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The Massachusetts School of Law

The Massachusetts School of Law, located in Andover, Massachusetts, is the most affordable of all New England law schools. The law school’s mission is to make practical, affordable, high quality legal education, and resulting social and economic mobility, available to persons who have been traditionally excluded from the legal profession.

The Massachusetts School of  Law

The Massachusetts School of Law (“MSL”) started ACHLS in order to bring its successful educational techniques to undergraduate education.

Massachusetts School of Law employs the “medical school” model in its approach to legal education. Interested recent college graduates and working professionals learn to write and speak effectively, and to successfully advocate for clients. Of all the law schools in New England, MSLAW, places the most emphasis on the acquisition of the professional skills necessary to practice law immediately upon graduation. LSATs are not required for admission, as Massachusetts School of Law considers an applicant’s entire record in selecting appropriate candidates to enter the legal profession.

MSLaw’s continued success in nationwide mock trial competitions is a testament to both it’s high level of teaching and its success in training its students to practice law at a far more effective level than most law schools in this country.

MSLaw Students In Their Own Words

For more than 20 years The Massachusetts School of Law has been a leader in the now-growing drive for reform in legal education. MSLaw’s focus on practical professional skills has enabled it to better prepare its students to practice law since the school’s inception. The quality of MSLaw’s graduates and MSLaw’s continued success in national mock trial competitions speaks to the school’s excellence in legal education.

But don’t take it from us… take it from MSLaw’s own students…

Overcoming The Odds OF Becoming A Lawyer
MSL’s Mock Trial Team: Creating & Honing Skills for Advocacy
From Law Enforcement to Lawyer
The Chance to Fight for the Less Advantaged and to Realize Your Dreams

MSLaw Success Stories

The Massachusetts School of Law is a school that does what it says it can do. It takes students who have not had the benefit of Ivy League type educations, and turns them into lawyers who can compete successfully with any lawyers from any educational background. This is shown, even while our students are still in school, by their success in regional and national trial and appellate competitions against many of the best schools in the country.

Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition

Year after year, the MSL trial teams are successful at the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition, the American Association for Justice Trial Competition, and the American Constitution Society Appellate Competition.

Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition

MSL competes in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in the Northeast Region. The Region is comprised of 33 law schools throughout New England, New York and northern New Jersey. This year, 2011, MSL won third place in the Northeast competition, beating teams from Harvard, New York University, Pace, Seton Hall and Quinnipiac law schools in the process. MSL’s team now advances to the national finals for the fourth time in five years.

In 2010, the MSL team won third place in the Regional competition, losing only to Harvard Law School’s teams. The MSL team finished ahead of New York University, St. John’s, Brooklyn and Syracuse law schools.

In 2008, MSL won first, second, third and fourth places in the Regional competition and went on to compete in the national finals. At the national finals, MSL finished third in the country, losing only to the national champion.

In 2007, 2008, and 2009 the best individual advocate award in the competition went to students from MSL (Nicole Dion (twice), and Allen Woodward). In 2011, two MSL students came within a point of winning the best individual advocate award.

American Association for Justice Competition

MSL also competes annually in the American Association for Justice Trial Competition. The AAJ competition is considered a premier trial advocacy contest open to law schools nationwide.

American Association for Justice Trial Competition

In 2010, the MSL team won the New England Region competition, beating teams from Syracuse, Roger Williams, Quinnipiac, University of Maine and Franklin Pierce law schools. The MSL team beat Syracuse University Law School in the semifinals to advance to the finals. In the finals, the MSL team defeated the previously unbeaten Roger Williams University Law School to win the championship. This win allowed the team to compete at the national finals in New Orleans.

American Constitution Society

MSL also participates in the appellate competition of the American Constitution Society. It has won the award for the Best Brief in the East, far outdistancing the winner of the Best Brief in the West, Michigan, with a brief that received more points by far than any other in the country.

In 2011, continuing the tradition of MSL Best Advocate awards, MSL student, Paul Stewart, won the Best Advocate Award at the 2010 ACS competition in San Francisco.

As these results show, MSL does what it says it can do — it creates lawyers who can compete successfully with others who have had gilt-edged prep school and college educations. Now, as said, MSL has started the ACHLS in order to bring its techniques to undergraduate education: those techniques include rigorous discussion teaching in which all students participate instead of mere lecturing by professors, heavy emphasis on thinking and writing, emphasis on oral fluency, and rigorous grading so that an A or a B is a truly meaningful grade.

Application Process For Early Admission To The Massachusetts School Of Law

Once an ACHLS student has completed her first year at ACHLS (30 credits), and receives an overall GPA of 2.7 or better, she can, if she chooses, apply to and be accepted by MSL. This will enable her to combine her senior year at ACHLS with her first year at MSL. A Bachelor of Arts degree from ACHLS will be awarded after successful completion of her first year at MSL. The application process is as follows:

1. Application for Admission

The MSL application for admission should be completed, signed and submitted to the MSL Admissions Department. The application should be filled out in full; it includes prior higher education, work history, and community involvement. Application packets can be found on the web at or in the back of the MSL catalog.

2. Personal Statement

Each applicant must submit a personal statement along with the MSL application. In addition to other pertinent information, the statement should tell why the applicant wishes to pursue a law degree.

3. Official Transcripts

Official transcripts from the ACHLS, all community colleges and four year undergraduate colleges must be submitted to MSL.

4. Application Fee

A nonrefundable $40.00 application fee (check or money order payable to MSL) must accompany the application.

5. Personal Interview

Each applicant will have a personal interview with an MSL Admission Officer. The interview will relate to the reasons why the applicant wishes to study law, the candidate’s seriousness and diligence, points that may not have been explained sufficiently on the application form, and any other matters that will assist the MSL Admissions Office in reviewing the student’s application.

At the time of the interview, the applicant will also take the writing test given to all applicants by MSL.

Massachusetts School Of Law Accreditation And Bar Eligibility

The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is authorized to grant the degree of Juris Doctor by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

MSLAW students are eligible to take the Bar immediately upon graduation in Massachusetts and in Connecticut. After passing Massachusetts they are immediately eligible to take the bar exam in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin, California, West Virginia and Maryland. In addition, there are a number of jurisdictions where MSLAW graduates are eligible to take the bar after practicing for the period of time listed below.

Jurisdictions where MSLAW graduates may be admitted to the bar:

    • Alabama: By petition to the Alabama Supreme Court
    • Alaska: 5 years
    • Arizona: 5 years
    • California: Immediately after passing bar of primary jurisdiction
    • Colorado: 5 Years
    • Connecticut: Immediately
    • Florida: 10 Years
    • Hawaii: 5 Years
    • Kentucky: 3 Years
    • Maine: Immediately after passing bar of primary jurisdiction
    • Maryland: MSLAW students have received individual permission after admission in MA
    • Massachusetts: Immediately
    • Minnesota: Immediately after passing bar of primary jurisdiction
    • Missouri: 5 Years
    • Nevada: By individual petition to the “Substantially equivalent committee”
    • New Hampshire: Immediately after passing bar of primary jurisdiction
    • New Mexico: 4 Years
    • New York: 5 Years
    • Oregon: 3 Years
    • Pennsylvania: 5 Years
    • Rhode Island: 5 Years
    • Texas: 3 Years
    • Vermont: Immediately
    • Washington: 3 Years
    • West Virginia: Immediately after passing bar of primary jurisdiction
    • Wisconsin: Immediately after passing bar of primary jurisdiction

This list is not exhaustive and, because states sometimes change rules regarding admission requirements to the bar, you should contact the bar authorities in the jurisdiction that is of interest to youin order to receive the most up-to date rules.