Massachusetts School of Law

The Massachusetts School of Law (also known as MSLAW) is a law school located in Andover, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1988 and claims that its design and curriculum were influenced by the medical school educational model and legal scholars.[3][4] The school is not accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Massachusetts School of Law
School typePrivate
DeanMichael L. Coyne [1]
LocationAndover, Massachusetts, USA
Bar pass rate47.2% (July 2019 first time takers)[2]
Logo of Massachusetts School of Law.jpg
Massachusetts School of Law

The MSLAW bar passage rate for July 2019 first-time takers was 47%, compared to an average 81% from all Massachusetts law schools.[5]

Unlike law schools accredited by the ABA, MSLAW does not report employment outcomes for its graduates. MSLAW also does not consider LSAT scores in its admission process.


The Massachusetts School of Law is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).[6] It is currently unaccredited by the American Bar Association.[7]

In 1990, the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education authorized MSL to grant the Juris Doctor degree. MSLAW subsequently applied for American Bar Association approval while filing an action in Federal Court in Philadelphia challenging some of the ABA's accreditation standards, arguing that those standards are of questionable educational value, violate antitrust laws, and needlessly increase tuition costs. MSLAW refused to comply with these standards, and the ABA refused to approve the school. As a result of its actions the MSLAW and the Department of Justice filed complaints against the ABA for antitrust violations. The summary judgment dismissing the MSLAW complaint on immunity grounds was granted to the ABA on the trial level and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed in 107 F.3d 1026. The case brought by DOJ was later settled by way of a consent decree between the ABA and the United States Department of Justice in which the ABA agreed to modify its accreditation process and eliminate some of its law school accreditation standards that violated antitrust laws and were outdated.[8] The school continues to criticize ABA standards that it fails to meet, and encourage the Department of Education to strip the ABA of its authority over other law schools.[9]

Admission and academicsEdit

Students at Massachusetts School of Law learn to practice law through classroom instruction, simulated client experiences, and numerous live client experiences. MSLAW does not require the LSAT for admission. However, MSLAW administers its own examination (MSLAT) similar to the LSAT, requires letters of recommendation, and interviews every applicant for admission.

Post-graduation employment prospectsEdit

Unlike ABA-accredited law schools, MSLAW does not publish employment statistics for its graduates.

When asked about the employment outcomes of MSLAW graduates in 2012, Dean Lawrence Velvel said, "I have no idea. We have never collected statistics on any of that, so we don't have any notion."[10]


Tuition for full-time students at MSLAW for the 2020-2021 academic year is $23,850. [11]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Message from the Dean". Massachusetts School of Law. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  2. ^ "July 2019 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results by Law Schools". COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  3. ^ LAW SCHOOL FOR THE WHITE AND WEALTHY Michael L. Coyne - The National Law Journal, April 11, 2011 – 2011 ALM Media Properties LLC
  4. ^ FAILING LAW SCHOOLS (Chicago Series in Law and Society) Brian Z. Tamanaha – Chicago Series in Law and Society – pub June 15, 2012
  5. ^ "July 2019 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results by Law Schools". COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  6. ^ "Accreditation & Bar Eligibility".
  7. ^ "Alphabetical School List". ABA. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Competitive Impact Statement". 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  9. ^ Pfeiffer, Sacha (2006-12-05). "Mass. School of Law urges US to reduce clout of Bar". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
  10. ^ "A Fast-Track To Law School". New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Affordable Tuition". Massachusetts School of Law. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  • Barron's Guide To Law Schools, 16th edition.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°45′35.53″N 71°08′50.86″W / 42.7598694°N 71.1474611°W / 42.7598694; -71.1474611