JD Certificate Program
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 is designed to emphasize the legal building blocks necessary to effectively advocate on behalf of Indigenous people and to assist Tribes in creating strong, independent government systems. The proposed 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.
To obtain the IPLP certificate, a student must complete the course of study described below (the exact number of units will vary depending on which courses the student chooses for Part II, but obtaining the certificate requires approximately 22 units). Students interested in obtaining the certificate are strongly encouraged to meet with Professor Hershey, the certificate director, at least by the end of their fourth semester to ensure the student is on track to complete all requirements. In special circumstances, a student may petition the certificate director to substitute a course not on the list to satisfy one of the requirements. Examples of special circumstances include a one-time offering of a course and/or a listed course not being offered for an extended period of time. With prior approval of the certificate director, a student may substitute one (but no more than one) graduate level course from another University of Arizona department for one of the Part II (Building Block) courses.