Graduate Professional Degree - Juris Doctor

Juris Doctor
Program Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Michigan State University College of Law

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Law

Juris Doctor

Juris Doctor


Admission to the J.D. program is based on the following:

  1. applicant's academic record;
  2. applicant's Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score;
  3. applicant's professional accomplishments; and
  4. recommendations from persons with knowledge of the applicant’s capability to participate in a rigorous professional-level academic program.
The admissions process identifies individuals who have the potential to excel in their legal studies and the practice of law. In order to be considered for fall-term admission, an applicant must:
  1. possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment;
  2. create an account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), register for and complete the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and sign up for the Credential Assembly Service;
  3. provide an official transcript to the LSAC for each undergraduate and graduate institution attended;
  4. submit two letters of recommendation or evaluations to the LSAC (up to four letters/evaluations will be accepted);
  5. submit an application fee (contact the Michigan State University College of Law Office of Admissions to request a fee waiver if you are unable, for financial reasons, to provide this fee;
  6. submit a resume of up to two pages;
  7. submit a personal statement of up to three pages;
  8. submit a supplemental statement if you respond in the affirmative to any questions in the Character and Fitness section of the application.
An applicant file will not be reviewed until all materials are received by the Michigan State University College of Law Office of Admissions and are reviewed on a “rolling” basis.

Of the 88 credit hours needed to graduate with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, required courses consist of the following:
1. All of the following courses:
LAW 500F Criminal Law 3
LAW 500Q Professional Responsibility 3
LAW 500G Property 4
LAW 500R Torts I 4
LAW 530A Civil Procedure 4
LAW 530B Contracts 4
LAW 530J Advocacy 2
LAW 530K Foundations of Law 0
LAW 530S Constitutional Law and the Regulatory State 4
2. One of the following courses:
LAW 530D Research, Writing and Analysis 3
LAW 530E Research, Writing and Analysis: Intellectual Property Perspective 3
LAW 530N Research, Writing, and Analysis: Criminal Law Perspective 3
LAW 530Q Research, Writing and Analysis: Social Justice Perspectives 3
3. At least five of the following courses:
LAW 500M Business Enterprises  3 or 4
LAW  500N  Constitutional Law II  4
LAW  500P  Evidence  3 or 4
LAW  501A  Basic Income Tax A 2
LAW 501B Basic Income Tax B 2
LAW 501K  Basic Income Taxation   2
LAW  501D  Trusts and Estates  3 to 4
LAW  501E  Secured Transactions  2
LAW  501F  Sales and Leases  3
LAW  501J  Secured Transactions and Practice  3
LAW  501M  Commercial Transactions Survey  3
LAW  525 Torts II  2 or 3
LAW  532 Administrative Law  2 or 3
LAW  550A Topics in Conflict of Laws  3
LAW  593D  Remedies  2 to 3
LAW  616B  Criminal Procedure: Investigation  3
LAW  616C  Criminal Procedure: Adjudication  3

A student who completed the first-year curriculum with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.50 may apply to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for a waiver of this requirement. The student must submit the application prior to completing 60 credits. In addition to the required courses, students must complete at least 6 credits in an experiential course and a paper that satisfies an upper-level writing requirement. A minimum 2.0 cumulative grade-point average must be earned to satisfy degree requirements.

Students take elective courses to gain a more generalized legal education, which may be used to fulfill the requirements for a certificate or concentration program. Complete information about concentrations can be found by visiting The following concentrations are available:
Indigenous Law
(1) All of the following courses:
LAW 635A Advanced Topics in Indian Law 2
LAW 635B Federal Law and Indian Tribes 3
(2) Six credits from the following:
LAW 501D Trusts and Estates 3 or 4
LAW 501E Secured Transactions 2
LAW 532 Administrative Law 3
LAW 541E Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce 3
LAW 550A Topics in Conflict of Laws 3
LAW 579G Federal Jurisdiction 3
LAW 616B Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
(3) Complete an Experiential Learning experience. 3
Trial Practice
One of the following courses:
LAW 616B Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
LAW 616C Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 3
All of the following courses:
LAW 500P Evidence 3
LAW 623B Trial Practice Institute: Pretrial I  3
LAW 623C Trial Practice Institute : Pretrial II 2
LAW 623D Trial Practice Institute : Trial I 3
LAW 623E Trial Practice Institute : Trial II 3
LAW 623M Trial Practice Institute: Trial Presentation 2
LAW 623N Trial Practice Institute: Scientific Evidence and Legal Technology 3
Students in the Trial Practice concentration may not receive credit towards the requirements of the Juris Doctor degree for the following courses: Law 587B, 587C, 590A, 591A, 617A, and 617B. The content of these courses are duplicate of the content of courses required for the Trial Practice concentration.