Wikimedia Commons
The University of Oklahoma Student Union in Norman, Oklahoma.

University of Oklahoma Offers Online Indigenous Peoples Law Program


A new online Master of Legal Studies program in Indigenous Peoples Law at the University of Oklahoma School of Law in Norman, Oklahoma is designed to help navigate the often complicated court cases in Indian country.

The two-year program is a good option for people who need legal expertise in American Indian law, but don’t need to pursue a law degree, Joe Harroz, dean of the law school, told The Oklahoman.

The online format and the 30 hours of coursework can fit into anyone’s schedule, even working adult students.

Harroz also said the university had been seeing demand for a program like this one from businesses who work with tribes and tribal officials. Neither are looking for a license to practice law, but are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the legal relationships between tribes and state and federal governments.

“It gives them a real advantage,” he told The Oklahoman.

Virginia St. John is an example of one of those students. She is a vice president with Upper Mohawk, a Florida-based business that works with tribes, American Indian-owned companies and the Department of the Interior.

She said the program will help her understand the relationships between all the entities.

“It’s really complicated,” she said. “There isn’t one handy book that you can buy to read up and become an expert.”

Curtis Berkey, a tribal attorney in Berkeley, California, told The Oklahoman the program would be good for tribal officials who often encounter legal issues.

Oklahoma is an ideal place for this type of program; it has the largest Native American population in the United States and 38 federally recognized tribes.

Enrollment for the fall semester is open until July 18.

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



Game's picture
Submitted by Game on
Its not completely on-line as it says. the truth is it require you to go to one class on campus, meaning you got to move there for awhile, then the rest on line. This on top of the basic $30,000 plus you need to get 30 hours, on-line. Pricey for an online education if you ask me.

andrewjerry's picture
Submitted by andrewjerry on

EEI's picture
Submitted by EEI on
Great news, the program is now 100% online! To ensure the students all get to know one another, synchronous video has been added. Take another look.