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Mini Seminars

One of the hallmarks of being a student at Michigan Law is the unusual level of access to and interaction with professors. The mini-seminar program takes that experience to a whole new level: If you thought you knew your favorite professors before, consider the insights you'll have after you've had dinner at their houses while their children run around in diapers. And for the reserved student who has avoided more than cursory visits to office hours, the mini-seminar presents the perfect opportunity to take advantage of one of the most special features of our community.

Implemented in 2005, the program has proved enormously popular with students and faculty alike. The mini-seminars capitalize on both the Law School's unique physical environment, where most faculty live within a stone's throw of the Quadrangle, and our ethos of collegiality, to provide a new venue for personal connections between students and faculty in a casual forum. For one ungraded credit, groups of 10 or 12 students meet with a professor (or two) over the course of a semester (or in some cases, the entire academic year) to hold provocative conversations in a series of two-hour sessions in the professor's home or some other non-classroom setting. The seminar's theme is faculty-selected—often intensively law-focused, balanced by a handful of topics that might be described as marginally legal. About 15 mini-seminars are offered each year.

For 2013-14, the topics Are:

The Anatomy of a Supreme Court Case (Prof. Richard Friedman)
Ethical Issues at the Intersection of Law and Science (Prof. John Pottow & Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology)
Wall Street (Prof. Michael Barr)
What Can (or Can't) Neuroscience Tell us about Criminal Punishment? (Prof. Kim Thomas)

Year-Round (Fall/Winter)
Can Courts Bring Social Change?  Should They? (Prof. Julian Davis Mortenson)
Exonerations of Falsely Convicted Criminal Defendants (Prof. Samuel Gross)
Identity and the Law (Prof. Debra Chopp)
"The Nearest Thing to a Great Man I've Ever Known" (Prof. Len Niehoff)

Please see the F13 Mini-Seminar Series document for "Fall only" and "Fall/Winter" mini-seminar descriptions, meeting times, and special registration instructions.

Upper Class:
Legal Issues of the American Civil War (Prof. Ted Becker)
The Practice of Law in Courtroom Comedies (Prof. Timothy Pinto)
Same-Sex Marriage Litigation (Prof. Margo Schlanger)
Theater and the Moral Foundations of the Law (Prof. Doug Kahn and Prof. JJ Prescott)

Please see the W14 Mini-Seminar Series (Upper Class) document for "Winter only" upper-class mini-seminar descriptions, meeting times, and special registration instructions.

1L Fall Starters:
Libertarianism and the Civil Rights Act (Prof. Bagenstos)
Law and Poker (Prof. Seinfeld)

Please see the W14 Mini-Seminar Series (1L Fall Starters) document for "Winter only" first-year mini-seminar descriptions, meeting times, and special registration instructions.

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