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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 2021 through their successful completion of the MLS-H program in fall 2020.
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.
To be considered for the MLS-H program:
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 2020 semester and pay MLS tuition. If the MLS-H student places at the median of the class at the end of the fall 2020 semester, the student would then be enrolled in the JD program starting in the spring 2021 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 2020 semester, the student would not be eligible to pursue a JD degree from ASU Law beginning in spring 2021. 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.