Student's Pendleton Blankets hanging in front of the Beus Center for Law and Society.

Indian Law Certificate

The Indian Law Certificate Program is designed for students who plan to practice Indian law, particularly for those students who may be representing tribal communities directly after graduation. This upper-division law program can be completed within the final two years of the JD program. Applicants must be enrolled at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and in good standing. Transfer applicants may be admitted into the Program if they otherwise meet the standards of the College of Law.

Certificate requirements

The application form illustrates all the requirements for the Indian Law Certificate. The Certificate requires a minimum of 21 hours of substantive work in Indian law and related fields. Please use the form to record all completed classes and certify participation in the Certificate Program. Submit a copy of this form to the Indian Legal Program Office by April 10 or November 10, before your anticipated graduation date.

(A) Substantive courses

The only classes that will count towards the Indian Law Certificate are the classes listed below. All other classes must receive prior approval by the Faculty Director of the Indian Legal Program.

Mandatory courses: Federal Indian Law I, Federal Indian Law II, Indian Legal Clinic (12 units).

Advanced Indian Law: Participants must complete two substantive Indian Law electives, including but not limited to the classes below.

  • Cultural Resources
  • Indian Gaming
  • Tribal Law and Government
  • Economic Development in Indian Country
  • Contemporary Issues in Tribal Economic Development
  • Indian Law and Taxation
  • Federal Advocacy for the Tribal Client
  • International Indigenous Rights
  • Independent Study on approved topic
  • Tribal Energy

Electives in Law:

Participants must complete remaining credits from courses in the college of law curriculum that have been approved by the Faculty Director as related to Indian Law issues. Approved courses and seminars are listed below.

  • Critical Race Theory
  • Civil Rights Legislation
  • Environmental Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Water Law
  • Advanced Legal Writing
  • Indian Legal Research
  • Administrative Law
  • Employment Law
  • Public International Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Federal Courts Debtor/Creditor & Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations Constitutional Law II
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Arizona Constitutional Law
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Writing for Law Practice
  • S: International Human Rights
  • S: Environmental Justice
  • S: Current Topics in Arizona Water Law

Non-Law electives

Students may apply up to three units of non-law graduate work (such as Anthropology, Political Science, or Justice Studies) toward the courses that satisfy the Electives in Law category if the Faculty Director finds that such a course is appropriate to the student’s course of study and that no comparable class is offered at the law school. Pre-approval of the Faculty Director is required for all non-law courses.


Students must receive a “75” or above, “C” (2.00) or above, or a “pass” in each class that they list on the Indian Law Certificate application.

(B) Senior thesis requirement

Each student must complete a substantial paper written on an Indian law topic in connection with a law school course, seminar, or directed independent study. The paper must be at least 25 pages in length, double-spaced and must go through faculty review of at least one draft and rewrite. A paper that is used to satisfy the College of Law substantial paper requirement or a law review requirement may also fulfill this requirement of the Certificate Program. The writing requirement for the Indian Law Certificate must be supervised by a faculty member with expertise in the substantive area of law. A copy of paper must be attached to your application. It is recommended that Papers must be turned into the supervising professor one semester before your anticipated graduation date in order to be considered for the certificate.


Please contact Kate Rosier, Indian Legal Program Executive Director, at 480-965-6204.