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J.D./M.L.S. Concurrent Degree

dual shields

Monterey College of Law provides students the opportunity to concurrently enroll in the J.D. and Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree programs.

Students who matriculate into the J.D. program may request to enroll in the dual J.D./M.L.S. degree program after completing the second-year courses.

Upon successful completion of the 90-unit program, the student is granted both the J.D. and M.L.S. degrees. Completion of the J.D./M.L.S. program requires successful completion of the program requirements of BOTH the M.L.S. degree and the J.D. degree. Students should carefully review the separate program requirements of both degrees prior to electing to concurrently enroll in the J.D./M.L.S. program.

Completion of the M.L.S. degree requires a major writing project. All other credit courses are completed concurrently with the J.D. program. Students in the J.D./M.L.S. program may elect to discontinue their legal studies upon completion of the M.L.S. degree program without continuing in the J.D. program. Students in the J.D./M.L.S. program may also choose not to complete the writing requirement of the M.L.S. and still be eligible to complete the J.D. program.

In accordance with Rule 4.25(A) of the Admissions and Educational Standards, the California Committee of Bar Examiners requires applicants to have completed 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of college work to be eligible to apply.  The completed units must be equivalent to at least half of what is required for a bachelor's degree from a college or university that has degree-granting authority from the state in which it is located and completed with a grade average adequate for graduation. 

Applicants who have not completed at least two years of college work in accordance with Rule 4.25 (A) and Section 6060(c)(1) of the California Business and Professions Code may still apply but must satisfy the general education requirements prior to beginning law school by attaining a score of 50 or higher on a series of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams administered by the College Board

Additionally, students who have been accepted into the JD program by completing the CLEP examinations MUST take the First-Year Law Student Exam (FYLSX) after completing their first year of studies.  The student must pass the exam within the first three administrations after becoming eligible in order to move forward in the JD program.

More information about College Equivalency Education requirements can be found on the State Bar of California website

The LSAT is not required to apply.

[Please note: The following are subject to periodic faculty review and modification.]

  1. To qualify for the joint J.D./M.L.S. Degree, students must complete 90 units of legal studies and a required writing requirement.
  2. Writing Requirement: To be eligible for the J.D./M.L.S. concurrent degree, the M.L.S. writing requirement must also be met. The writing requirement is the completion of the Gibson Appellate Advocacy course. 
  3. Attendance Requirement: J.D./M.L.S. students are required to meet the same attendance requirements and are held to the same standards for class preparation and participation as regular law students.
  4. Compliance with Student Policies: J.D./M.L.S. students are subject to all administrative policies, including the Student Honor Code, exam procedures, registration, payment of tuition and fees, academic disqualification, and grade appeals that are contained in the Student Handbook.
  5. Grading Standards: During their course of study, J.D./M.L.S. students are not identified separately from regular JD students in courses, examinations, or the grading process. All papers, assignments, and exams are graded using the MCL system for assigning student or exam ID numbers that protect student identity and ensures anonymous grading.
  6. Administration and Student Advising: The J.D./M.L.S. degree program is under the academic direction and supervision of the law school Dean. The regular departments of MCL provide all other administrative services.
  7. Faculty: Since all J.D./M.L.S. courses are regular J.D. courses, the faculty members for the M.L.S. degree are the same as for the J.D. program.
  8. Graduation and Conferring of Degrees: Upon completion of the J.D./M.L.S. degree program, graduates shall be eligible to participate in the law school's annual graduation ceremony and receive both their J.D. and M.L.S. diplomas.