Master of Legal Studies

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The Master of Legal Studies program is not accepting new applicants for the Fall 2022 academic year as the program undergoes curriculum re-development. To inquire about other program options, please contact us at grad.admissions@law.msu.edu.

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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).  Please note that the MLS program is not preparation for earning a JD. MLS students cannot transfer credits into the JD program.

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: 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 MLS 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 must submit the following as part of your application:

    • Online application

    • Application fee of $100

    • Degree-granting transcripts:

      Please arrange for each university you have attended to send official copies of your transcripts in English directly to the Law College. An official transcript is one that is mailed by your previous institution to us; 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.

      You may submit unofficial transcripts (emailed, scanned, student-submitted) during the admissions process, but your admission will be conditioned upon submission of official transcripts. Any student conditionally admitted without official transcripts will not be able to enroll for courses or otherwise formalize their student status until official transcripts have been received.

    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae:

      You will include this information not as a separate attachment but as part of the application in the online student portal. You will be prompted to fill in this information.

      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.

    • 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.

      We require a 90 on the TOEFL, a 6.5 on the IETLS, or completion of Level 4 at the MSU English Language Center for admission.

      Students may be conditionally admitted without the required English, provided they meet the requirement before beginning their studies.

      Applicants whose primary language is English or who have studied another degree in English may submit a waiver request with their application.

    • Recommendations

      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 grad.admissions@law.msu.edu for assistance.

    • Statement of Purpose:

      Please submit a personal statement via the online application which answers the following questions in essay format. Your personal statement should be spell-checked and should be addressed to the right school. It’s important to check your work for careless errors.  You must write the personal statement yourself.

      The following questions are meant to guide you but they are not restrictive. 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.

      1. Why do you wish to attend MSU Law’s MLS program?
      2. What benefits do you believe you personally can bring to MSU Law and to the graduate program?
      3. How will having a graduate degree from MSU Law assist you in reaching your personal and professional goals?

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.

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