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Course Descriptions

As of 3/2/2021 12:36:58 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. Some students work on the development of the Clearinghouse itself; others on developing civil rights teaching materials for high school students. Faculty Sponsor: Margo Schlanger, MDEFENDERS: PUBLIC DEFENDER TRAINING INSTITUTE - Part Two (2 mandatory pass/fail credits, winter term): This program is the second in a two-part series designed to train aspiring public defenders. In this second part, students will learn about plea bargaining, motion practice, jury selection, and trial advocacy. Students attending this training program are required to attend Thursday afternoon sessions from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Students who enroll for credit will be responsible for completing reading assignments and simulation preparation. Participation does not count toward the Law School's Pro Bono Pledge and does not count towards fulfilling the New York Pro Bono Admissions Requirements. Faculty Sponsor: Eve Brensike Primus,