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Office of Career Planning for the Public, Private and Nonprofit Sectors

Michigan law students and alumni enjoy career opportunities throughout the United States and the world. Resources are available for students to explore summer and permanent employment opportunities in law firms, accounting firms, investment banks, corporations, government agencies, and public interest organizations. The Office of Career Planning provides specific support services and informational programs for students exploring careers in private practice, a government role, national or international public-interest positions, judicial clerkships, or legal academia.

The Office of Career Planning (OCP) assists students and alumni in developing their career skills and in searching for satisfying professional employment. OCP provides individual counseling, career workshops, and an excellent library and resource center. Students have access to a free telephone, fax, and copier for career purposes. OCP maintains an active career resource for students, alumni, and legal employers available on the Web.

The Office of Career Planning coordinates the Early Interview Week and Fall On-Campus Interview Program that attract hundreds of legal employers to Ann Arbor to interview second- and third-year J.D. students as well as LL.M. candidates. Additionally, the OCP coordinates a smaller Winter On-Campus Interview Program that focuses on first-year students. Michigan students are eligible to participate in specialized job fairs held throughout the year, and OCP publicizes thousands of permanent and summer employment opportunities offered to Michigan law students and alumni.

Many Michigan law students apply for a judicial clerkship to begin upon graduation. OCP sponsors a series of programs on judicial clerkship opportunities and facilitates the application process in concert with the faculty clerkship adviser.

OCP counselors work closely with students to provide individualized assistance. In addition, career programming for first-year students focuses on job search skills and strategies, self-assessment tools, and information on the myriad practice areas and practice settings available to students. However, pursuant to the National Association for Law Placement’s Principles and Standards, the Office of Career Planning does not make “placement services” available to first-year students prior to November 1, and prospective employers and students should not initiate contact with one another before December 1.

Transfer students are introduced to the Office of Career Planning's staff and resources with a special program offered in August. Dual degree candidates are encouraged to utilize the varied resources of the OCP throughout their studies, even during terms when they are pursuing classes in another discipline. Specialized career programming and counseling are available for international LL.M. candidates. Staff members of the OCP and the Office of Graduate Studies and International Programs work in tandem to provide services for foreign graduate students as well as J.D. students interested in careers in international law.

Public Interest Program

The Public Interest Program is dedicated to helping students and graduates integrate public service with their professional development.

Through career advising, up-to-date job information and their vast knowledge in the public service arena, they assist students in finding public interest and government jobs worldwide. In addition, the Law School has one of the best Loan Repayment Assistance Programs in the nation.

The Law School offers several fellowships for public service students, including the Perry Watkins Fellowship, the Fiske Fellowship and the Dean’s Public Service Fellowship. Additionally, the office provides assistance to those applying for public interest fellowships outside the Law School. More than 12 Skadden, six NAPIL, and two Echoing Green Fellowships have been awarded to Michigan law students.

Starting with the second semester of law school, OPS can assist students with applying their developing legal skills to real world issues. The office maintains a database of hundreds of public interest and government agencies with part-time internships for students, who then work under the supervision of lawyers. Although pro bono offerings may vary depending on changing legal needs, OPS regularly has placements in the areas of civil rights, criminal law, poverty law, environmental protection, and community economic development, to name only a few.

Please view the Public Interest Community Web page here.

Students are encouraged to attend the career programs, make use of the excellent individualized counseling services available and to utilize the library and related office resources of the Office of Career Planning for the Public Private and Nonprofit Sectors.