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 as part of your application:

  • Online application via the MSU Law graduate admissions portal (link) or LSAC
  • Application fee of $100
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Recommenders will 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.

    If your recommender cannot provide a recommendation in English, please contact us at grad.admissions@law.msu.edu for assistance.

  • 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. If you submit a personal statement written by another person, or which plagiarizes, your admission can be revoked and you may be reported to the Law School Admissions Council, which governs law school admissions in the United States.

    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 LL.M. or M.J. 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?

Application Deadlines

Graduate students may begin their programs in either Fall (August) or Spring (January) semester.

Fall Semester

Application Opens: August 1st (of the year preceding enrollment)

Application Deadline: April 1st

I-20/DS-2019 Application Submission Deadline: May 1st

Official Transcripts/Supplemental English Scores Deadline: July 1st

On-Campus Orientation (required): August 16th  (2017)

Spring Semester

Application Opens: January 1st (of the year preceding enrollment)

Application Deadline: November 1st

I-20 Application Submission Deadline: December 1st

Official Transcripts/Supplemental English Scores Deadline: December 15th

On-Campus Orientation (Required): January 4th  (2018)

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 specific 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.