Michigan State University College of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Michigan State University College of Law alumni are making an impact in the legal profession and in communities all over the world. As part of the network of 552,000 living Michigan State University alumni, graduates connect with Spartans wherever they plan to practice.

MSU Law’s rigorous curriculum prepares students to work in private practice, nonprofit organizations, public prosecutors’ and defenders’ offices, Fortune 500 companies, and state and federal governments. An MSU Law education provides a wide range of skill-building opportunities, preparing graduates to succeed in the competitive legal hiring market.

MSU Law students benefit from our home at one of the nation’s premier research universities and the law school’s 100-plus-year tradition of graduating outstanding lawyers, judges, and entrepreneurs. Our East Lansing location provides students with convenient access to state and federal agencies, courts, and many law firms and corporations throughout Michigan. MSU Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

Academic Programs

MSU Law’s academic program constantly evolves to meet today’s legal challenges. Cutting-edge initiatives and innovative courses provide rich learning opportunities for our students. A total of 88 credit hours is required for graduation, with 32 credits fulfilled through our required, foundational curriculum. Our educational program reinforces the ethical core of good lawyering; the values of professionalism and service; the art of client representation and trial advocacy; and the understanding of legal principles, private rights, and public policy.

MSU Law fosters flexible opportunities for professional growth, research, and scholarship by the faculty. Our faculty is committed to excellence in instruction, making significant contributions to legal research, and engaging in community outreach. Our staff provides necessary services, support, and a creative learning environment.

The elective and required curriculums of MSU Law integrate theory and practice, ensuring that graduates are well prepared for their professional lives.

Focus Areas

Law students at MSU have the opportunity to choose from a variety of focus areas when selecting elective courses. Focus areas include:

  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Children and Family Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Environmental, Animal, and Conservation Law
  • Indigenous Law and Policy
  • Intellectual Property and Information Communication Law
  • International Human Rights Law: Talsky Center and Immigration Law
  • Legal Profession Innovation
  • Litigation: Fieger Trial Practice Institute
  • Public Policy
  • Social Justice Law
  • Regulatory and Administrative Law
  • Tax and Estate Planning Law

International Opportunities

Students in the top half of the class may apply to enroll in a dual-degree program with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, earning both US and Canadian law degrees in four years. MSU Law also offers study-abroad programs in Croatia, Japan, and Poland, as well as funded international externships through the Talsky Center for the Human Rights of Women and Children.

Dual-Degree Options

Law students can broaden their skills with a dual degree from another graduate program at Michigan State University. Dual degrees are established with more than a dozen graduate programs, with the typical dual-degree student being able to earn the law degree and a master’s degree in just four years. Students also explore interdisciplinary interplay by pursuing additional MSU degrees through custom dual-degree programs.

Master of Laws (LLM) Program

MSU Law offers an LLM for international lawyers; an LLM/MJ (Master of Jurisprudence) in intellectual property, information, and communications law for domestic and international students; an online LLM/MJ in global food law; and a Master of Legal Studies (anticipated launch: fall 2018).

Experiential Learning

  • MSU Law Clinics: MSU Law operates law clinics to provide students with the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom. Students enrolled in the clinics may handle cases from start to finish, thereby gaining résumé-building skills from their clinical experiences while, most importantly, helping members of their own community. Clinic practice areas include animal welfare, chance at childhood, civil rights, first amendment, housing law, immigration law, Indian law, and low-income taxpayer law.
  • Spring Semester in Washington, DC: Students can spend a full spring semester in the nation’s capital as externs, working 32 hours per week for federal agencies while also enrolling in several online courses taught by MSU Law faculty. The DC semester provides valuable practical experience and insights into employment with the federal government.
  • Externships: Externships, which are field placements that provide practical legal training under the supervision of practicing attorneys, may be completed with a variety of legal employers: judicial, legal-aid, nonprofit, and governmental. Annually, more than 200 students enroll in externships, with summer externships located throughout the United States and abroad.
  • MSU Law Journals: Michigan State Law ReviewMichigan State International Law Review, and the Journal of Animal and Natural Resource Law.
  • Trial Practice Institute: MSU Law alumnus Geoffrey N. Fieger has partnered with MSU Law to establish a premier trial practice institute designed specifically to train law students to be successful trial lawyers. Students interview at the end of their first year of law school, and selected students start the program at the beginning of their second year. The Institute offers hands-on learning experiences through full trial simulations.
  • Moot Court and Advocacy Competitions: MSU Law has been recognized for having top moot court teams throughout the past decade, as well as for having one of the nation’s strongest programs. MSU Law’s team consistently wins regional and national competitions. Students showcase their skills in competitions that range from appellate arguments to trial advocacy, arguing cases in front of federal and state judges, practicing attorneys, and law professors.

Career Services

Graduates of MSU Law practice law in all 50 states and in many countries. The most common career path of recent graduates is private practice, with graduates accepting employment with law firms of all sizes. Other recent MSU Law graduates have accepted judicial clerkships (9 percent), employment in business or industry (18 percent), governmental employment (14 percent), and public interest work (5 percent).


MSU Law’s admission process identifies individuals who have the potential to excel in the study and practice of law. MSU Law seeks students who are academically talented and who bring to the classroom a diversity of personal and professional experiences and perspectives. Our Admissions Committee considers many variables in addition to the applicant’s undergraduate record and score on the LSAT.

The Admissions Committee encourages candidates for the Juris Doctor (JD) program to apply for admission at the earliest possible date after September 1 and prior to the March 1 priority deadline. The Admissions Office accepts applications through late spring, with a final deadline of April 30. Candidates whose applications are completed with all required materials prior to March 1 are given priority consideration for scholarship assistance. Those who apply after March 1 will be considered for scholarship based on fund availability.

Applications for admission are reviewed on a rolling-admission basis beginning in November and continuing through late spring. Applications generally are reviewed according to the date they are completed with all supporting materials. Admission to MSU Law is granted for the fall term only.

Scholarship Assistance

MSU Law offers an exceptionally generous scholarship program with scholarships ranging all the way up to full tuition. Every applicant who is offered admission to MSU Law is considered for scholarship assistance.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Michigan State:

3.25 to 3.77

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Michigan State:

157 to 161

25-75% UGPA Range at Michigan State:

3.25 to 3.77

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Michigan State:

157 to 161

25-75% UGPA Range at Michigan State:

3.25 to 3.77

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Michigan State:

157 to 161

Contact Information

Office of Admissions, Law College Building, 648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 300,
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300,
United States