NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma College of Law recently opened enrollment for its new Master of Legal Studies program with classes beginning this fall. The program gives students the opportunity to specialize in one of two areas: Indigenous Peoples Law, offered online, and Energy and Natural Resources Law, offered on campus.
“The Master of Legal Studies Program extends OU Law’s rich history and international expertise in the areas of Indigenous Peoples Law and Energy and Natural Resources Law,” OU Law Dean Joe Harroz said. “This degree gives students a competitive edge in the marketplace by allowing them to concentrate their studies in one of two areas central to Oklahoma, our national economy and the inherent broader policy conversations.”
The Master of Legal Studies program is for both lawyers and non-lawyers seeking legal knowledge in Indigenous Peoples Law or Energy and Natural Resources Law. The master’s degree benefits those working with tribes, energy companies or natural resources organizations who require a working knowledge of legal issues but not a license to practice law.
To qualify for admission to the Master of Legal Studies program, applicants must have earned their bachelor’s degree prior to the first day of class and have strong letters of recommendation, as well as leadership potential. The Master of Legal Studies Admissions Committee operates under a rolling admission process, and admissions may continue until the start of classes. However, applicants are urged to submit their application and supporting documents online as soon as possible to receive priority review for August enrollment.
The program has received American Bar Association acquiescence, and is pending State Regent approval. For more information on the Master of Legal Studies programs and to apply, visit http://www.law.ou.edu/mls.
About University of Oklahoma College of Law
Founded in 1909, the University of Oklahoma College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school and the highest ranked “Best Law School” in the state by US News & World Report. OU Law is also nationally ranked as a top 15 “Best Value” law school and in the top 15 percent of “Best Law Schools” by National Jurist magazine. OU Law has small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community, accomplished faculty with international expertise and a state-of-the-art facility featuring study rooms, court rooms and classrooms equipped with the latest technology. As Oklahoma’s only public law school, OU Law is currently the academic home of more than 500 students enrolled in the Juris Doctor, Master of Laws and various dual degree programs.
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What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.
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What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.