Michigan Law Today: Excellence, Engagement, Impact
Becoming a Michigan Law student not only grants access to the intellectual vibrance and collegiality of faculty and talented fellow students, but provides opportunities to benefit from one of higher education’s most dynamic intellectual, cultural, and social environments. One of only four universities in the country to have almost 100 top-10-ranked graduate programs, the University of Michigan has extraordinary departments in the social sciences and humanities; schools of law, engineering, business, medicine, education, information, natural resources, public health, public policy, and social work; and specialized research institutes and centers of study. As a result, law students at the University of Michigan become part of a rich community of scholars and colleagues and a milieu that encourages looking at law in its very broadest social context.
The Law School itself enjoys a national and international reputation for academic excellence. Our curriculum is both broad and innovative, as reflected by our being the first top law school to require a course in Transnational Law, preparing students for an era of global interconnectedness; a leader in designing the most extensive first-year legal research and writing course among top schools, taught exclusively by faculty with broad legal practice experience; and, beginning in the 2013–14 academic year, one of the few schools to recognize the modern primacy of legislatures and agencies as lawmaking institutions by requiring Legislation and Regulation in the 1L year. In addition to rigorous professional training that melds theory and practice, the Law School provides students with the opportunity for reflection about many of our most fundamental and urgent public questions and encourages students’ engagement in both debate and advocacy. One unusual forum is the mini-seminar, in which informal classes meet in professors’ homes to focus on topics such as The Law of Middle Earth; Corporate Democracy and Political Speech; and Collective Bargaining in Sports.
It is Michigan’s philosophy that independence and diversity of thought form the most solid intellectual and ethical basis for our students’ careers. Consequently, the proper education for a lawyer not only facilitates the acquisition of a set of professional techniques, but encourages students to make the most of their individual capacities to lead full lives in the law or their chosen career. To that end, the school manifests and encourages a broadly international and unusually interdisciplinary approach to law, offers a variety of approaches to legal education, and expects students to take full advantage of the Law School’s remarkable facilities, faculty, and curriculum. The consequences of such an approach can be measured by the number and excellence of the firms and organizations recruiting our students, by our bar passage statistics nationally, by the kinds of positions offered to our students (from major clerkships and public-service roles to associate positions at prestigious private firms), by their unusually high employment success out of law school, and not least, by the notable achievements of our more than 20,000-strong alumni body worldwide.