Two Quick Credentials You Can Earn Online in Law School


It’s amazing what you can accomplish over Google Chrome. From grocery shopping, to apartment hunting, to reconnecting with friends and family, this new-found time at home holds a world of possibility. If, like so many of us, you find yourself frustrated with latency or just plain bored of watching Netflix, consider earning an online certificate. Many courses that require an in-person exam have waived this requirement for the duration of the pandemic, meaning you no longer need to wipe the sleep from your eyes, drive to a testing center, and dirty your hand with pencil lead. Below are a few suggestions on certificate programs to consider taking during the fall: 

Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) or Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certificate.  

The writing is on the wall: data protection and information privacy are the future. Society has already made the shift from paper to word processor, but the legal world has yet to catch up. If you have any interest in general counsel work, health care, or other regulatory work, consider signing up for a CIPP or CIPM training course. The online lectures can range from 15-20 hours, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) recommends studying for another 10-20 hours before taking the exam. The courses focus on data protection law in the United States, but there are several other similar courses oriented to European and other international law.  The courses can cost from $999-1300 and the exam is a separate $550 charge. After successful completion of the exam (which you will know immediately after the test…so much better than waiting for bar results) you are required to take a specified number of Continuing Education courses over a two-year period. Either of these types of information privacy certifications demands extra attention to your resume; it shows that you are diligent, dedicated, and able to think long-term. 

Leadership, Management, Business, or Conflict Resolution Certificate.  

Why pay your law school hand over fist for a certificate you can earn online in conjunction with your studies? Several distinguished (and even Ivy League) schools offer online certificates in various business or professional development areas; find a program that aligns with your career strategies and get started: while the courses can be a bit more expensive, see if you can apply for financial aid or other grant opportunities. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have Harvard or Yale next to your name as you enter the job market. 

If you’re sick of making sourdough bread, you’ve finished every puzzle in your house, or you can’t adopt another quarantine puppy, consider earning an online certificate during the next few months. While we may not know when this mess will be over, we can plan for when it ends; and enter our futures well-read, well-rounded, and well-educated.