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Fall 2014 Class Descriptions

As of 4/21/2018 5:42:52 AM

Research: Special Projects

At any given time, several members of the faculty sponsor ongoing research projects that include opportunities for student research. You can get 1-3 independent research credits (pass/fail or graded, as determined by each professor) for participating in such a project, depending on the amount of time you spend. (For students interested in spending fewer hours than is required to earn credit, pro bono participation is also an option. The hours of pro bono participation would count towards fulfilling the Law School's Pro Bono Pledge but would not count towards fulfilling the New York's Pro Bono Bar Admissions Requirement.) The project requirements vary, and enrollment requires the pre-approval of the sponsoring faculty member. Interested students should contact that faculty member directly. If permission to enroll is granted, students should follow the directions in the online Registration Instructions.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING DATABASE: Launched in February 2011 by the Human Trafficking Clinic at Michigan Law School, this is the first publicly available database of human trafficking cases within the United States. Through the project, the Clinic hopes to help strengthen anti-trafficking laws in the United States and to support government officials, law enforcement, and practitioners who are working on behalf of human trafficking victims. See Faculty Sponsor: Bridgette Carr,

NATIONAL REGISTRY OF EXONERATIONS: This site, at, is a joint project of the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. It collects and distributes detailed information about all known exonerations in the United States since 1989, and conducts research on wrongful criminal convictions. Faculty Sponsor: Samuel Gross,

MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES PROJECT: Students working on this project are creating a searchable database about all pollution prosecutions investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in criminal charges from 2005-2012. The database is the first comprehensive empirical study of criminal enforcement under the pollution prevention laws and will facilitate research and analysis about environmental crimes. Research results will be published and shared with Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the EPA. Faculty Sponsor: David Uhlmann,

CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION CLEARINGHOUSE: This website, at, collects documents and information from civil rights cases in over a dozen case categories ranging from jail and prison conditions to same-sex marriage to deinstitutionalization. It is used by scholars, teachers, students, policymakers, advocates, and the public, to facilitate greater understanding of civil rights litigation. Faculty Sponsor: Margo Schlanger,

INVESTMENT TREATY MAPPING PROJECT: Students will have an opportunity to work on a project of the UN Conference on Trade and Development to examine bilateral investment treaties and map their elements onto a global database. The project is run by UNCTAD officials and will involve training in the substance of these treaties and the protocol for mapping. Students will receive three credits (one graded, two P/F). This is a unique opportunity for students interested in global business or foreign investment to be involved in an important UN project. Enrollment limit: 12 students. Faculty sponsor: Steven Ratner,

ZEAL - INVEST DETROIT VENTURE CAPITAL FELLOWSHIP: Students will learn the fundamentals of the venture capital process by assisting with deal due diligence, writing investment committee memos, and working with portfolio companies. Students will gain exposure to the venture capital and startup community in Ann Arbor and Detroit and sit in on actual deal and investment committee meetings. Students will be required to attend a 2-hour meeting weekly and out of classroom workflow will vary with deal volume. The final project is likely to require each student to develop an investment thesis for a company and pitch it to members of the investment community.

Invest Detroit is a family of private sector gap financing and venture capital funds, supporting economic and community development in underserved communities primarily in the City of Detroit. The First Step Fund ( invests in pre-seed stage companies in Southeast Michigan, with a diverse industry focus. Detroit Innovate ( is a seed to Series A stage investment fund that fuels the formation and development of high-growth companies in Southeast Michigan, focused on assisting emerging companies commercializing enabling technologies in the healthcare, transportation, advanced manufacturing, and resource efficiency sectors.

Note: Because participating students will work with proprietary information of Invest Detroit and its current or potential portfolio companies, as a condition of participating in this program, all students will be required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Enrollment limit: 2-4 students. This special project is for 3 credits. Faculty Sponsor: Bryce Pilz,

1.00 hours