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M.S.L. Concentrations

Indian Law Concentration

Since the 1990’s the rapid development in New Mexico of tribal casinos and off-shoot enterprises such as hotels, performance venues, golf courses, gas station-convenience stores, and other on-reservation businesses has dramatically expanded the size and breadth of the workforce employed by tribal communities. Given the increased complexity of managing and operating tribal governments and enterprises, the MSL degree will help to meet the growing need for a workforce with training in law and the legal system. Tribal executives, councilors, and judges with an MSL will be better prepared to administer the branches of tribal government. Likewise, a casino or hotel manager with an MSL will be better prepared for the thousands of commercial transactions with non-Indians that occur on a weekly basis, and for the court cases that occasionally stem from these interactions.

IL required course: Indian Law

Natural Resources and Environmental Law Concentration

Natural Resources and Environmental Law is very important in New Mexico, and the law school has a long and proud tradition of preparing students for this field. Professionals of many kinds may wish to pursue an MSL with a concentration in this area. For example, the MSL would benefit personnel working in federal, tribal, state, and local government, and in private-sector fields ranging from real estate, to energy production, to banking, to environmental consulting. The MSL also may be attractive to national laboratory personnel and graduate students enrolled in other UNM programs. The MSL will train its graduates to meet the state’s need for cross-disciplinary expertise in environmental and natural resources jobs.

NREL required courses: At least 6 credit hours from Administrative Law, Environmental Law, or Natural Resources Law.

Concentration Requirements

Each concentration requires at least 15 credits of pertinent courses, 12 of which must be from law school courses, and 3 of which can be from a graduate course in another department with prior written approval. These requirements give students a solid grounding in the legal basics of their area of concentration, while allowing them to take up to 11 elective credits in other areas that interest them.

In addition, students may plan their own “non-transcripted” areas of focus with prior written approval. These areas include, for example, Constitutional Law and Rights, Criminal Justice, Commercial and Consumer Law, and Business Practice.