Skip to main content
LSU Law Logo

Graduate Certificate in Estate Planning and Taxation

Eligibility & Requirements


Any LSU law student in good standing who has completed at least one full semester of full­time law study with is eligible to participate in the certificate program. An interested student must complete an application, available here. The information from the application and a recommended orientation session will be used to assist the student in planning an appropriate course of study.


Completion of program requirements is tracked and audited by administrative staff. Students may also use the Student Reporting Form as a way to personally track their completion of the program requirements and to plan their courses.

In order to earn the Estate Planning & Taxation Certificate, a student must:

  1. Apply to participate in the certificate program prior to graduation and before the end of the second week of classes of the student’s final semester before graduating from the Law Center, or by such later deadline as specified by the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Estate Planning and Taxation (the “Director”, Professor Carter). ¬†Interested students are encouraged to apply to the certificate program in the second semester of their first year of law study.
  2. Successfully complete at least 16 credit hours within the Certificate Curriculum, as further set forth below.

Mandatory Courses (9 credit hours)

  1. Income Taxation I (LAW 5501) (3)
  2. Common Law Trusts, Estates, and Fiduciary Responsibility (LAW 5311) (3)
  3. Income Tax II (LAW 5510) (3) or Taxation of Business Entities (LAW 5511) (3)

Note: Students are permitted and encouraged to take both courses listed in #3. If both are taken, one course will count toward elective credit hours.

Writing Requirement (at least 1 credit hour)

Students must write at least one substantive research paper in the area of estate planning or taxation. Any paper written within one of the seminars in the Certificate Curriculum (see electives in D, below), will meet the writing requirement.

Papers written in other seminars, or as independent research papers (LAW 5901 or 5902, including law review/journal papers) may also satisfy the writing requirement if they have a substantial focus on an estate planning and/or taxation topic. Approval by the Director is required for any such papers.

If a student writes more than one paper in the area of estate planning or taxation for which academic credit is received, the additional credit hours may be applied towards satisfaction of the elective hours.

Applied Learning (at least 1 credit hour-credit hours vary)

Students must participate in at least one applied learning opportunity related to Estate Planning and/or Taxation. If a student participates in more than one activity, additional credit hours may be applied towards satisfaction of the elective hours. The following activities or courses will qualify:

  1. Non-Profit Organization Practice (LAW 5635) (2)
  2. Estate Planning Practice (LAW XXXX) (2)
  3. Field Placement (LAW 5905, 5906, 5907, 6003, 6004, 6006) related to tax or estate planning. Prior approval of the Director is required to confirm eligibility of the placement.

Other activities may qualify if approved in advance by the Director. The Director may approve of an academic activity (such as participation on a moot court team (LAW 5585)) regardless of whether the activity qualities for experiential learning

For students graduating in Spring 2023 through Spring 2024, the Director has approved the following courses in addition to those mentioned above:

  1. Law Office Practice (LAW 5823) (2)
  2. Advanced Legal Research (LAW 5610) (2)
  3. Louisiana Legal Research (LAW 5613) (1)
  4. Administrative Law Research (LAW 5618) (2)
  5. Legal Negotiations (LAW 5822) (2)

Electives (hours vary)

Any remaining hours will be satisfied from within the following courses:

  1. Matrimonial Regimes (LAW 5202) (2)
  2. Family Law (LAW 5208) (3)
  3. Business Associations I (LAW 5300) (3)
  4. Common Law Property (LAW 5309) (3)
  5. Accounting for Lawyers (LAW 5312) (2)
  6. Administrative Law (LAW 5402) (3)
  7. Disability Law & Policy (LAW 5543) (2)
  8. Louisiana Successions, Donations, and Trusts (LAW 5703) (4)
  9. Elder Law Seminar (LAW 5804) (2)
  10. Estate Planning Seminar (LAW XXXX) (2)