Online Master of Legal Studies – Tribal Self-Governance

The online Master of Legal Studies in tribal self-governance is an advanced legal degree for non-lawyers. This program provides you with the foundation necessary to understand and implement current laws without pursuing a full law degree. You’ll be uniquely positioned to assist tribes to advance self-governance laws and policies in the coming decades.

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Quick facts

Next start date: 01/10/2022


Total classes: 10

Weeks per class: 7.5

Total credit hours: 30

Degree questions, answered.

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Earn a legal background in tribal government

Tribes are sovereign nations with inherent authority to govern and protect the health, safety and welfare of tribal citizens within tribal lands and territories. There are 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States. Every tribe seeks to exercise broader self-governance over its lands, resources, citizens and relations with other governments.

Strong tribal governments are crucial to the health and well-being of people living within tribes. Tribal governments give structure to their communities by providing the services their citizens depend on, like police departments and court systems as well as social services such as education, health care, transportation and much more.

As the number of programs across all federal agencies operated under self-governance agreements continues to expand, professionals trained in tribal self-governance are needed to implement current federal programs and advance tribal self-governance through a variety of legal and policy mechanisms.

What is a tribal government?

 

Tribal governments are sovereign governments that operate separately from state or federal governments. Nearly 40% of federally recognized tribes operate under self-governance agreements with the U.S. Department of the Interior, and 132 tribes have self-governance agreements with the Indian Health Service. The number of tribes that participate in self-governance opportunities in these agencies grows each year, and the number of agencies contracting with tribes to effectuate tribal self-governance continues to grow.

How will an MLS help me to manage tribal governance?

 

ASU’s Master of Legal Studies in tribal self-governance online, offered through the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, is the only master’s level program in the country that provides an in-depth curriculum covering all aspects of tribal self-governance.

This program is ideal for individuals who wish to support tribes and federal agencies as they plan, negotiate, and implement self-governance agreements and advance self-governance to protect the health and welfare of tribal communities.

Does my tribal self-governance degree say 'online'?

No, Arizona State University’s diplomas don’t specify whether you earn your degree online or in person. All diplomas and transcripts simply say “Arizona State University.” That’s because ASU Online students learn from the same faculty and receive the same course content as in-person students receive.

Law classes to help you understand self-governance

You’ll take courses that emphasize all aspects of tribal self-governance, including Federal Indian Policy, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), planning for assumption of federal programs, negotiation of contracts and compacts with the Federal government, the HEARTH Act, and evolving trends in tribal self-governance. This program also provides externship opportunities with prominent tribes, federal entities and tribal consortia implementing tribal self-governance.


Required

US Law and Legal Analysis


Foundational

Fundamentals of Contract Law


Foundational

Criminal Procedure


Foundational

Criminal Law


Foundational

Tort Law


Foundational

US Constitutional Law


Foundational

Property Law


Foundational

Administrative Agencies and Regulations


What job can I get in tribal government?

Self-governance jobs are one of the fastest growing fields within Indian law and policy for tribes, federal agencies and entities that intersect with tribes. As new federal programs are eligible to be contracted by tribes, there is a tremendous need at the tribal and federal level for expertise to implement such programs. The online Master of Legal Studies in tribal self-governance will prepare you for work as senior or mid-level executives for tribes or tribal entities, tribal elected officials responsible for overseeing their tribe’s self-governance functions, and other careers that intersect with tribal self-governance.

Self-governance contract manager

Self-governance director

Self-governance policy analyst

Tribal administrator

Tribal chief of staff

Tribal chief operating officer

Learn from specialists in federal and tribal law

The faculty members in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have more than 300 combined years of experience. Hailing from across the country, they’re nationally recognized for their wealth of knowledge. The College of Law’s world-class faculty members provide comprehensive legal education in popular focus areas and address legal challenges on a global scale.

Learn from specialists in federal and tribal law

The faculty members in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have more than 300 combined years of experience. Hailing from across the country, they’re nationally recognized for their wealth of knowledge. The College of Law’s world-class faculty members provide comprehensive legal education in popular focus areas and address legal challenges on a global scale.

Master of Legal Studies application requirements

Applicants to the Master of Legal Studies program must fulfill the requirements of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

U.S.-educated applicants can apply through our FastApp process, which streamlines the application process and may allow for an offer of conditional admission to the MLS program while the applicant continues to submit any additional requested documentation. Find more information about the FastApp process here.

FastApp process

Application requirements

Additional admission information

Join a renowned law school

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU is one of the top schools in the nation. The college provides personalized and practical legal education. Offering more than 250 unique courses, students have the opportunity to tailor their educational experiences to meet their unique interests. Our bar passage achievements and peer-reviewed U.S. News and World Report rankings highlight our dedication to preparing students for success.

#1


in Arizona for bar passage.

Top 25


Bar Passage and JD Advantage Jobs, according to the American Bar Association.

Top 10


Public Law Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Top 25


Best Law Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition calculator

Our tuition calculator can help you estimate full-time tuition fees for this program without financial aid. Keep in mind: More than 80% of our students receive financial aid.

Tuition calculator

Our tuition calculator can help you estimate full-time tuition fees for this program without financial aid. Keep in mind: More than 80% of our students receive financial aid.

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