OU College of Law to Offer Online LL.M. Degrees

April 3, 2018 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
Chapman Reading Room in the OU Law Library

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Melissa Caperton
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NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law is excited to announce an expansion in its legal education offerings. Building off the success of the college’s on-campus Master of Laws degrees specializing in Energy and Natural Resources and Indigenous Peoples Law, OU Law in August will launch fully online versions of the same specialized programs.

“The OU College of Law is an international leader in the fields of oil and gas and energy law as well as indigenous peoples law,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “Offering a more accessible path to these advanced degrees to lawyers around the world will further expand our leadership in these specialized areas of the law. By extending our expertise to a broader group of students, it will ultimately benefit clients and communities worldwide.”

A Master of Laws degree, or LL.M., is an advanced law certification that has global credibility. LL.M. programs offered by United States and Canadian law schools are desirable for international students who wish to gain global credentials and for J.D. graduates who desire advanced legal study.

OU Law’s LL.M. in Energy and Natural Resources is designed for lawyers seeking more knowledge in the field of oil and gas and energy law. The program exposes lawyers to advanced legal education focused on the complete hydrocarbon life cycle - including courses on oil and gas contracts, upstream, midstream, environmental regulatory environment, federal lands and offshore production.

The college’s LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law delivers a comprehensive study of Indian law. The program provides lawyers with advanced legal education focused on natural resources, criminal jurisdiction, tribal courts, gaming law and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Both programs can be completed fully online in 15 months.

In 2011, OU Law established the John B. Turner LL.M. Program through a gift from the Stuart Family Foundation. The gift was made in honor of attorney John B. Turner, a trustee of the Stuart Family Foundation and the longtime business partner of Jon R. Stuart, who served two terms on the OU Board of Regents from 2002-2015. Through the program, OU Law also offers an on-campus LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies.

OU Law’s online LL.M. programs are the latest additions to the college’s online degree offerings. The college offers three online Master of Legal Studies degrees for non-lawyers: Oil, Gas and Energy Law; Indigenous Peoples Law; and Healthcare Law.

Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 700 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu. For more information on the John B. Turner LL.M. Program, visit www.oulawonline.com.

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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.


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