Advanced Standing JD - Admitted Students

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First year students all take the same courses. Advanced Standing J.D. students will take the same first-year curriculum as traditional J.D. students. As a result, you will not choose electives during your first year.

During Immersion Week, you will meet with our Academic Success Program staff to learn the skills necessary to become academically and professionally successful. This assistance will continue throughout your time at MSU Law. They’re available to help on a one-on-one basis as well.

Students who want additional information about the curriculum requirements can speak to an advisor in the Office of Student Engagement.


The Michigan State Law curriculum embodies a 21st-century approach to legal education, with expanded opportunities for practical skill development. While students entering prior to Fall 2016 are not subject to the new core-courses requirement noted below, all students are strongly urged to comply with the requirement because the courses are rooted in legal fundamentals and helps with performance on the bar exam.

First-Year Curriculum
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Civil Procedure 4 Advocacy 2
Contracts 4 Constitutional Law and the Regulatory State 4
Foundations of Law 1 Contract Negotiation 1
Research, Writing & Analysis 2 Criminal Law 3
Torts I 4 Property 4
Total Credits15Total Credits14

Students begin their legal education at MSU Law during Immersion Week, a mandatory component of the 1L program. Students take their first required 1L course, Foundations of Law, during the week. To complement students’ emerging knowledge of the substantive law, all first-year schedules include Research, Writing & Analysis, and Advocacy—intensive courses that develop some of the most critical skill areas for beginning lawyers.

Review our JD curriculum »

Bar Examination Information

Character and Fitness Standards – Preparing for a Bar Examination

The MSU College of Law admissions application includes a series of questions relating to "character and fitness." If your response to any of these questions changes after you have submitted your application, it is imperative that you contact the Admissions Office via email with a brief description of the matter/change. (Similarly, if you failed to disclose information relating to one of the questions, you must contact the Office of Graduate and International Programs at the earliest possible date you become aware of this discrepancy.)

While an amendment(s) to the application may not affect enrollment at the College of Law, failure to disclose or amend inaccuracies could impact your application to a state bar. It is especially important to note that your state bar may request a copy of your law school application. Any discrepancies discovered between your bar and law school application may be cause for investigation. Prior to your enrollment, an amendment should be directed to Carrie Feeheley, Director of Graduate and International Programs.

It’s important to note that you are under a continuing obligation to inform the Law College of any changes in your record that relate to the questions asked in the Character of Fitness section of the admissions application. Changes to your record that occur prior or after to your enrollment should be directed to the Director of Graduate and International Programs.

Understanding Bar Examination Requirements

All incoming students are advised to familiarize themselves with bar requirements in the states in which they aspire to practice law. Comprehensive information concerning bar admission requirements, including state-specific information and links to state bar examining agencies, is available at the National Conference of Bar Examiners web site at Incoming students should note that some state bar licensing authorities require or permit law students to register for the bar exam during their first year of law school.

Admitted Student Timeline


  • Register for and attend a visit program for admitted candidates. Each visit program provides an outstanding opportunity to interact with faculty members, current students, staff, and potential classmates.
  • If you plan to apply for loan assistance and are a US citizen or permanent resident, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Federal School Code for MSU Law is G02254. The FAFSA may be completed online: .
  • Register for webinars and other events hosted by the College of Law. Online events will be hosted on a variety of topics from legal careers to financing an MSU legal education. Off-campus events will be hosted in cities across the country.
  • The MSU Law Financial Aid Office expects to communicate (via your MSU email account and our online system, STU-INFO) loan assistance to candidates who completed the FAFSA prior to March 1. Be sure to establish your MSU online account and then review your online account to monitor your financial aid.
  • Submit the Enrollment Intention form and $350 enrollment deposit to reserve a seat in the Fall 2017 entering class by the date assigned in your acceptance letter. This deposit applies toward your first tuition bill.


  • The MSU Law Career Services Office will launch the Summer Career Jumpstart Program in early June. All incoming students should fully participate in CSO summer programming, including online programming, development and submission of your first law-related resume, and creating a LinkedIn account.
  • For students eligible for federal financial aid, June 22 is suggested deadline for completing a Direct Loan Stafford Loan Promissory Note ( and, if needed, the GradPlus Promissory Note or other private, credit-based loan application. (The promissory notes may be completed after this date, but loan funds may not be credited to the student’s account by the fall billing date.)
  • The College of Law will provide all full-time incoming students with a copy of their fall semester schedule during the final week of June.
  • The Immersion Week website, including summer reading assignments, will be launched in June. The Immersion Week website will be updated throughout the summer, so consult the website on a regular basis.


  • July 1 is the date by which the Office of Graduate and International Programs must have on a file a final, official copy of each incoming student’s undergraduate transcript (showing the date of graduation). This transcript is an essential requirement for finalizing enrollment and is in addition to the transcript that was part of the LSAC CAS Report. This transcript should be sent directly to the Office of Graduate and International Programs by the registrar of your undergraduate institution and it must include the date of graduation. Incoming students who possess a graduate degree also must furnish an official transcript for each degree earned.
  • Incoming students will be provided access to the required Online Orientation program in July. Completion of each module of the Online Orientation program will provide valuable information about Law College policies, procedures and resources. All incoming students must complete the Online Orientation prior to the start of Immersion Week.


  • Optional (and recommended) on-campus orientation for all international graduate and JD students at MSU Law begins on August 16
  • Required orientation with all international JDs begins on August 19
  • Required Immersion Week (orientation for all JDs) begins on August 21
  • Classes begin (all students) on August 28

Your Student Visa

Now that you’re admitted, you’ll need to get your student visa if you’re not otherwise eligible to study in the United States.

Our SEVIS and Admissions Coordinator, Lisa Willson, is here to guide you through all the necessary steps to get your student visa. You will be submitting documentation to her via our student portal, and she will follow up with you to let you know what she needs to complete your I-20. It’s critical to be in touch with Lisa often so that you keep the process on track and get here in time for classes to begin.

Learn more about the visa process »


Your legal education as a new, first-year law student at MSU begins with Immersion Week, a mandatory component of the J.D. program that is designed to help you transition from being an undergraduate student to a successful law student.

Immersion Week includes your first required course, Foundations of Law, a commitment to professionalism program, and multiple opportunities to meet and interact with faculty members and classmates.

Immersion Week 2017 begins August 21.

Highlights of Immersion Week include:

  • Foundations of Law is a one-credit hour course taught during Immersion Week. The course provides a common foundation for students from a wide variety of academic majors. There will be assigned readings for Foundations of Law that incoming students must read prior to Immersion Week.
  • Research, Writing, and Analysis course will have one class meeting during Immersion Week.
  • Professionalism in Action Program features a discussion about legal ethics, with remarks delivered by practicing attorneys and judges.
  • Lunch and other events will be hosted to introduce you to faculty members, staff, and your classmates.
  • Presentations will be given by the MSU Law Career Services staff.
  • Students will take the Writing Skills Inventory and will have technology training.

A schedule of Immersion Week activities will be posted in May on the MSU Law Admitted Candidate website. This is a password-protected site. You received the login information in your admission letter from the Office of Graduate and International Programs.

Next Steps

You’ve been admitted. Congratulations!

Now what? There’s a lot to do to prepare for your life in East Lansing.

Here are the critical next steps you need to take to make sure that you’re ready to begin your classes.

  • Get your student visa if you’re an international student.
  • Set up your MSU NetID to access your StuInfo account, msu email, and more

    After admission, you received an email from the Office of Graduate and International Programs (OGIP) that included your PID (personal ID number starting with the letter “A”), PAN (personal access number), and instructions to activate your MSU NetID.  Your NetID—an identifier automatically generated from your name—comes before “” in your MSU e-mail address.

    Your MSU e-mail and NetID are very important, as they serve as your communication link to MSU Law. They also serve as passcodes for you to access resources only available to MSU students. Check your MSU e-mail regularly for important academic information from the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Engagement, as well as daily announcements from the Events Office and the Office of Graduate and International Programs.

    Use your MSU e-mail account to send messages to MSU Law faculty and staff. All official communication regarding classes, billing, graduation, and other matters must be from your MSU account.

    Do not set up your MSU e-mail account to automatically forward to another account (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo! Mail), as important e-mails may be filtered or discarded as spam or junk mail.

  • Figure out where you’re going to live (link to
  • Make Travel Arrangements

    Lansing has a local airport, the Capital City Airport (LAN). If you choose to fly directly to Lansing, you will need to take a taxi from the airport to East Lansing, which should cost roughly between $30-50 dollars for a one-way trip. It is generally expected that you tip taxi drivers at a rate of 10%.

    Many students choose to fly into the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), and take the Michigan Flyer bus ( from the airport to downtown East Lansing. You will need to take a taxi or public transportation from the drop-off point outside the East Lansing Marriott to your destination in East Lansing/Lansing.

  • Figure out how you’ll get around East Lansing

    One of the easiest ways to get to and from campus is by riding the city buses operated by CATA, which stop right next to the Law College building. Easily plan your route by entering your home address and the Law College as your destination.
    MSU’s main CATA boarding center and transfer point—which is just steps away from the Law College—is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The center has bus schedules and maps, indoor seating, a community policing office, convenience store, public restrooms, vending machines, an ATM, and more.

    Contact CATA at 517-394-1000 if you have questions about riding the bus or would like to purchase a bus pass.

    Parking on Campus
    If you choose to drive on campus, you need to make parking arrangements ahead of time to avoid being ticketed. The MSU Parking Office has information on parking options. Also review MSU’s student parking and driving regulations.

  • Purchase your books and complete your first assignments.

    Your law school assignments begin before you start classes. Professors, including those for courses during your orientation, will assign readings to you.

    Your first assignments will be posted about a month before your classes begin. You can find out the books you need and the first readings you need to complete (before the first class).

    Most students purchase their books through online vendors. Books are also available at several campus-area bookstores, including the book store in the basement of the International Center at MSU, about two blocks from the Law College.