Apply to Graduate Programs in the American Legal System

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MSU Law students come from a wide variety of personal, professional, and educational backgrounds. Each student’s unique insights contribute to a shared learning experience that creates a lifelong bond among friends and colleagues who forever will be proud to call themselves fellow Spartans.

Admission decisions are based on a holistic review of the applicant’s admissions application and supporting documentation. A video interview may also be requested. Applicants are not required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) for graduate (LL.M. or M.J.) admission.

Application Deadlines

Graduate students begin their programs in the Fall (August) of each year. Please keep the following important dates in mind when applying:

Fall 2021 Application Opens: November 15, 2020

Application Deadline (Applicants Outside the United States): April 1, 2021

Application Deadline (Domestic Applicants): May 1, 2021

I-20/DS-2019 Application Submission Deadline (if applicable): May 1, 2021

Official Transcripts (all applicants)/Supplemental English Scores (as applicable) Deadline: July 1, 2021
*Official transcripts are those sent directly to the Michigan State University College of Law from your prior degree-granting institutions. Applicants who completed degrees at foreign institutions should allow several months for their transcripts to be processed and mailed from their home institutions to MSU Law, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Required On-Campus Orientation Dates: Week of August 17 (usually all day Monday through Thursday) TBD when academic calendar for next year is published. Students generally begin required orientation activities one week before classes officially begin for Law students.

Admissions Process and Requirements

To apply to the graduate (Masters of Jurisprudence and Master of Laws) program, you’ll need to create an account in our online applicant portal. Through this portal, you’ll be able to fill out your application, save an incomplete application to come back to later, upload documents, and check the status of your application. You may also apply through the Law School Admissions Council if you wish to do so. You’ll also create an account in their admissions portal, which you can use to apply to multiple schools.

You must submit the following items to complete the application process:

Online application completed via the Online Applicant Portal or LSAC

Transcripts from any previously attended institutions

Transcripts from each institution attended are required at the time of application submission

Unofficial Transcripts - Students can email unofficial copies to the College of Law or scan and upload directly to the portal. Unofficial transcripts allow the Admissions Committee to consider your application prior to receipt of the official transcripts. You may be conditionally admitted prior to receipt of official transcripts.

Official Transcript - An official transcript is one that is mailed directly to the College of Law by your previous institution; it must contain the institution’s stamp and seal. Copies delivered by students or emailed to the Law College are not considered official unless approved the College of Law.

Please arrange to have official copies of your transcript, translated into English, from each university you have attended sent directly to the Law College at:

Office of Graduate and International Programs
MSU College of Law
648 N Shaw Lane, Room 364
East Lansing, MI 48824

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Your resume or curriculum vitae should be a summary of your educational and academic background and skills. Please include professional experience, research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, and other relevant details.

Current license to practice law, if applicable

If you have a license or other proof of your ability to practice law in your home country or another foreign country, please provide it.

English Proficiency Test Scores

MSU College of Law accepts both Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. Students may also take the MSU English Language Test (MSUELT) and submit those scores as evidence of their proficiency. To submit your scores to MSU Law, please use school code 1168. Applicants whose primary language is English or who have studied another degree in English may submit a waiver request with their application.


Recommendations are submitted electronically through the applicant portal. Be prepared to enter the name, title, relationship, phone number and email address of at least two references (you may include a third if you’d like) as you are completing your application. Recommenders will receive an email with a link to the portal where they can complete a form and submit your recommendation.

Letters of recommendation should be completed by individuals who can provide specific information on your intellect and professional skills and abilities. Employment related recommendations are encouraged. It is not necessary to submit an academic reference. Letters from family members will not be considered.

If your recommender is unable to provide a recommendation in English, please contact us at for assistance.

Personal Statements

Personal statements are entered directly on the online application and should address the following questions in essay format. Your personal statement should give the reader an idea of who you are, why you wish to attend MSU Law, and why you would be a valuable asset to the law school. The following questions are meant to guide you but they are not restrictive:

  • Why do you wish to attend MSU Law’s LL.M. or M.J. program?
  • What benefits do you believe you personally can bring to MSU Law and to the graduate program?
  • How will having a graduate degree from MSU Law assist you in reaching your personal and professional goals?

Submission of a personal statement written by someone other than yourself, or which plagiarizes another’s work, can result in your offer of admission being revoked. You may also be reported to the Law School Admissions Council, which governs law school admissions in the United States. 

Application fee of USD $100

Advice on the Admissions Process

Applicants often ask what they can do to make the best impression during the admissions process. Here are some tips from our admission staff that may be useful.

  • Spellcheck and proofread your submissions
    Spellcheck and otherwise proof your work so that you don’t have careless errors.
  • Invest time and effort in your personal statement
    Use your personal statement to convince us that you will be a benefit to our programs and to the Law College. Tell us what unique attributes, knowledge or skills you will bring to MSU Law.

    If you’re using your personal statement to apply to multiple schools, take the time to add a paragraph or two specifics to our law school and our programs. And, of course, make sure that you don’t accidentally tell us all about why you want to attend another law school.

  • Stay engaged
    Reach out and let us know your concerns and questions. Ask to talk with current students or alumni of the program. Read your emails from us and take the time to respond when necessary.