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Master of Legal Studies Honors Program

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University offers an alternative, conditional path to admission into the JD program: the Master of Legal Studies Honors (MLSH) program. The MLSH program is designed to give students with strong credentials who were not offered a spot in the JD class an opportunity to prove they belong at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Applicants selected for this program have an opportunity to gain admission to the JD program beginning in spring 2020 through their successful completion of the MLSH program in fall 2019.

All JD applicants are considered for admission to the MLSH program and no separate application is necessary. The information included in the JD application will be used by the admissions committee to determine which students will be invited to the MLSH program. Invitations to the MLSH program are made at the discretion of the admissions committee.

Master of Legal Studies Honors Program Admissions Process

To be considered for the MLSH program:

  • Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than March 30, 2019.
  • Submit ASU Law’s JD electronic application through Law School Admission Council (LSAC) by March 1, 2019, and have all required materials completed and on file with ASU Law by April 30, 2019.
    • Your personal statement not to exceed two double-spaced, typed pages
    • Your résumé not to exceed two pages
    • Explanations to affirmative answers to any Character & Fitness questions
    • Your signature or electronic certification on the completed application
    • Arizona Residency form for applicants claiming Arizona residency (optional if claiming AZ residency)
    • Supplemental statements (optional)
  • Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report, including the following materials:
    • All transcripts
    • LSAT score(s) from LSAC
    • Up to two Letters of Recommendation (optional, but highly encouraged)

Master of Legal Studies Honors Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the MLSH program take the same classes as our 1L JD students in the fall 2019 semester and pay MLS tuition. If the MLSH student achieves at least a 3.20 GPA (on the JD curve) at the end of the fall 2019 semester, the student would then be enrolled in the JD program starting in the spring 2020 semester, and the student would begin paying JD tuition.

The student would still need to complete 88 credit hours to fulfill the JD degree requirement. The 15 credits taken as an MLSH student during the fall semester would not count toward the 88 total credits required to graduate, but those classes would not need to be retaken. To comply with ABA rules, the student would need to make up the 15 credit hours. A scholarship would be awarded and spread over the remaining three years, equal to the MLS tuition and fees the student paid during the fall 2019 semester. Tuition and fees for our MLS and JD programs can be found here.

If the student does not achieve at least a 3.20 GPA at the end of the fall 2019 semester, the student would not be eligible to pursue a JD degree from ASU Law beginning in spring 2020. However, the student could continue in the MLSH program and obtain an MLS degree, which typically takes one additional semester to complete. The MLS degree is for non-lawyer, industry professionals who want to advance their careers through a greater understanding of legal principles. Interest in the MLS program has been growing as a number of employers within government, business, health, criminal justice, sports, technology, patent practice, sustainability, and many more, seek employees with legal knowledge.


If you have any questions about participating in the MLSH program, please contact Admissions.