Graduate Program

Degree Offered

  • Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.)
    Concentrations: Indian Law; Natural Resources and Environmental Law.

The University of New Mexico School of Law offers a full- or part-time course of study leading to the degree of Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.).

Admission Information

The M.S.L. program application procedure is posted on the School of Law and Graduate Studies Web sites. Applicants are admitted to the M.S.L. program based on their ability to thrive in a demanding, competitive academic atmosphere, as evidenced by their academic record and professional accomplishments. The program accepts applications from individuals with baccalaureate degrees.

The M.S.L. Admissions Committee reviews applications and makes admissions decisions, and may request an applicant interview. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until eight full-time equivalent M.S.L. students have accepted offers of admission. M.S.L. students are admitted to begin studies in the fall semester only.


•  Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education in the U.S. or its equivalent in another country.
•  Official transcript from each institution of higher education attended in the U.S. or abroad (with certified English translation, if applicable) demonstrating a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 ("B"), or its equivalent, in the last two undergraduate years and in the major field, or in a graduate-level degree program.
•  Application for admission with a non-refundable $50.00 application fee and the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) fee.
•  Personal statement which allows the Admissions Committee to get to know the applicant beyond the academic record while demonstrating the ability to communicate effectively and concisely in writing. Each statement is unique and should address at least the applicant's reasons for needing or wanting an M.S.L. degree, how the applicant expects to apply legal education in his/her current or future job, and why the applicant wishes to study law at UNM. Other topics one may want to include are family background; obstacles overcome; and/or educational, volunteer and work experiences. Personal statements typically range between two to three double-spaced pages.
•  Current CV/Resume that complements and supports the other sections of the application. Student background information (honors, scholarships, extracurricular activities, etc.), work history, military service, public/community/volunteer service, publications, foreign language proficiencies, and any other significant achievements and involvement should be included.
•  At least two letters of recommendation are required; however, up to two additional letters will be accepted. Overall, a recommendation letter should be from a person in a position to make a critical and informed appraisal of the applicant's qualifications from an academic and/or professional perspective. An academic letter should be from a professor who has personal knowledge of the applicant's academic work, preferably in a small class or seminar. A professional letter should be from an employer or business associate who has personal knowledge of the applicant's work performance. Recommendations can also come from professionals in a mentor or supervisory role in the applicant's community and/or volunteer experience. Letters of recommendation must have been written within one year of the date of application. Recommendations that are more than one year old as of the date of application will not be accepted. Recommendations from family members or personal acquaintances are strongly discouraged.

Applicants may submit any supplemental academic, experiential, and reference materials to the application for consideration by the Admissions Committee. Neither the LSAT nor the GRE is required. However, applicants who have taken those examinations may submit the scores and/or GMAT, MCAT, SAT and ACT scores, as applicable.

International applicants may review their pertinent admissions requirements on the Office of Admissions Web site. Please visit the M.S.L. Web site for more information.

Graduation Requirements

Detailed information about M.S.L. graduation requirements can be found in the School of Law Bulletin and Handbook of Policies. M.S.L. graduation requirements are as follows: 

  • Residence: The student must complete the equivalent of two 15 credit-hour academic semesters in residence at the School of Law on a full- or part-time basis, except for transfer students (see below).
  • Credit hours: The student must earn at least 30 credit hours. The School of Law accepts up to six credit hours to apply toward the degree from appropriate graduate courses in other departments.
  • Required course: First-year students must take LAW 560 Introduction to U.S. Law, Procedure, and Legal Education during the first fall semester of study.

LAW 560 is intended to provide M.S.L. students with sufficient background in the U.S. legal system and the study of law to prepare them for upper-division law courses. The course addresses the roles and procedures of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches (including administrative agencies) in the U.S. legal system, and the interpretation of judicial decisions and statutes. The course is the proper forum for students’ basic questions about reading legal authority and the structure of the legal system.

The remaining 26 credit hours will come from a student's concentration or course preference. A faculty advisor in the concentration or area of focus will help plan the students' curriculum. Students will choose electives in consultation with and as approved by their advisor.

Additional Information

Detailed information is contained in the School of Law Bulletin and Handbook of Policies for the Master of Studies in Law, including the policies governing dismissal, probation, and suspension of M.S.L. students.

Transfer Procedures

The deadline for submitting transfer applications is June 15. The deadline for completing a transfer application file is July 15.

The School of Law accepts applications from students who want to transfer into the M.S.L. program after completing one full-time semester, or one or more part-time semesters in: (1) the Juris Doctor program at UNM or another ABA-approved law school, or (2) a similar master’s program at another ABA-approved law school. Transfer applicants are considered for admission only if they are in good standing at the law school previously attended and space is available in the M.S.L. program. A maximum of 15 credit hours may be transferred to the M.S.L. program. Credit hours from a substantially equivalent required M.S.L. introductory course also may be transferred. Transfer credit must meet the restrictions specified in the School of Law Bulletin and Handbook of Policies for the Master of Studies in Law. Credit earned at other law schools with a minimum grade of “C” or the equivalent are acceptable for transfer credit to the UNM School of Law for a grade of “CR” (credit). If the student is accepted, transfer-eligible credit will be evaluated to determine applicability to the M.S.L. degree. Transfer credits that do not meet the pertinent School of Law's minimum graduation requirements are not acceptable for transfer credit. Transfer applicants follow the same application procedure as regular applicants. If admitted with advanced standing, the student’s right to continue in the M.S.L. program depends entirely on work completed at the University of New Mexico.


LAW 500. Comparative and Historical Legal Perspectives. (1-3)

LAW 501. Introduction to Constitutional Law. (3-4)

LAW 502. Contracts I. (2-4)

LAW 504. Criminal Law. (3-4)

LAW 505. International Law. (2-3)

LAW 506. Elements of Legal Argumentation I. (1-4)

LAW 507. Practicum. (1-2)

LAW 508. Property I. (2-4)

LAW 510. Torts. (3-4)

LAW 512. Civil Procedure I. (2-4)

LAW 513. Elements of Legal Argumentation II. (3-4)

LAW 516. Entertainment Law. (2-3)

LAW 517. Trial Practice. (2-3)

LAW 520. Business Associations I. (2-3)

LAW 523. Secured Transactions. (1-3)

LAW 524. Community Property. (1-3)

LAW 525. Conflict of Laws. (1-4)

LAW 526. Constitutional Rights. (1-4)

LAW 529. Criminal Procedure I-4th, 5th, 6th Amendments. (1-3)

LAW 530. Federal Estate and Gift Tax. (1-3)

LAW 531. Health Law. (1-5)

LAW 532. Evidence. (2-4)

LAW 533. Family Law I. (3-4)

LAW 534. Federal Income Tax. (3-4)

LAW 535. Health Law Moot Court. (1-2)

LAW 537. Labor Law. (1-3)

LAW 541. Human Rights Law. (2-3)

LAW 544. Oil and Gas. (1-3)

LAW 546. Antitrust Law I. (2-3)

LAW 547. Water Law. (2-3)

LAW 550. Mediation. (2)

LAW 551. Family Mediation Training. (2)

LAW 552. Federal Jurisdiction. (2-3)

LAW 553. Financial Literacy. (1-2)

LAW 555. Jurisprudence. (2-3)

LAW 556. National Hispanic Moot Court. (1-2)

LAW 557. Wills and Trusts. (1-4)

LAW 558. Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition. (1)

LAW 559. National Native American Moot Court. (1-2)

LAW 560. Introduction to U.S. Law, Procedure, and Legal Education. (4)

LAW 563. National Moot Court Competition. (1-3)

LAW 564. Indian Gaming. (2-3)

LAW 565. Natural Resources. (1-3)

LAW 567. National Mock Trial Competition. (1-3, may be repeated once Δ)

LAW 569. Natural Resources Journal IV. (2)

LAW 570. Introduction to Alternate Methods of Dispute Resolution. (2-3)

LAW 573. Computer Law. (2-3)

LAW 577. Spanish for Lawyers I. (2)

LAW 580. Environmental Law. (1-3)

LAW 581. Insurance. (2-3)

LAW 582. Economic Development in Indian Country. (2-3)

LAW 584. Indian Law. (2-3)

LAW 586. Tribal Law Journal IV-Editors. (2)

LAW 588. Legal History of New Mexico. (1-3)

LAW 589. Information, Technology and Law. (2-3)

LAW 593. Topics in Law. (1-9, no limit Δ)

LAW 594. Independent Research. (1-3)

LAW 595. Tribal Law Journal I-Staff. (1)

LAW 596. Tribal Law Journal I-Editors. (1-2)

LAW 598. Tribal Law Journal II-Staff. (1)

LAW 605. Advanced Constitutional Rights. (2-3)

LAW 606. Civil Procedure II. (3-4)

LAW 607. Employment Law. (2-3)

LAW 608. Property II. (3-4)

LAW 614. Administrative Law. (2-3)

LAW 623. Sales of Goods. (2-3)

LAW 625. Supreme Court Decision-Making. (2-3)

LAW 626. International Criminal Law. (2-3)

LAW 627. Criminal Procedure II-Bail to Jail. (2-3)

LAW 628. Law of Indigenous People. (2-3)

LAW 629. Bankruptcy. (1-3)

LAW 631. Remedies. (2-4)

LAW 632. Evidence/Trial Practice. (3-6)

LAW 634. Children's Law. (2-3)

LAW 635. Land Use Regulation. (2-3)

LAW 639. New Mexico Law Review II. (2-3)

LAW 642. Sports Law. (2-3)

LAW 643. Spanish for Lawyers II. (2)

LAW 646. Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. (1)

LAW 661. Williams Institute Moot Court Competition. (1)

LAW 663. Topics in Comparative Law. (1-3 to a maximum of 24 Δ)

LAW 665. First Amendment Rights: Church and State. (2-3)

LAW 667. Immigration Law. (2-3)

LAW 669. New Mexico Law Review IV. (2)

LAW 670. Animal Law. (2-3)

LAW 691. Intellectual Property Law. (2-3)

LAW 710. Pre-Trial Practice. (2-3)

LAW 714. Law Office Management. (1-3)

LAW 718. Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiations. (1-3)

LAW 721. Law Extern Program. (2-3)

LAW 725. Alternate Disposition Resolution Externship. (2-3)

LAW 726. Community Lawyering Clinic. (1-6)

LAW 727. Southwest Indian Law Clinic. (1-6)

LAW 728. Business and Tax Clinic. (6)

LAW 729. Advanced Clinic. (1-3)

LAW 730. Criminal Law in Practice. (4-6)

LAW 740. Law Practice Clinic. (1-6)

LAW 744. Judicial Extern. (2-3)

LAW 750. Ethics. (2-3)


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Office of the Registrar

MSC11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809