may authorize course substitutions upon a showing of extenuating circumstances, such as an omission of a course from a schedule or an unexpected cancellation of a course offering.

* Enrollment for certificate credit is subject to approval by the certificate program director.


Mike Kautsch
Professor of Law

Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 28 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • Routinely ranked a “best value” law school
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 26th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
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    —U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • 37th: for number of law graduates who are partners at nation’s largest law firms