University of Michigan Law School

University of Michigan Law School
University of Michigan Law School
University of Michigan Law Logo
Established 1859
School type Public
Endowment US$248 million(2000)
Parent endowment US$7.8billion (2011)[1]
Dean Evan Caminker
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Enrollment 1,100
Faculty 90
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 has an enrollment of about 1,200 students, most of whom are seeking Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, although the school also offers a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree. The Law School has 81 full-time faculty members (60 tenured and tenure-track and 21 in clinical and legal practice).[2]

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, only below Yale and Harvard, and is one of seven schools never to appear outside the magazine's top 10. Michigan Law is also one of the "T14" law schools, that is, schools that have consistently ranked within the top 14 law schools since U.S. News began publishing rankings. In the 2011 U.S. News ranking, Michigan Law is ranked 7th overall.[3] Other 2009 rankings place Michigan as high as second.[4][5] Michigan Law is currently ranked 6th for International Law.[6] 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.[7] Only Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, and Columbia Law School have graduated more Supreme Court Justices than Michigan Law, and Michigan Law has placed more Supreme Court law clerks than any other public law school, with over 50 to date. Michigan Law is also among the handful of schools regularly sending substantial numbers of graduates into law teaching.

Admission to Michigan Law is highly selective, with only 18% of applicants accepted.[8] The most recent class to matriculate has a median LSAT of 169 (top 2 to 3% of test takers) and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.73.[9] Approximately 99.8 percent of the graduating class of 2008 was employed by graduation, earning a median starting salary of $160,000. About 750 employers were present in Ann Arbor for the Law School's Early Interview Week in August 2006. The majority of Michigan Law grads work in New York, Illinois, California, Washington, D.C. and Michigan.[10]

The law school has graduated the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Frank Murphy, William Rufus Day, and George Sutherland, as well as a number of heads of states and corporate executives. The school places more graduates in Supreme Court clerkships than any other public law school in the United States. Michigan Law has also placed 30 of its graduates on the state's Supreme Court, including five who served as Chief Justice. More than 170 Michigan law graduates have served as legislators as either United States Senator (20 graduates) or as a Congressional representative (more than 150 graduates).



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.[11]

Although the law school is part of the public University of Michigan, only three percent of the law school's expenses are covered by state funds.[12] 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 dollar 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.[13] 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.

Law Quad

The Lawyer's Club, Law Quadrangle, Library reading room, Library exterior, and Library interior.Law Quad 2009.JPGUMichiganLawLibraryInterior.jpg Law School Facade 2009.JPGMichigan 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 William Cook (an alumnus), 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."[14] 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.[15]


Michigan Law School students publish six well-regarded law journals including the Michigan Law Review, the sixth oldest legal journal in the U.S.

The other law journals include:

Moot court competitions

Students may compete in intramural and extramural moot court competitions, the oldest of which is the prestigious Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition, established in 1926.[16]

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. SFF is governed by a board of 9-12 law students and operates independently of the Law School. The Board elects its own members, 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 clerks donate a day's salary to SFF, to a grand auction in March that invites bids on various donated items, including sports tickets, meals with faculty members, and art. In the late spring, Board members review applications for summer funding and select a limited number of highly qualified students for grants. In 2007 about twice as many students applied for grants as could be funded.

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

See also


  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. See statement here


External links

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

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