A half century ago, the state of Michigan provided generous support to all its public institutions of higher learning, keeping the cost of a Michigan Law education low. For nearly every student, a summer’s wages would cover the next year’s school costs.
Today state support has plummeted. And as the cost of legal education remains high nationwide, even top schools like Michigan Law depend on private gifts to assist students in paying for their education. Our most pressing priorities are:
At Michigan we remain deeply committed to bringing together students of excellence from diverse backgrounds who can share their perspectives with each other. Our students’ interactions are crucial to the process of a first-rate legal education, since law is all about human interaction and human relationships. The ability to award financial support based on merit is a crucially important tool in attracting great students and building great classes who inspire each other in and out of the classroom.
“For the past year and a half, I have worked with the Michigan Innocence Clinic . . . Without some of the work I did on the case, Dwayne Provience might still be in prison. And without your support, I might never have been able to do that work. So I am not the only one grateful for your generosity.” More
Summer law jobs are essential training grounds and career stepping stones for the public sector as well as the private sector. But public service internships typically pay little or no salary compared to summer jobs with large firms. Michigan currently awards small stipends for public service internships, but is unable to do so in the modest amounts necessary for all interested students. Private gifts for this purpose would help Michigan remain competitive with its peer schools, many of whom can guarantee summer funding for students doing public interest or government work.
To prepare our students for work in a global economy, Michigan Law wants to offer its students the chance to put their theoretical skills to practice in cross-cultural legal contexts. To that end, we encourage gifts designated for international internships, externships, clerkships, and other study-abroad and work-abroad experiences.