Indigenous Law Certificate Program
The distinctive mission of the Indigenous Law Certificate Program is to prepare students for practicing indigenous law upon graduation by providing rigorous and comprehensive training in indigenous law, policy and practice. The program is designed to ensure that selected law students are equipped with a specialized expertise – having the knowledge and skills to effectively identify and address indigenous law issues, represent Indian nations and appreciate these nations’ unique legal and governance systems. The MSU Indigenous Law Certificate Program is one of just a few formal certificate programs nationwide.
The Indigenous Law Certificate Program consists of three main components: 13 credits of required (7 crs.) and elective (6 crs.) coursework, an advanced research paper in indigenous law and a three-credit experiential learning requirement. Upon successfully completing the requirements for the certificate program, students will receive a certificate.
Students are eligible for admission to the certificate program after successful completion of their first-year required courses. Admission to the program is determined through a written application. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.7 grade point average in courses counted toward the certificate.
|Federal Law & Indian Tribes||3|
|Advanced Topics in Indian Law||2/3|
|State, Local and Tribal Taxation
Advanced Topics in Indian Law
|Conflict of Laws||3|
|Criminal Procedure I||3|
|Decedents' Estates and Trusts||4|
|Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce||3|
Professionally Related Graduate Courses
Students may count up to three credit hours of graduate-level courses from other colleges at Michigan State University, if approved by the Director of the Indigenous Law Program, who determines that such a course is appropriate for the student's course of study and that there is no comparable class offered at the law college.
Experiential Learning Requirement
The primary option for fulfilling this requirement is participation in the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at MSU College of Law. Students engage in a variety of projects, including: legislative and policy work for tribal governments, significant legal research and writing assistance for tribal judiciaries and drafting and revising tribal codes. Subject to the Director's approval, students also may satisfy the experiential learning requirement by completing a three-credit internship or externship with a tribal government (legal department, court or government office), a state or federal governmental unit that focuses on Indian Law issues or a non-profit or non-governmental organization involved in Indian Law issues.
Research Paper in Indigenous Law
Students are required to complete a substantial research paper on a topic relating to indigenous law issues. The topic must be approved by the Director of the Program, and the paper must meet the law school’s upper-level writing requirements (ULWR), whether or not it is actually used to satisfy the ULWR. ULWR standards may be found on the web at: www.law.msu.edu/academics/ac-juris-req.html.
For more information, contact:
The Law College continuously examines the curriculum to identify the skill sets that the course of study at MSU College of Law should emphasize. Any certificate may be subject to enhanced requirements. Contact the above faculty members to confirm certificate requirements.