The law school, which was founded in Detroit in 1891, entered into a partnership with MSU in 1995 and relocated to the university’s campus in 1997. Today, MSU College of Law offers a traditional Juris Doctor program, multi-degree options, and LLM programs.
Through the JD program, students can select from the following 12 focus areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Child & Family Advocacy, Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Environmental and Natural Resource Law, Family Law, the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute, Indigenous law, Intellectual Property & Communications Law, International & Comparative Law, Public Law & Regulation, and Taxation Law. Certificates are available in Child & Family Advocacy, the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute, and Indigenous Law.
Multi-degree options are offered through the College of Law’s affiliation with MSU and its connection with the Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Multi-degree offerings include the JD-MBA; JD-MA in English; JD-MS in Fisheries & Wildlife; JD-MS in Forestry; JD-MA in Labor Relations and Human Resources; JD-MA in Interdisciplinary Programs in Health and Humanities; JD-MS in Community Agricultural, Recreation, and Resources Studies; and JD-Master in Urban and Regional Planning. A US-Canadian Dual JD Program is also available in connection with the University of Ottawa in Canada.
LLM program offerings include the LLM for Foreign Educated Lawyers and the LLM/MJ in Intellectual Property and Communications Law.
The academic programming at MSU College of Law is supported by clinical programs including the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, the Housing Law Clinic, the Small Business & Nonprofit Clinic, the Plea & Sentencing Clinic, the Immigration Law Clinic, the Chance at Childhood Clinic, the First Amendment Law Clinic, and the Civil Rights Clinic.
The law school’s publications include the Journal of Business & Securities Law, the Michigan State Law Review, the MSU Law Journal of International Law, and the MSU Law Journal of Medicine and Law.
Those in search of additional professional development activities can turn to the Career Services Office where the dedicated staff will provide information on externship opportunities, on-and off-campus recruiting events, career fairs, and other valuable resources.
Students can also participate in study abroad programs in Canada, Croatia, Japan, London, and Poland through collaborative efforts between MSU Law and its international partners.
Also, students at MSU College of Law have access to more than 50 on-campus student organizations including the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, the Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, the Business Law Society, the Intellectual Property Law Society, the Military Law Society, the Modern Abolitionist Legal Society, the Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Board, the Spartan Youth Advocacy Society, and the Women’s Law Caucus.
The law school operates under the guidance of Dean, Joan W. Howarth, who has been with the school since 2008. Howarth spent about seven years at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where she functioned as the associate dean for four years. She has also served as a faculty member at Golden Gate University School of Law and was a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, and UC Davis School of Law. Before she entered teaching, Howarth worked with both the California Office of the State Public Defender and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.
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