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.

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.

Two Educational or Professional Recommendations

Recommenders use our online system to submit their letters of recommendation to MSU Law. As you fill out the application, you will provide email and other contact information for your recommenders so that the online form can be sent to them by our office. You must have at least two recommendations submitted but may have as many as five.

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


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 2019 Application Opens: August 1, 2018

Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

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

Official Transcripts/Supplemental English Scores Deadline: July 1, 2019

On-Campus Orientation Begins (required): August 16, 2019


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.