As a longstanding leader in the field of American Indian law, the OU College of Law offers JD students the opportunity to earn a Certificate in American Indian Law.

The American Indian Law Certificate enhances a JD student’s law school experience by providing a solid grounding in Native American and indigenous peoples law through a unique blend of substantive legal knowledge, practical application, and exposure to the field. The benefits of this certificate reach the people of the state of Oklahoma and beyond by educating lawyers to work in the vibrant and growing field of Indian Law.


To earn the certificate, students must successfully complete Federal Indian Law.

In addition, students must select any nine hours of course work of the following Indigenous Peoples Law curriculum:

• Native American Natural Resources
• American Indian Law Seminar, Selected Legal Problems
• American Indian Law Review
• Comparative and International Indigenous Peoples' Law
• Tribal Courts/Tribal Law
• Indian Gaming Law and Regulation Seminar
• Federal Indian Water Law
• Up to three hours of an Indian Law related externship
• Art & Cultural Heritage Law

Students must also select one of the following guided electives:

• Administrative Law
• Federal Courts
• International Law Foundations
• Environmental Law
• Oil and Gas
• Water Law

To provide added value to the J.D. experience, participating students also must complete a required experiential component by choosing one of the following:

• Federal Indian Law Externship
• Extern Placement, provided the externship focuses substantially on the practice of American Indian Law, including a judicial externship
• Inter-American Human Rights Commission Externship
• One hundred hours of employment as approved by the Center Director

Writing Requirement

Under the direction of a professor, either in a designated course or through independent directed study, the student must also complete one major Indian law-related writing project. This writing project can also satisfy the College’s graduation writing requirement.


OU Law students pursuing a JD are eligible to participate in this program.

To earn the certificate a student will be required to maintain a B- (7.0 on a 12.0 scale) average in  law classes that count toward the certificate.


Key faculty members include (links open in new windows):

Taiawagi Helton
Lindsay Robertson


  • Office of Student Services and Admissions
    (405) 325-4728