As part of completing the requirements to earn a JD, students in the JD program may choose to develop a concentration in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy. IPLP's mission is to prepare lawyers to protect and promote Indigenous peoples' rights in the quickly changing world of the 21st century. At the LLM (and SJD) levels, that means training people who already hold a law degree about the intricacies of Indian and Indigenous law. For J.D. students, that preparation includes training not only in specialized Indigenous law classes, but training in the fundamentals of law and legal practice. Accordingly, the IPLP Certificate emphasizes the legal building blocks necessary to effectively advocate on behalf of Indigenous people and to assist Tribes in creating strong, independent government systems. The IPLP Certificate is designed to demonstrate that the students who earn the certificate are well-rounded lawyers with a significant understanding of the basics of Indian and Indigenous law. In contrast, the LLM program is intended to demonstrate that its graduates are specialists in the field.
- For details about admission to the JD program, see the Admissions Office's website
- For a list of the requirements to earn the IPLP Certificate.
The LLM (Masters of Law) program is designed to provide those who have already completed the basic law degree with an intensive one year course specializing in Indian and Indigenous peoples’ law. The LLM program provides both academic and practical training in all three areas of the field - the International Law relating to Indigenous peoples, Federal Indian Law, and Tribal Law. Students in the program may choose to pursue a general course of study or may choose one of three concentrations: Critical Race Theory/Practice, Cultural Resources, or Human Rights.
The LLM is a full-time, two semester program requiring 24 credit hours of course work. Students in the program must complete Federal Indian Law and either International Human Rights & Indigenous Peoples or International Human Rights. Students, in consultation with IPLP’s Director of Graduate Programs, can select from a wide array of classes and design a course of study to meet the student’s interests and career goals.
Criteria for Admission
All LLM candidates must be JD graduates of an ABA approved law school in the United States, or possess the first law degree from a foreign law school approved by the government or other accrediting authority in the nation in which it is located. Candidates for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate fluency in English (generally, TOEFL test scores of 600 or better are expected). The University of Arizona offers excellent short courses in English, which may be arranged at the student's cost prior to enrolling if a student's TOEFL is under the required level.
As the highest degree offered in the field of law, the SJD offers candidates an intellectually challenging opportunity for academic specialization. Candidates for the SJD conduct advanced research and produce original scholarship under the guidance of IPLP’s internationally renowned faculty.
Candidates spend one year in residency with the Program, taking part in course work equal to a minimum of 24 credit hours. With the guidance of the candidate’s faculty advisor, each SJD student is expected to enroll in courses related to his or her specialization. There are no courses mandated for the SJD residency requirement. Upon completion of the one-year residency requirement, candidates typically spend one to two years completing dissertation research and writing. SJD students have a maximum of 3 years to complete their dissertation. During this time, candidates may either remain at the law school or complete their dissertation elsewhere, but must enroll in three credits of dissertation each semester.
Criteria for Admission
This highly competitive program is open only to applicants who have attained a JD from an ABA accredited law school or foreign equivalent, and have completed an LLM or foreign equivalent. Students who are currently enrolled in an LLM program at the Rogers College of Law can also submit applications for the SJD program.