Certificate for Justice in the Practice of Law

North Carolina Central University School of Law offers a comprehensive virtual curriculum in the field of Justice in the Practice of Law (JIPL), open to all law students across the nation. Students who complete the eight JIPL course credits will receive a Certificate in Justice in the Practice of Law.


  • Students must be in good academic standing at an accredited U.S. law school to apply to the JIPL Certificate Program.
  • The JIPL Certificate requires eight hours of academic credit in JIPL courses.
  • Students must use NCCU Law technology.
  • Students do not have to be admitted to NCCU School of Law to take courses offered under the auspices of the JIPL.  If you are a visiting student, please complete the NCCU Visiting Student Application.  Within two weeks, visiting students should receive a registration identification number, which is needed to register for classes.
  • Students must complete both summer sessions within 18 months.
  • For purposes of Financial Aid, students are encouraged to register for five hours in Summer I. If registered for less than five hours in Summer I, the student’s refund will be released in Summer II.
  • Additional summer school courses are available.
  • Register for classes through myEOL.
  • Complete the JIPL Certificate Information Form.
  • If a student completes eight (8) credits from the courses listed below, the student will is eligible to earn the Justice in the Practice of Law certificate.  The proposed courses fall into two general categories: Social Justice and Corporate Justice.

Program of Instruction

Classes are held online through Virtually LIVE technology in virtual classrooms at NCCU School of Law. Students may log on to classes from anywhere in the country and receive instruction in real-time. Classes are usually held 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekday evenings, three times per week and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on every other Saturday.


Social Justice

  • Legal Problems of the Poor (2)
  • Capital Punishment (1)
  • DNA Exoneration (1)
  • Educational Justice (1)
  • Public Health Law & Vulnerable Populations (1)
  • Hip Hop, Law & Social Justice (1)
  • Restorative Justice (1)

Corporate Justice

  • Corporate Justice (2)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility & Tax Policy (1)
  • Predatory Lending (1)
  • Environmental Justice (1)
  • Intellectual Property and the Equitable Distributive

Social Justice

The ongoing movement for social justice in America is based on civil rights including: the right to privacy, the right to adequate education, the right to adequate health care, the right to employment, the right to vote, and criminal civil rights.

The courses in this category seek to prepare students for a practice of law that is consistently evolving.  Issues of social justice are largely addressed as a function of civil rights.  Today, civil right violations are much more covert and less obvious; however, the effects are just as detrimental and damaging to our society.  The topics covered in the following courses encompass “hot topics” that are on the cutting edge civil rights.  More importantly, these courses seek to serve the law school’s mission. As such, students should be aware of the issues and must be given the opportunity to examine them in detail.

Legal Problems of the Poor (Two credits)

This course examines crime, race relations, and poverty.  Emphasis is focused on the amelioration of social problems by examining the nature of special interest groups, causes of crime, and the treatment of criminal offenders.

Capital Punishment (One credit)

This course examines the specific legal issues inherent in capital punishment within the general area of criminal law and procedure. Included will be detailed coverage of both substantive and procedural law of capital punishment, as well as the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries within this legal system. Law and legal analysis in death penalty statutes and cases are the major focuses of this course, with attention also given to empirical analyses of the practice and philosophical examinations as to its wisdom.

DNA Exoneration (One credit)

This course will focus on contemporary issues in criminal justice policy and practice. Forensic DNA typing has been hailed by the police, the courts, and even criminal defense lawyers as a scientific technique that can exonerate persons wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit. This seminar will address several important questions about the use of DNA by our criminal justice system, including its reliability and how DNA has been used to free wrongfully convicted defendants.

Educational Justice (One credit)

This course is designed to focus the student’s and professor’s attention on the development of educational equity jurisprudence. We will examine and critique the evolution of litigation strategies from “separate but equal” as espoused in Plessy v. Ferguson,   the “integrative ideal” as seen in Brown, equity to adequacy in the school finance arena. The emphasis here is to approach with careful consideration the effect of ligation on school reform policy to understand the success and failures in this context. We will use a critical race lens to understand intersectionality as it applies to education policy.

The student is expected to have a rudimentary knowledge of constitutional law. The course will include a brief overview of each of the sub-units of desegregation and school finance litigation. However, the principal emphasis in this course will be an understanding of educational reform as part of a larger struggle for full citizenship.

Public Health Law and Vulnerable Populations (One credit)

Although there exists in the U.S. pervasive and persistent disparities in health status and access to health care based on race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and socio-economic status, among other demographic factors, to date the law has played a relatively modest role in addressing those areas of inequality. This seminar provides students with an opportunity to explore in depth topics relating to the law’s responses (and potential responses) to health inequality. Topics might include, simply by way of example, the obligation of health care providers to provide sign language interpreters for deaf patients; how FDA approval of racially tailored pharmaceuticals implicates equality; or the civil rights implications of limitations on coverage for contraceptives. The seminar will not be limited to examining civil rights laws as devices for addressing health inequality, but will also examine how health care reform legislation (particularly the Affordable Care Act), public health regulation, and other areas of law may affect inequality.

Hip Hop, Law & Social Justice

The term Hip Hop has been typically used to refer to a style of music and musical production that originated in the African American and Latino communities in the Bronx, New York during the 1970s.  But, Hip Hop is more.  Indeed it is much more.  A more expansive definition of hip hop refers to a counter-culture, one that rejects the “high-arts” as the best mode and modality of artistic expression.  The four traditional pillars of hip-hop are:  DeeJaying (vs musical instruments); Rapping (vs. singing); Breakdancing (vs. Ballet), and Graffiti art (vs. painting).  Five additional pillars are sometimes added: hip-hop fashion, beat-boxing, hip-hop slang, street knowledge, and street entrepreneurship.

This course wishes to add another layer to the definition of hip hop: as a representation of a broad constellation of knowledge that captures, encompasses, and transcends our historical and contemporary understanding of American law.  It is no mistake that the ignored American underclass has evolved hip hop into unimaginable economic success with a worldwide cultural impact in only four decades.  It began as medium to produce happiness by escaping misery.  Far from being simply the frustrated rants of the urban poor, hip hop music simultaneously reflects and influences the way that American youth view politics, capitalism, sexuality, education, racial stereotypes, and gender roles. However, along the way, hip hop has been commercialized and “commodified” and various controversies have arisen.  What role does hip hop play in reproducing the very static society it originally sought to obliterate?  How does hip hop produce knowledge while reflecting divisive cultural values: misogyny, violence, homophobia, and financial irresponsibility.  In other words, why bother listening to hip hop, it has been pronounced dead, after all?  Questions abound.

The goal of the course will be to further several pedagogical, theoretical, and practical initiatives related to reading the intersections of law and hip hop culture.  Simply, the course will draw upon the broad depth of scholarship, documentaries, journalistic reports, and interviews devoted to discussing, debating, and evaluating the presence of hip hop as a 21st Century cultural phenomenon.  However, rather than solely focusing on hip hop, the course will ask students to think about how hip hop currently investigates and critiques American law.  By centering the law, students will be required to think critically about hip hop’s evaluation of such themes as the Fourth Amendment Searches and Seizures, Mass Incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex, Black Sexual Politics, Feminism, Justice Narratives, to name a few.  Students will be required to read high-level critical theory, social and cultural anthropologies, ethnographies of crime and capitalism, and legal scholarship on law, hip hop and punishment.

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a growing social movement to institutionalize peaceful approaches to violations of legal and human rights, harm, and problem-solving. These approaches range from innovations within the criminal justice system, schools, social service organizations, and communities to international peacekeeping tribunals such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, and similar initiatives in the United States including the Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation Project.

In contrast to the criminal justice model involving retribution and punishment, restorative justice focuses on repairing the harms caused by offenses through processes drawn from various cultural and religious traditions. Restorative practices expand the circle of people involved in a harmful event or case beyond the offender and the government to include victims and the community as well.

Corporate Justice

Corporate Justice (Two credits)

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the historical foundations of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how it can be used as a tool for legal activism.

Predatory Lending (One credit)

This course will discuss federal and state laws that deal with predatory lending. This course will also help students to identify predatory practices that are either illegal or bad for the consumer and how to work with consumers to avoid the consequences of these actions.

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Intersection of Tax
Policy (One credit)

This course will explore the application of CSR to tax planning, strategy and policy.  Issues of taxation have largely been excluded from the core CSR discussion.  Such exclusion is largely predicated on the notion that the primary purpose of any entity is to minimize or avoid tax through any legal means possible.  As a result, many corporations develop elaborate and aggressive tax avoidance strategies to accomplish this goal and many corporations even view their tax departments as profit centers.[1] In an effort to incorporate CSR in the tax planning process, some experts have advanced that corporations engage remedial measures. This course will discuss many of these measures while also probing the extent to which race and socio economic status have a palatable effect on corporate tax policy.  (One credit)

Environmental Justice Course Description

This course looks at how and why minority communities, especially people of color, are disproportionately exposed to health risks and environmental risks because of where they live and where they work. These health risks go beyond the obvious, such as dirty air from polluting industries or exposure to hazardous waste at a landfill. The fact that a vast majority of toxic waste dumps in the southern United States are located in African-American communities is well-documented. But there are insidious risks of cancer and respiratory problems that result from more tenuous connections with environmental injustice. For example, African-American children suffer from asthma at twice the rate of white children; they die from asthma at four times the rate. Why do African-American children have a higher rate of asthma to begin with? Is it related to the environment where they live, play, and go to school? Is it related to access to health care? Is access to quality health care an environmental justice issue in this context?



  • $232.21 per credit hour for in-state students. ($1,857.68 for both summer sessions)
  • $825.03 per credit hour for out-of-state students. ($6,624 for both summer sessions)

Financial Aid

For information regarding financial assistance for summer school, visit the University’s Summer School Financial Aid page.


Please complete the JIPL Certificate Information Form and register for classes through myEOL. The program is limited to 64 students and will be filled on a continuing basis. You may submit any questions to Carol Chestnut, at cchestnut@nccu.edu.



For more information about the JIPL Certificate Program, watch the video below or contact Carol Chestnut or cchestnut@nccu.edu.

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