TU College of Law To Offer First Master of Law Degree in American Indian and Indigenous Law
Monday, December 11, 2000
Published on 12/11/00
American Indian and indigenous issues have long been closely aligned with The University of Tulsa. The close access to tribal headquarters has enriched the work of students since the founding of the college as a Presbyterian school for Indian girls in 1882. And now, TU is once again serving as a leader in American Indian studies.
The University of Tulsa College of Law will offer the first master’s program in American Indian and Indigenous Law at any American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school beginning in the Spring 2001 semester.
“American Indian and indigenous peoples face unique legal issues and this program will significantly enhance the skills of those people who represent them in the legal system,” said G. William Rice, professor of law and the director of the LL.M. program. “The program will benefit both the legal community and the indigenous people of the world.”
The objective of the LL.M. in American Indian and indigenous law is to train U.S. lawyers and lawyers from around the world in issues critical to adequate understanding and representation of American Indian and other indigenous peoples.
The TU Native American law program, including the first Native American law certificate program offered in the nation, has been recognized for its quality and outstanding faculty through accolades such as being named one of “The Best Law Schools for the Study of Indian Law,” in the spring 1995 issue of Red Ink.
The repository for important and sometimes one-of-a kind primary source materials related to Indian law and policy, including the papers of Samuel Worcester, TU offers access to tribal governments and court systems in northeastern Oklahoma. There are 36 federally recognized Indian tribal headquarters in Oklahoma, offering internship opportunities with local tribal governments and courts.
“I believe this will change the way American Indian and indigenous law is approached and handled across the globe,” said Martin H. Belsky, dean of the TU College of Law. “It will bring an awareness and comprehension of issues critical to the adequate understanding and representation of indigenous peoples world-wide.”
The city of Tulsa also offers additional resources, including the internationally renowned Indian collections housed in the Philbrook and Gilcrease museums.
Graduates of ABA-approved American law schools and those holding a terminal degree from a recognized law school in a foreign country are eligible to apply for the LL.M. program at TU.
For additional information on the program, contact Rice at 918-631-2456 or the TU College of Law Admission Office at 918-631-2406.