Native American Law Certificate

The University of Tulsa College of Law was the first law school to offer a formal Indian law certificate program, a concentrated course of study that immerses students in the legal issues facing Indian tribes. The Certificate is undertaken as part of the JD degree.

To earn the Native American Law Certificate, students must complete:

BLOCK I: Indian law curriculum.

Students must complete Parts A, B, and C.

A. Federal Indian Law


B. At least one additional course from the Indian law curriculum.

Course offerings may vary from time to time, but at present include the following:

  • Indian Gaming Law
  • Native American and Indigenous Rights
  • Native American Natural Resources Law
  • Tribal Government

C. A research paper requirement in Indian law, which may be satisfied by any one of the following:

  • A seminar in which the research paper is on a topic of Indian or indigenous law. The seminar paper topic must be pre-approved by the Native American Law Certificate advisor in order to satisfy the research paper requirement.
  • Completion of a casenote or comment on a topic of Indian or indigenous law as a member of the Tulsa Law Review, the Energy Law Journal, or the Tulsa Journal of Comparative and International Law. The casenote or comment topic must be pre-approved by the Native American Law Certificate advisor in order to satisfy the research paper requirement.
  • An independent research project which includes a law review quality research paper on a topic of Indian law. The research paper topic must be pre-approved by the Native American Law Certificate advisor in order to satisfy the research paper requirement. This option may be used to satisfy the research paper requirement only if the student, through no fault of his/her own, is unable to satisfy this requirement by any of the other available options.

BLOCK II: Related coursework.

Two (2) courses from the following list of related courses offered regularly within the College of Law or the University's Graduate School. In selecting from these related courses, students may not take more than one course outside of the College of Law.

A. Procedural and related courses

  • Administrative Law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Federal Courts

B. Critical resource policy courses

  • Basic Oil and Gas
  • Environmental Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • Natural Resources & Environmental Law on Federal Lands
  • Water Law

C. Other related Law School offerings

  • International Law

D. Graduate School courses

  • Any other graduate course approved by the Native American Law Certificate program director

BLOCK III: Practice skills and in-depth analytical skills.

Students must choose one of the following options:

  • Selection for and participation on the national team(s) for the National Native American Law Students Association moot court competition.
  • An Indian law externship, providing service to a recognized Indian tribe or tribal body, a state or federal agency whose primary activities involve Indian affairs, or an attorney whose primary practice is in Indian law. Service to a similar entity may be substituted with the prior approval of the Native American Law Certificate advisor.
  • An additional course from the Indian law curriculum (see Block I). This option may be used to satisfy the Block III requirement only if the student, through no fault of his/her own, is unable to satisfy this requirement by any of the other available options.