Apply to the Advanced Standing J.D. Program

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The admissions process can be complex and confusing. We’ve tried to make this as painless as possible for our applicants, with the best customer service possible. Our goal is to help you complete your admissions file as quickly and easily as possible – so that you can move forward into your future as an MSU Law student.

Admissions Process

As with all other JD candidates, candidates for the J.D. with Advanced Standing must apply via the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) and register for the LSAC Credential Assembly Service for evaluation of their foreign credentials. Since law school transcripts are different than those from other disciplines, only transcripts submitted via LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service will be accepted.

LSAC acts as an admissions clearinghouse for the majority of U.S. law schools. Students can fill out individual school applications online through LSAC, submit personal statements to individual schools, and otherwise complete their applications.

Applicants will also be sent a link to MSU Law’s online applicant portal portal, where they will fill out their I-20 application and take care of many other essential tasks.

Admissions Requirements

Via LSAC, students submit one copy of their letters of recommendation, resume, transcripts and other documents, and they will then be distributed to all schools to which the applicant is applying. While LSAC requires original transcripts for credential evaluation and admissions review, the MSU College of Law still requires admitted students to submit original transcripts to MSU Law. This means that original transcripts from the foreign law institution must be sent by the home institution directly to MSU Law before the student can matriculate.

The following is a list of application requirements:

  • A completed application via LSAC
  • Application and application fee
  • Credential Assembly Service report via LSAC
  • Official transcripts issued by the law school attended
  • CV/resume
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably written by law school faculty members who taught you.
  • If your first language is not English and your undergraduate or legal education was not completed at a school where instruction was in English, you must submit a TOEFL score of 100 or higher or IELTS of 7.0 or higher. Applicants who are native speakers of English or may qualify for a waiver should email us at grad.admissions@law.msu.edu for more information.

Application and Application Deadlines

Applicants can create an LSAC account (required for application) at https://os.lsac.org/Release/Logon/Access.aspx. This account is required in order to complete the MSU Law Advanced Standing J.D. application.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling admissions basis beginning October 1 of the year proceeding desired enrollment for Fall (August) admission. Unlike the Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs, which admit students for both Fall and Spring semesters, Advanced Standing J.D. students can only begin courses in the Fall (August).

Important dates:

Application Opens: August 1st of the year preceding desired 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

Advice for Applicants

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.