LLM in Tribal Law & Governance

About the LLM in Tribal Law & Governance

Seattle University School of Law offers the largest Indian and tribal law program in the Pacific Northwest. The LLM in Tribal Law & Governance is designed to provide attorneys, judges, and law professors with both academic and practical training in the areas of tribal law, federal Indian law, traditional forms of governance, and policy within the federal, state, and tribal structures through a flexible program of study.

The LLM will benefit the student interested in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and cultural understanding needed to work in positions such as:

  • An attorney in a law firm practicing federal Indian law or representing tribes
  • Working in a tribal legal office, tribal government, federal government, or a tribally-chartered corporation
  • Representing non-Indian individuals and corporations doing business in Indian Country

In addition to academic offerings, the law school provides LLM students with outstanding opportunities for scholarship, field trips, social events, and networking opportunities through the law school’s Center for Indian Law & Policy, the American Indian Law Journal, and the Alaska Law Campus, as well as the law school’s numerous externships and internships with tribes and native corporations in the Northwest.

Degree Requirements

The LLM candidate must complete 24 credit hours, including four core courses, with the remaining courses chosen from a list of approved electives, which may include experiential learning courses (both clinical and externship) and an independent study. Students may pursue their course of study either full-time over a single year, or part-time over two years. Candidates work closely with the program director to design a program that fulfills not only the degree requirements, but also their professional goals.


Download the Tribal Law and Governance Curriculum


Core Courses

  • American Indian Tribal Law
  • Contemporary Issues in Indian Law
  • Tribal Governmental Gaming Law
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Indian Law & Natural Resources
  • Advanced Environmental and Indian Law: Restoring the Elwha River
  • Rebuilding Tribal Nations: Legal, Economic and Social Challenges
  • Indian Trusts and Estates Clinic
  • Tribal Administration and Governance
  • Tribal Intergovernmental Relations
  • Tribal Taxation
  • Native Culture Intellectual Property

Approved Electives*

  • Accounting and Finance for Lawyers: An Introduction
  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Construction Law
  • Contract Drafting
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Enforcement
  • Environmental Law Fundamentals
  • Environmental Law: Growth Management o Environmental Litigation
  • Land Use Regulation o Land Use: Washington Law and Practice
  • Law and Business of Art and Cultural Heritage
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Water Law

* Students may enroll in an elective course that is not included in this list if it meets the student’s learning objectives and with approval of the program director.

Application Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the LLM program, candidates must hold a JD degree or foreign equivalent.
Preferred application deadline: October 15 for Spring applicants and May 15 for Fall applicants.

Apply here using this form or apply on www.LSAC.org. In addition to this application form, applicants must submit:

  • Personal Statement (1-2 pages). Please discuss your background, goals, how you plan to use your LLM degree, and any additional information you would like us to know.
  • Nonrefundable $60 (US) application fee (waived for current Seattle U Law students and alumni).
  • A resume or C.V.
  • A list of three references (academic or professional references preferred but not required).
  • For attorneys admitted to practice in any jurisdiction, a Certificate of Good Standing from each such jurisdiction (need not be submitted with application – must be submitted at any time prior to the start of classes)

The following items must be sent to the law school directly from the appropriate institutions:

  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions where you have studied law. American students do not need to send undergraduate transcripts. A certified translation must be attached if the transcript is not in English.
  • If English is not your first language, official TOEFL score report must be sent directly from ETC. TOEFL is waived for students whose first language is English, who attended an educational institution in which English was the primary language of instruction, or who worked in an English-speaking environment for one year or more.

Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid Program
Preferred deadline for financial aid is November 15 for Spring applicants and June 15 for Fall applicants.

Tuition for the LLM is $1,611 per credit. Tuition Deposit: This $250 nonrefundable deposit is applied to your first semester's tuition and ensures you a place in the entering class. The deposit is due one month after the date of admission.

Tuition is paid per term, and determined by the number of credits you are taking. You may pay tuition charges with financial aid, personal resources, and/or employer benefits. If you choose not to use financial aid or have remaining charges after financial aid is applied to your account, you may arrange a payment plan directly with the law school business office, (206) 398-4050.