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 (MLS-H) program. The MLS-H 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 2022 through their successful completion of the MLS-H program in fall 2021.
All JD applicants are considered for admission to the MLS-H 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 MLS-H program. Invitations to the MLS-H program are made at the discretion of the admissions committee.
Master of Legal Studies Honors Program Admissions Process
To be considered for the MLS-H program:
- Submit ASU Law’s JD electronic application through Law School Admission Council (LSAC) by March 1, 2021
- 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)
- All applicants must register with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
- LSAT: LSAC will report all LSAT scores for the past five years as part of the LSAC CAS. An LSAT score is valid for 5 years. Your LSAT score is considered valid if earned on or after June 2015.
- Official Transcripts: You must have a separate transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended sent to LSAC.
- Your application may also include:
- Letters of Recommendation: ASU Law accepts up to two letters of recommendation. The recommender should submit the letter directly to LSAC. Please note that since letters of recommendation are optional, the Admissions Office will not wait for letters to complete your file for review.
- Diversity statement: Applicants have the opportunity to explain how they would bring a diverse perspective to ASU Law. Your statement should be no more than one double-spaced, typed page and in a font size no smaller than 11 point.
- Arizona Residency Form: If you claim to be a resident of Arizona, you must submit the residency form.
- Optional Addenda: An applicant has the option to submit optional addenda to explain undergraduate performance, standardized test performance, and any other information you would like to provide the admissions committee. Addenda should be no more than one double-spaced, typed page and in a font size no smaller than 11 point.
Master of Legal Studies Honors Program Requirements
Students pursuing the MLS-H program will enroll in ASU Law’s MLS degree program, take the same classes as our 1L JD students in the fall 2021 semester and pay MLS tuition. If the MLS-H student places at or above the median of the JD class at the end of the fall 2021 semester, the student would then be enrolled in the JD program starting in the spring 2022 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 MLS-H 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 2020 semester. Tuition and fees for our MLS and JD programs can be found here.
If the student does not place at the median of the class at the end of the fall 2021 semester, the student would not be eligible to pursue a JD degree from ASU Law beginning in spring 2022. However, the student could continue in the MLS-H 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.
For a list of commonly asked questions, please visit the MLS-H FAQs section.
If you have any questions about participating in the MLS-H program, please contact Admissions.
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