Centers and Student Organizations
The Center for International and Comparative Law, guided by and managed by Virginia Gordan, Assistant Dean for International Affairs, is the Law School's focal point for the internationally related endeavors of students, faculty, visitors, and alumni. It serves as a central clearing house for international activities taking place at the Law School and around the University and provides direction and support to faculty and student initiatives, such as conferences and workshops, and to international projects such as student internships, faculty exchanges, and study abroad opportunities. For international public interest career information, please see the Office of Career Planning and its International Practice Area Section.
The Center also develops social and academic programs for graduate students and visiting scholars which give them a sense of community among themselves and integrate them into the life of the entire School. Some of the features offered by the Center include: an orientation program at the beginning of the academic year, which introduces students to the Law School, the culture of U.S. law classes, and the curriculum, and provides individual academic advising to each student for arranging his/her academic program for the year; e-mail groups; pen-pal programs; language lunches; and international host programs. More broadly speaking, the Assistant Dean for International Affairs and her staff are dedicated to making the academic and personal experience of graduate students, scholars, and visitors at the Law School a rich and meaningful one.
Other centers and programs include the John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics, European Legal Studies Program, Japanese Legal Studies Program, Chinese Legal Studies Program, and the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law.
Graduate students are encouraged to participate in the activities of nearly 50 student organizations which enrich the Law School through speakers, service work, and social and intellectual activity designed to bring together individuals with shared interests. A small sampling includes the Women Law Students Association, the Environmental Law Society, the Health Law Society, Intellectual Property Student Association, the Latino Law Students Association, the Critical Race Theory Reading Group, the Business Law Society, and the Law School’s six scholarly journals. Furthermore, Michigan offers a variety of opportunities for students to test and develop their professional skills outside of the classroom with moot court competitions, mediation workshops, client-counseling and negotiation competitions, the Family Law Project, and the Asylum and Refugee Law Project.
Class, Conference, and Workshop Visitors
Scores of eminent lawyers, public figures, government officials, and distinguished scholars from around the world regularly visit throughout the year to participate in classes, conferences, and workshops or to deliver speeches. Recent visitors of particular note include: Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and first woman president of Ireland; Itsuo Sonobe, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan; Walter van Gerven, former Advocate General of the European Court of Justice and founding partner of DeBandt law firm (Brussels); Alejandro Ferrer, former Minister of Trade and Industry of Panama (LL.M '92, SJD '00); Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch of the Supreme Court of Israel; Louise Doswald-Beck, Professor and Director of the University Center for International Humanitarian Law in Geneva and former Head of the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Luiz Olavo Baptista, member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization and Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Clark T. Randt, Jr., US Ambassador to China (J.D. '75).