LLM in American Indian and Indigenous Law

 The LLM in American Indian and Indigenous Law program at TU College of Law is an advanced degree designed to educate lawyers in the issues critical to understanding and representing American Indian and other indigenous people, both in the United States and abroad.

Tribes play an increasingly important role in business and politics. As a consequence, Indian law has become less of a specialty and more of a necessity for lawyers.  Because of Tulsa's unique location and the expertise of the faculty, The University of Tulsa College of Law is a leader in Indian law education and emphasizes the three foundation sets of legal principles:  law of the tribal governments, domestic laws of the United States (Federal Indian law), and the international law applicable to indigenous peoples.

The LLM program is flexible.  In consultation with the faculty, students can tailor a field of study not just to Indian law in general, but to specific sub-specialties they wish to develop. The program is available as either an academic track (emphasizing course work) or a research track.  Both tracks require successfully completing a minimum of 24 credit hours and maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4-point scale to earn the degree.

Students are encouraged to make a preliminary choice of which track they intend to pursue when they enter the program. That preliminary choice, however, is not binding on the student. The faculty is committed to working individually with each student to meet particular academic needs.

Tracks

Academic Track Courses

A student who chooses the academic track may complete the LLM in American Indian and Indigenous Law program through 24 hours of coursework alone, without a thesis. Academic track students may enroll full- or part-time, and must complete the requirements in three years. Students on the academic track are required to take the following courses, for a total of 17 credit hours:

  •     Federal Indian Law (3 units)
  •     Native American and Indigenous Rights (3 units)
  •     Tribal Government (3 units)
  •     Native American Natural Resources (3 units)
  •     American Indian Law Seminar (3 units)
  •     Protection of Minority and Indigenous Cultures (2 units)
         

Students who have already completed one or more of the above courses may be able to waive the course(s) with the written consent of two of the Native American Law Center (NALC) faculty, one of whom is the student advisor. A requirement may also be waived with the written consent of two of the NALC faculty, one of whom is the student advisor, for other extraordinary circumstances.

The remaining credit hours may be taken from the following list of approved electives:

  •     Administrative Law
  •     Arbitration 
  •     Basic Corporate Law 
  •     Basic Oil and Gas 
  •     Conflict of Laws
  •     Employment Law
  •     Environmental Law 
  •     Geneva Institute on Indigenous Peoples Law (any course offered)
  •     Independent Study
  •     Intellectual Property
  •     International Business Transactions
  •     International Energy and Natural Resources Law
  •     International Environmental Law
  •     International Law
  •     Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation
  •     Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution
  •     Land Use Controls
  •     Mediation
  •     Natural Resources and Environmental Law on Public Lands
  •     Non-Profit Law
  •     Regulated Industries
  •     Water Law

Courses not on the approved list may be substituted only with the written consent of the student advisor and one other member of the NALC faculty.

Research Track Courses

The research track is a 24 credit hour program with a minimum of 3 credit hours of thesis. Students on the research track may choose to do anywhere from 3 to 12 credit hours of thesis, with the remaining hours from course work. Research track students may enroll full- or part-time and must complete the program within 5 years.

Research track students are required to take the following courses:

  •     International Law or Native American and
        Indigenous Rights (3 units)
  •     Federal Indian Law (3 units) 
  •     American Indian Law Seminar (3 units)
  •     LLM Indian/Indigenous Law Thesis (3-12 units)

Waivers are available to students who have previously completed a required course; or, in other extraordinary circumstances, with the written consent of the thesis advisor and one other member of the NALC faculty. Students are encouraged to take their additional courses from the Indian law curriculum or the approved list of academic track courses, but substitutions may be made with the written consent of the thesis advisor.

This degree is awarded to students who have successfully completed a minimum of 24 course hours over a one-year period with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5.

All applicants are required to apply online via LSAC.







Contact:
Office of LLM Admissions
918.631.3540