University of Michigan Law School

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University of Michigan Law School
University of Michigan Law Logo
Parent school University of Michigan
Established 1859; 159 years ago (1859)
School type Public
Endowment $248 million (2000)
Parent endowment $10.26 billion[1]
Dean Mark D. West
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Enrollment 929
Faculty 90
USNWR ranking 8[2]
Bar pass rate 94%
ABA profile

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.[3] The 2010 Super Lawyers rankings placed Michigan as second.[4] Michigan Law is currently ranked 6th for International Law.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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).[8] The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.57 and 3.83, respectively, with a median of 3.73.[9] Approximately 92.5 percent of the graduating class of 2010 was employed by nine months after graduation.[10] Approximately 40% of the class of 2014 secured positions in one of the nation's 250 largest firms.[11] The majority of Michigan Law grads work in New York, Illinois, California, Washington, D.C., and Michigan.[12]

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).[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] 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 Lawyer's Club, Law Quadrangle, Library reading room, Library exterior, and Library interior.Law Quad 2009.JPGUniversityofMichiganLawLibrary.jpg Hutchins Hall, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.JPG Michigan Law Library Extension.JPG

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."[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]


Michigan Law School students publish several law journals[20] in addition to the Michigan Law Review, the sixth oldest legal journal in the U.S.[21] These include:

Journal membership is obtained through participation in writing competitions.[20]

Moot court competitions[edit]

Students may compete in intramural moot court competitions,[29] the oldest of which is the Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition, established in 1926 and first held in the 1927-1928 academic year.[30] 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.[29]

Clinical programs[edit]

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.[31]

Student organizations[edit]

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.[20] Student organizations organize various annual events, from student pageants such as Mr. Wolverine to the Michigan Law Culture Show.[32]

Externships and internships[edit]

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.[33]

Student Funded Fellowships[edit]

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[edit]

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.[34] Of the Class of 2013, 49.6% were employed by firms of greater than 100 attorneys[35] and 12.0% obtained clerkships.[34] 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.[36]

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.[37]

Notable faculty[edit]



Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ University of Michigan: Diversity Research & Resources, Proposal 2 Information. Link to UM website
  2. ^ Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Granholm, No. 2:06-cv-15024 (E.D. Mi.) (Lawson); Nos. 06–2640, 06–2642 (6th Cir. 2007).
  3. ^ January 10, 2007 statement by Dean Evan Caminker.[52]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2015."University of Michigan 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). University of Michigan, Board of Regents. p. 48. 
  2. ^ "Best Law Schools: University of Michigan—Ann Arbor". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2015-03-10. 
  3. ^ "Best Law School Rankings". US News & World Report 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Top Law Schools: 2010 Super Lawyers U.S. Law School Rankings". Retrieved 2015-03-10. 
  5. ^ "Best International Law Programs". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2015-03-10. 
  6. ^ "Methodology: Best Law Schools Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  7. ^ "Brian Leiter's Law School Reports". Retrieved January 21, 2018. 
  8. ^ "LSAT Score Conversion Chart - Alpha Score". Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  9. ^ "ABA Law School Data for The University of Michigan Law School". Law School Admission Council. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  10. ^ "Comprehensive Employment Statistics 2012". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  11. ^ "The Go-To Law Schools". Tipping the Scales. 2015. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  12. ^ "Locations where our graduates accepted jobs". University of Michigan Law School (web archive). 2010. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  13. ^ "Faculty A-Z". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  14. ^ "Michigan's First Woman Lawyer" (PDF). University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  15. ^ "Nannes Third-Year Challenge: Frequently Asked Questions". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  16. ^ "A New Legal Landscape". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  17. ^ "America's Favorite Architecture". Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  18. ^ "Michigan Law School – History and Traditions". Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  19. ^ "University of Michigan Law School-Image Gallery". Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j University of Michigan Law School. "Journals and Student Organizations". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  21. ^ Michigan Law Review. "History". University of Michigan Law Review. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  22. ^ "University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform". University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  23. ^ "Michigan Journal of International Law". Michigan Journal of International Law. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  24. ^ "Michigan Journal of Gender and Law". Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  25. ^ "Michigan Journal of Race & Law". Michigan Journal of Race & Law. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  26. ^ "Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review". Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  27. ^ "Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law". Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  28. ^ "Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review". University of Michigan Law School. 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  29. ^ a b "Moot Courts & Competitions". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  30. ^ "Origin of the Henry M. Cambell Moot Court Competition". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  31. ^ "Clinical Programs". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  32. ^ "Michigan Law Culture Show". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  33. ^ "Externships". University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  34. ^ a b "Comprehensive Employment Statistics". Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  35. ^ "Individual School Reports", Accessed July 16, 2014.
  36. ^ "University of Michigan". Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  37. ^ "Law School Tuition Rates 2014-2015" Accessed July 16, 2014.
  38. ^ Evan Acker, "Father of Miranda" Yale Kamisar Retires (Apr. 27, 2011). Motions Online.
  39. ^ Uncredited, Profile of Roger Carter; Robertson Stromberg. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  40. ^ "George W. Crockett, Jr". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Feikens, John". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  42. ^ "Ford, Harold, Jr., (1970 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Richard Gephardt". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Gould, Ronald Murray". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judiciary Center. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  45. ^ "Kearse, Amalya Lyle". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy". Michigan Lawyers in History. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Murphy, Frank". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Rob Portman". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  49. ^ "Salazar, Kenneth Lee, (1955 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Rick Snyder". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Sutherland, George, (1862 - 1942)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  52. ^ [1] Archived July 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°16′26.9″N 83°44′21.6″W / 42.274139°N 83.739333°W / 42.274139; -83.739333