The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor is one of the world’s finest institutions of legal education. Housed in the Cook Quadrangle on the University of Michigan’s central campus, the Law School is unmatched for beauty and is superbly functional for its residential and scholarly community. The School has a sizable and diverse faculty, with many preeminent in their fields. The careers of alumni also speak eloquently to the strength of the School; our graduates are leaders serving with distinction in the public, private, and academic sectors in this nation and beyond.
Provenance: A Great Law School in a Great University
The University of Michigan, founded in 1817, celebrates a long and distinguished history. It was in 1787 that the Northwest Territorial Ordinance provided public land for this and other Midwestern universities and established a tradition of respect for excellence in higher education. Three Native American nations—the Ojibwa (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodewadini (Potawatomi)—subsequently granted certain lands for use of the University of Michigan and by the end of the 19th century, Michigan was the largest and most generously supported public university in America and already a leader in graduate education.
The University of Michigan Law School, one of the oldest law schools in the nation, was founded in 1859. But unlike other highly selective law schools established in that era, admission was never restricted to the privileged. When Gabriel Hargo graduated from the Law School in 1870, Michigan—then the largest law school in the country—became the second American university to confer a law degree on an African American. That same year, Michigan was the first major law school to admit a woman, and in 1871, graduate Sarah Killgore became the first woman with a law degree in the nation to be admitted to the bar; by 1890, Michigan had graduated more women than any other law school. That commitment to access and diversity joined an equally powerful commitment to excellence, which continues to this day.
|Director of Admissions||Sarah C. Zearfoss|
|Application deadline||February 15|
|Approximate number of applications||5076|
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$55,104 per year (in-state)
$58,104 per year (out-of-state)
|Room and board||$14,240|
A student who matriculated prior to May 2013 must complete with a passing grade (D or better) not less than 82 hours, of which 64 must be earned in regularly scheduled class sessions in the Law School or at another law school in the United States for which the credit has been approved for transfer.
A student who matriculated in May 2015 or thereafter must complete with a passing grade (D or better) not less than 83 hours, of which 64 must be earned in regularly scheduled class sessions in the Law School or at another law school in the United States for which the credit has been approved for transfer.
A student who matriculated prior to May 2015 must achieve an honor point average of 2.0 or better, and a student who matriculated May 2015 or thereafter must achieve an honor point average of 2.3 or better, in the minimum hours submitted for graduation, calculated as follows:
|Grade||Honor Points Per Credit Hour|
Students who matriculated prior to May 2015 must earn a minimum of 62 letter-graded credits in law classes taken at the University of Michigan Law School in order to be eligible to receive degree honors. Students who matriculated in May 2015 or thereafter must earn a minimum of 63 such credits to be eligible.
The following credits do not count towards the 62 or 63 minimum letter-graded credit requirement:
JD degrees will be awarded as follows to students who matriculated in May 2012 or thereafter.
|Order of the Coif||For Coif purposes, graduates from the full academic year are combined for honors determination (e.g. August & December 2015, and May 2016). Only honors-eligible graduates within the top 10% of the combined graduating class (which includes non-eligible and honors-eligible graduates) will be considered for Order of the Coif. The final determinant for receipt of Order of the Coif is ultimately conditioned on a vote by the Law School faculty.|
|Cum laude||An honors-eligible graduate with a 3.400 to 3.699 GPA will receive cum laude.|
|Magna cum laude||An honors-eligible graduate with a 3.700 to 3.999 GPA will receive magna cum laude.|
|Summa cum laude||An honors-eligible graduate with a 4.000 or higher GPA will receive summa cum laude.|
|Name of Award||Awarded to / Awarded for|
|Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship||Widely held to be the Law School's highest honor, the Bates Scholarship is given to outstanding seniors, with account taken for scholarship in legal studies, personality, character, extracurricular interests, and promise of a distinguished career.|
|Jane L. Mixer Memorial Award||An award presented for outstanding contributions to activities designed to advance the cause of social justice.|
|Irving Stenn, Jr. Award||An award presented to those students who have demonstrated leadership, and contributed through extracurricular activities to the well-being and strength of the Law School or the University.|
|Daniel H. Grady Prize||An awarded presented to the student who has graduated with the highest standing in his or her Law School class.|
|Class of 1908 Memorial Scholarship||Awarded to the student who attained the highest scholastic average at the beginning of his or her senior year.|
|Maurice Weigle Scholarship Award||Presented to the student who attained the highest scholastic average at the end of his or her first year.|
|Clara Belfield & Henry Bates Overseas Fellowship||Fellowships presented to students who have completed two or more years of law school to pursue academic or professional projects abroad.|
|ABA-BNA Health Law Award||An award presented to the student who has excelled in the study of health law.|
|ABA-BNA Intellectual Property Award||An award presented to the student who has excelled in the study of intellectual property law.|
|ABA-BNA Labor Law Award||An award presented to the student who has excelled in the study of labor law.|
|S. Anthony Benton Memorial Award||An award presented for scholastic excellence in the field of international law.|
|William W. Bishop, Jr. Award||A prize presented to the student who has performed with distinction in the field of international law and in related Law School activities.|
|Lee Bollinger Prize||A prize presented to the student who has achieved excellence in the study of the First Amendment.|
|The Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition||The oldest and most prestigious of the various Law School competitions, involving significant hours of preparation throughout the academic year.|
|Alden J. "Butch" Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Award||Presented to students evidencing intent to assist economically depressed communities.|
|Roger A. Cunningham Memorial Property Prize||Awarded for scholastic excellence in the first-year Property Law course, along with outstanding performance in the rest of the first-year core curriculum.|
|Emmett E. Eagan Award||An award presented for excellence in the field of corporate law.|
|Robert S. Feldman Labor Law Award||Awarded for outstanding work in the field of labor law.|
|Fiske Award||A fellowship awarded to exceptional graduates serving as government employees at the federal, state, or local level, and who have demonstrated a commitment to public service values.|
|Ralph M. Freeman Scholarship||A scholarship presented to a second or third year student who has demonstrated true excellence in the fields of criminal law and procedure.|
|Carl Gussin Memorial Prize||A prize awarded for excellence in the area of trial work.|
|Rockwell T. Gust Advocacy Award||An award presented for demonstrated potential as an outstanding trial lawyer and advocate.|
|International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award||Presented for demonstrated ability in courtroom advocacy.|
|Richard Katcher Senior Tax Prize||Presented for outstanding work in courses and seminars in taxation and related areas.|
|The Jon Henry Kouba Prize||This prize recognizes the best student papers on European Integration and International Peace and Security.|
|Jeffrey S. Lehman Legal Practice Award||An award presented by the faculty to the student deemed the best legal practice student from the previous year.|
|Award for Exceptional Service||An award presented to a student for outstanding all-around contributions to each Journal.|
|Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution||An award presented to the student who wrote the best note published by each Journal.|
|Dores McCree Award||For extraordinary devotion to the well-being of students and commitment to a widely inclusive and unified vision of the Law School community.|
|Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society Law Student Prize||For outstanding work in courses related to legal history.|
|Saul L. Nadler Memorial Award||An award presented for outstanding work in courses related to commercial and corporate law.|
|National Association of Women Lawyers Award||Awarded for academic achievement, community service, and the potential for future contributions to the advancement of women.|
|Jack C. Radcliffe, Jr. Award||An award presented to a second or third year student who has served as a senior judge in the legal writing program, with account taken for excellence in mentoring first year law students.|
|The Rakow Scholarship||Established by the Federal Bar Foundation, this is awarded to the student who demonstrates outstanding achievement in corporations or business law.|
|Jenny Runkles Memorial Award||An annual award presented to second year students who have exhibited a selfless commitment to improving the Law School community, and society as a whole, through devotion to public interest and diversity.|
|Scholarly Writing Awards||Presented for scholarly work of superior quality, prepared without the expectation of publication.|
|Craig Spangenberg Oral Advocacy Award||An award to recognize one or more students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in courtroom oral advocacy.|
|Juan Luis Tienda Memorial Scholarship Award||Awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to working for the advancement of Latinos in the United States.|
|Joseph Wolfe Memorial Prize||Presented to the writer of the best student paper produced in the field of Trust Law during the last year.|
|Women Lawyers' Association of Michigan Foundation Award||Awarded to women law students who have demonstrated leadership capabilities and served the community in such areas as family law, child advocacy or domestic violence, or displayed potential for advancing the position of women in society.|
|Women Lawyers of Michigan Julia D. Darlow Award||Awarded to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing the interests of women members of the legal profession and to promoting equity and social justice for all people.|
|Hessel E. Yntema Award||An award presented to the student who has performed with distinction in courses and seminars in international and comparative law.|
Student journals and organizations at the University of Michigan Law School offer law students a wide array of extracurricular opportunities for students to get involved in different aspects of the law, as well as community service projects and political groups.
Journals at the Law School are staffed by students and offer a varied selection of interesting opportunities for students to further their involvement in a specific area, such as environmental law, technological law, international law, gender, and critical race issues.
Michigan Law Review
The Michigan Law Review publishes eight issues annually. Seven of each volume’s eight issues are composed of two major parts: Articles by legal scholars and practitioners, and Notes by law students. One issue in each volume is devoted to book reviews.
First Impressions, the online companion to the Michigan Law Review, publishes op-ed length articles by academics, judges, and practitioners on current legal issues. This extension of the printed journal facilitates quick dissemination of the legal community’s initial impressions of important judicial decisions, legislative developments, and timely legal policy issues.
University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform
The Michigan Journal of Law Reform is one of the country’s foremost academic journals dedicated to promoting legal reform. Across its four issues, annual symposia, and online publication, Caveat, the Journal identifies the critical problems facing domestic decision-makers and presents responsive solutions. In every medium, the Journal provides content that is timely, novel, and focused on reform.
The Journal is one of the oldest and most well respected law and policy publications in the nation. It publishes cutting-edge legal scholarship by both academics and legal practitioners. Established in 1968, the Journal finds its roots in a desire to propose constructive, well-reasoned reforms in all areas of the law.
In the Journal’s inaugural issue, Professor Francis Allen summarized the publication’s purpose in the following way: “In short, it seeks to promote the improvement of law and its administration in all areas in which needs are disclosed and in which useful proposals can be advanced.” True to these words, the Journal’s Editorial Board has consistently sought out and published articles on a diverse range of legal issues, eschewing the narrow focus of many legal publications.
The Journal also regularly sponsors symposia. These multi-day events provide an in-depth examination of one area of law in need of reform, with presentations by some of the most prominent and compelling scholars and practitioners in that field. The ideas presented at these symposia are then consolidated and published in article form in the Journal’s Summer Issue. Previously, symposia have focused on such varied topics as jury reform, products liability law, and school finance revitalization of American cities.
Michigan Journal of International Law
First published as the Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies, the Michigan Journal of International Law is now one of the premiere international legal journals in the world. We publish four times a year with the help of our Editorial Board, Contributing Editors, and Associate Editors. We are lucky to benefit from Michigan’s excellent international law faculty and enjoy bringing cutting edge international legal scholarship to our campus and beyond.
Michigan Journal of Gender & Law
The central mission of the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law is to create a feminist legal publication that will help expand and develop legal discourse beyond traditional boundaries. The Journal, which was founded in 1992, is dedicated to providing a forum for exploring how gender issues (and related issues of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, and culture) impact law and society. The Journal seeks to compare, contrast, and combine theoretical and practical perspectives on gender issues in order to provide a bridge between theory and practice. To achieve these purposes, the Journal publishes the views of legal scholars, social scientists, practitioners, students and others. The Journal is committed to representing a broad range of perspectives, however unconventional or unpopular they may be. We welcome the submissions and responses of our readers.
Michigan Journal of Race & Law
The Michigan Journal of Race & Law is a legal journal that serves as a forum for the exploration of issues relating to race and law. To that end, MJR&L publishes articles, notes, and essays on the cutting edge of civil rights scholarship from a wide variety of scholarly perspectives. MJR&L’s diversity is reflected by the authors with whom we collaborate, ranging from scholars and students to practitioners and social scientists.
Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review
Founded in 1994, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review was one of the first law journals to use interactive media to promote informed discourse about the interrelated legal, social, business, and public policy issues raised by emerging technologies. As one of the original online law journals in the world, MTTLR is a ground-breaking publication.
MTTLR publishes online and printed volumes, available through subscription. MTTLR is available through Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, and this web site. The Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review’s primary purpose is to examine the tensions created by advances in computing, telecommunications, biotechnology, multimedia, networking, information and other technologies.
Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law
The Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law (MJEAL) is The University of Michigan Law School’s newest legal journal. MJEAL is made possible by a generous grant from the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.
The journal publishes articles, student notes, comments, essays, and online blog posts on all aspects of environmental and administrative law.
Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review
The mission of the Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review (MBELR) is to serve as a vessel for practitioner and scholarly work related to business law, with a focus on legal issues involved with private equity and venture capital. MBELR was founded as the Michigan Journal of Private Equity and Venture Capital Law (MJPVL), which published Volumes 1 – 3, and plans to continue the legacy and mission of MJPVL.
In order to enrich its members’ educational experience, MBELR seeks to comprehensively prepare its members to perform the editorial and administrative tasks required to publish a professional legal journal while simultaneously assisting each of its members in preparing an original work of scholarship adequate for publication.
The University of Michigan Law School offers law students a wide array of extracurricular opportunities, including moot court and other competitions, to get involved in different aspects of the law.
The links below provide additional information for the various competitions in which students have participated.
Moot Court Competitions
Michigan Law has long been known for its distinctive educational blend of leading scholarship and legal practice. In today's competitive environment, it is more important than ever for new graduates to hit the ground running in the practice of law. For more than 45 years, Michigan Law has offered clinics in which students take "first-chair" lead responsibility for real clients with real legal needs. Students represent these clients under the supervision of experienced faculty in small, intensive settings in classrooms, boardrooms, and courtrooms in Michigan and beyond. We are so committed to this formative experience that we guarantee every student at least one upper-level clinic, with many taking more.
Our 18 clinics cover a remarkable array of practice areas from transactional to litigation and everything in between. Students represent children, families, small business owners and nonprofit agencies, the wrongly convicted, human trafficking victims, asylum seekers, startups and makers, organizations bringing business solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems, and individuals in need of core civil and criminal legal services.
Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$125,000 - $160,000|
|Median in the private sector||$160,000|
|Median in public service||$59,246|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||83.1%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||87.6%|
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||4.1%|
|Public Interest Organizations||8.8%|
Externships offer an exciting opportunity to augment classroom study with real-world work experience. Under the guidance of Michigan faculty and a field placement supervisor, students immerse themselves in legal work with local, state, and federal governmental agencies, and with nonprofit organizations throughout the country and world. Externships complete a student's personal study agenda, complementing coursework that often includes clinics. Externships enable students to pursue sophisticated work and research in a particular field beyond our curricular offerings.
Michigan Law offers five distinct externship programs: