The University of Michigan Law School (Michigan Law) is the law school of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Founded in 1859, the school offers Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM), and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree programs.
Michigan Law School consistently ranks among the highest-rated law schools in the United States. It was ranked third in the initial U.S. News & World Report law school rankings in 1987. Michigan Law is also one of the "T14" law schools, schools that have consistently ranked within the top 14 law schools since U.S. News began publishing rankings. In the 2017 U.S. News ranking, Michigan Law is ranked 8th overall. The 2010 Super Lawyers rankings placed Michigan as second. Michigan Law is currently ranked 6th for International Law. In a 2011 U.S. News "reputational ranking" of law schools by hiring partners at the nation’s top law firms, the University of Michigan Law School ranked 4th. Michigan Law ranked 15th among U.S. law schools, tied with the Georgetown University Law Center, for the number of times its tenured faculty's published scholarship was highly cited in legal journals during the period 2010 through 2014.
Admission to Michigan Law is highly selective. For the class entering in the fall of 2012, 1,238 out of 5,062 applicants (24.5%) were offered admission, with 344 matriculating. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2012 entering class were 166 and 170, respectively, with a median of 169 (top 3.3 percent of test takers). The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.57 and 3.83, respectively, with a median of 3.73. Approximately 92.5 percent of the graduating class of 2010 was employed by nine months after graduation. Approximately 40% of the class of 2014 secured positions in one of the nation's 250 largest firms. The majority of Michigan Law grads work in New York, Illinois, California, Washington, D.C., and Michigan.
The schools has an enrollment of about 920 as well as 81 full-time faculty members (60 tenured and tenure-track and 21 in clinical and legal practice).
Notable alumni include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Frank Murphy, William Rufus Day, and George Sutherland, as well as a number of heads of state and corporate executives. Michigan Law has placed 41 of its alumni on United States Circuit Courts, over 100 of its graduates on federal Article III trial courts, and 36 of its graduates on the Michigan Supreme Court, including 16 who served as Chief Justice. More than 170 Michigan law graduates have served in the United States Congress, including 20 United States Senators and more than 150 Congressional representatives. Additionally, numerous graduates have served as state legislators.
University of Michigan Law Building, circa 1910s
The Law School was founded in 1859, and quickly rose to national prominence. By 1870, Michigan was the largest law school in the country.
In 1870, Gabriel Franklin Hargo graduated from Michigan as the second African-American to graduate from law school in the United States. In 1871 Sarah Killgore, a Michigan Law graduate, became the first woman to both graduate from law school and be admitted to the bar.
Although the law school is part of the public University of Michigan, less than 2 percent of the law school's expenses are covered by state funds. The remainder (97–98% of Michigan Law's budget) is supplied by private gifts, tuition, and endowments.
As of 2009, Michigan Law is engaging in a $102 million enterprise, constructing an addition to the law building that remains loyal to the English Gothic style. This enterprise is fully funded by endowments and private gifts. 2009 also marked the school's sesquicentennial celebration. As a part of the festivities, Chief Justice John Roberts visited the school and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building.
The Law Quadrangle is designed in the English Gothic style.
Built between 1924 and 1933 by the architectural firm York and Sawyer with funds donated by attorney and alumnus William W. Cook, the Cook Law Quadrangle comprises four buildings:
- Hutchins Hall, the main academic building, named for former Dean of the Law School and President of the University, Harry Burns Hutchins
- The Legal Research Building. In 2007, the University of Michigan Reading Room was named 94th on a list of "American's Favorite Buildings." The building is one of only three law buildings on the list.
- John Cook Dormitory
- The Lawyer's Club, providing additional dormitory rooms and a meeting space for the residents of the Quad; highlighted by a Great Lounge, and a dining room with a high-vaulted ceiling, an oak floor, and dark oak paneling.
In 2012, extensive renovations of the Lawyers Club were undertaken thanks in part to a $20 million gift from Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charles T. Munger, and was re-opened on August 19, 2013 for the Fall 2013 school year.
Michigan Law School students publish several law journals in addition to the Michigan Law Review, the sixth oldest legal journal in the U.S. These include:
Journal membership is obtained through participation in writing competitions.
Moot court competitions
Students may compete in intramural moot court competitions, the oldest of which is the Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition, established in 1926 and first held in the 1927-1928 academic year. Other moot court competitions include the Child Welfare Law Moot Court Competition, Criminal Law Moot Court Competition, the Entertainment Media and Arts Moot Court Competition, the Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, the Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition, the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the Native American Law Students Association Competition, and the 1L Oral Advocacy Competition.
Michigan Law's clinical program allows students to provide direct representation to clients under the supervision of full-time faculty. There are 18 clinical programs, including the Child Advocacy Law Clinic, the Entrepreneurship Clinic, the Environmental Law Clinic, the Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic, the International Transactions Clinic, the Michigan Innocence Clinic, the Transactional Lab, and the Unemployment Insurance Clinic.
Michigan Law offers a wide array of student organizations centered around various interest areas, including politics, pro bono work, community service, race, gender, religion, and hobbies. Student organizations organize various annual events, from student pageants such as Mr. Wolverine to the Michigan Law Culture Show.
Externships and internships
Michigan's externship program is designed to provide students with real-world legal experience and advanced research opportunities beyond what is separately available in either a classroom or a clinic. Externships are available in places such as Switzerland, South Africa, and India.
Student Funded Fellowships
Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) is a program designed to fund Michigan Law students who accept public interest summer jobs with low pay and to help 1Ls finance the living costs associated with their summer jobs. SFF is governed by a board of law students and operates independently of the Law School. The Board elects its own officers, including two co-chairs, a treasurer, and various committee chairs. Board members head fundraising efforts throughout the year, ranging from Donate a Day's Pay (DADP), in which highly paid law firm summer associates donate a day's salary to SFF, to a grand auction in March that invites bids on various donated items, including sports tickets, meals and activities with faculty members, and art. In the late spring, Board members review applications for summer funding and select a limited number of qualified students for grants. Beginning with the summer of 2016, SFF began offering every 1L an interest-free $4000 loan for their summer expenses that is repaid on a sliding scale depending on how much money they make during their 1L and 2L summers.
Employment & cost of attendance
According to Michigan's ABA-required employment disclosures, 92% of the graduates of the Class of 2013 were employed or seeking an advanced degree. This includes the 85% of the class who had obtained jobs requiring a J.D. Of the Class of 2013, 49.6% were employed by firms of greater than 100 attorneys and 12.0% obtained clerkships. Michigan's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 5.6%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2014 who are unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.
Tuition at Michigan for the 2014-2015 academic year is $51,398 for residents of the state of Michigan and $54,398 for non-residents. The estimated cost of living for a Michigan student is $18,030. Assuming no tuition increases, a typical three-year course of study at Michigan therefore costs $208,284 (or $69,428 per year) for residents and $217,434 (or $72,428 per year) for non-residents.
- Mark D. West, Dean and Nippon Life Professor of Law- scholar of international commercial law, criminal law and Japanese law
- Evan Caminker, Dean Emeritus - constitutional law scholar
- Theodore J. St. Antoine, Dean Emeritus - legal philosopher and labor law scholar
- Samuel Bagenstos - constitutional scholar and expert on disability rights
- Edward H. Cooper - civil procedure scholar
- Steven P. Croley - expert on administrative and regulatory law
- Phoebe C. Ellsworth - scholar of law and psychology
- Samuel R. Gross - Criminal law expert widely cited for work on exonerations
- Daniel Halberstam -comparative constitutional law, transnational law and European law scholar
- James C. Hathaway - international refugee law expert and scholar of public international law
- John Hudson - English legal historian
- Yale Kamisar, Professor Emeritus - criminal law and procedure expert ( known as the "father of Miranda" for his influential role in the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona (1966).)
- Ellen D. Katz - voting rights and election law scholar
- Thomas E. Kauper - scholar of property law and antitrust
- Vikramaditya Khanna - expert on international commercial law and the laws of India
- James E. Krier - property law scholar
- Jessica Litman - intellectual property scholar
- Kyle D. Logue - insurance, tax and private law scholar
- Catharine MacKinnon - feminist theorist, scholar and activist
- John A. E. Pottow - scholar of international commercial law, bankruptcy and consumer finance
- Richard Primus - constitutional theorist
- Margaret Radin - legal philosopher, contract and property theorist
- Margo Schlanger - civil rights scholar and founder of the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
- Rebecca J. Scott - legal historian
- Bruno Simma -German international law expert; served as a judge on the International Court of Justice from 2003 until 2012
- James Boyd White - founder of the "Law and Literature" movement
- James J. White - Commercial law expert
- Roger Carter (LL.M., 1968), Dean of University of Saskatchewan College of Law; recipient of Order of Canada.
- William W. Cook (J.D. 1882), heavily published and cited author of textbooks on corporate law; donor of the quadrangle to Michigan
- Ann Coulter (J.D. 1988) Conservative author and commentator.
- George Crockett Jr. (LL.B. 1934) Civil Rights activist; helped found the National Lawyers Guild. First African American lawyer hired by the Department of Labor. Recorder's Court Judge, Detroit, Michigan, 1966–74; U.S. House of Representatives (D-Mich.), 1980 – 1991.
- Clarence Darrow (attended), famous trial lawyer; defense counsel in the Scopes Monkey Trial and Leopold and Loeb
- William R. Day (LL.B. 1870), United States Secretary of State, 1898; United States Supreme Court Associate Justice, 1903–1922
- John Feikens (J.D.) was a politician and judge from the U.S. state of Michigan. He was the Senior Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (1986–present). Feikens had the unusual honor of being nominated to the same district court by three presidents.
- Harold Ford, Jr. (J.D. 1996) – former U.S. Representative from Tennessee; Democratic Leadership Council chair
- Richard Gephardt (J.D. 1965) – U.S. Representative from Missouri (1977–2005). Served as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995, and as Minority Leader from 1995 to 2003.
- Ronald M. Gould (J.D. 1973), Judge, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- James P. Hoffa (LL.B. 1966) – President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Valerie Jarrett, (J.D. 1981), Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama
- Amalya Lyle Kearse (J.D. 1962) – Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy (J.D. 1947) – Senior Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Frank Murphy (LL.B. 1914), United States Attorney General, 1939, and United States Supreme Court Associate Justice, 1940–1949
- Rob Portman (J.D. 1984), United States Senator from Ohio; former Director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Branch Rickey (LL.B. 1911), Major League Baseball executive and Hall of Famer; created the modern minor league system and signed Jackie Robinson to a contract, breaking the sport's 20th-century color line
- Richard Riordan (J.D. 1956), Mayor of Los Angeles, 1993–2001
- Ken Salazar (J.D. 1981), former U.S. Senator from Colorado and United States Secretary of the Interior, 2009 to 2013.
- Rick Snyder (J.D. 1982) Former CEO of Gateway; current Governor of Michigan
- George Sutherland (attended 1891), United States Supreme Court Justice
- John D. Voelker (J.D. 1928) justice of the Michigan Supreme Court; author of Anatomy of a Murder.
- Moses Fleetwood Walker (attended 1881–1882) – Baseball player and author; first African-American to play major league professional baseball
- Sarah Killgore Wertman (LAW: LLB 1871), née Sarah Killgore, the first woman to be admitted to the Bar of any state in the United States of America.
- Sam Zell (J.D. 1966) – land developer; founder of Equity Office Properties; former National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts chairman and current chairman and majority owner of the Tribune Company; billionaire
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Coordinates: 42°16′26.9″N 83°44′21.6″W / 42.274139°N 83.739333°W