In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.L.R.H.R. (Juris Doctor/Master of Labor Relations and Human Resources), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration), and J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science).
Students must take 14 credits in their area of concentration. The College of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, international law, litigation, media law, tax law, health law certificate in law and social work, indigenous law, intellectual property and communications law, and public law and regulation. Clinics include the Rental House Clinic, Tax Clinic, Small Business and Nonprofit Clinic, and the Chance at Childhood Clinic. Many seminars in specialized areas are offered each year, allowing students to explore areas of interest in depth with expert faculty members. The MSU Law Career Services assists students in identifying, preparing for and applying for internships, including judicial clerkships. In addition to the MSU Law Review, there are 6 additional student-run publications. Students may also enroll in directed studies and apply for positions as research assistants. Various externship programs are available, including a federal externship in Washington, D.C. and a Summer International Externship Program in Canada. There are student-faculty, and alumni-sponsored lecture series featuring experts on current matters of law. The Law College offers a cooperative study program with the University of Ottawa and a joint J.D./LL.B. program. Through the Canadian summer program, students participate in the Houses of Parliament in Ottawa and Montreal. The Law College also sponsors a summer abroad program in Guadalajara, Mexico and law students participate in other ABA-approved programs. The Law College houses the Office of Diversity Services. There are also a variety of student organizations that focus on issues and services for minority students. The most widely taken electives are Environmental Law, Intellectual Property, and Sports Law.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 44 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Law I, Contracts I and II, Property, Research, Writing, and Advocacy I and II, Torts, and Writing Skills Workshop. Required upper-level courses consist of Business Enterprises, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Law, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of 3 days of intensive study in research and writing. Students are taught research skills, use of library techniques, how to brief a case, and how to write an exam.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1937 applied, 929 were accepted, and 393 enrolled. Forty-four transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 50; the median GPA was 3.32 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 10; the highest was 97.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include GPA, LSAT results, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, a nonrefundable application fee of $60, and 2 letters of recommendation. Accepted students must submit a nonrefundable tuition deposit of $700, which is credited toward tuition. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 88% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $32,235; maximum, $45,418. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students are available. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 42% of the student body are women; 13%, minorities; 4%, African American; 4%, Asian American; 3%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from the Midwest (70%). The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 20 to 51. About 44% of students enter directly from undergraduate school and 3% have a graduate degree. About 5% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 92% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Michigan State Law Review, Michigan State Journal of International Law, Michigan State Journal of Medicine and Law, Michigan State Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, Michigan State Journal of Gender and Law, Michigan State Journal of Business and Securities Law, and the student newspaper, Res Ipsa Loquitor. A Moot Court offers intramural competitions. The Law College participates in regional, national, and international moot court competitions, including the Cathy Bennett National Trial Competition, Jessup International Moot Court Competition, and Pepperdine Entertainment Law Competition. The Law College hosts the National Trial Advocacy Competition, which attracts 18 competing school teams each fall. Law student organizations include Women’s Law Caucus, Jewish Legal Society, and Christian Legal Society. Local chapters of national associations include ABA-Student Division, Amnesty International, and Phi Alpha Delta. Campus clubs and other organizations include the Association of Trial Lawyers, Military Law Society, and Public Interest Society.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 3 years. For part-time students, courses are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 5 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is an 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.