The Michigan Law Department began in 1859 with just three part-time faculty members: James V. Campbell, Thomas M. Cooley, and Charles I. Walker. On October 3, the three met and elected Campbell as Dean and Cooley as Secretary. Two days later, the first students heard the first lecture.
In 1883, Henry Wade Rogers became the first full time professor. By 1900 there were 9 full time and 2 part time professors. Each decade the number of resident full time professors increased, but slowly, so that by 1950 there were 15. After that, the increase was dramatic: in 1960, 39; 1970, 48; 1990, 51. Now, in 2008, there are 73. Significant new categories of faculty further raised the numbers: seven Legal Practice clinical assistant professors; three Affiliated Overseas Faculty; three Faculty Fellows in Business Law, and six Public Interest/Public Service Faculty Fellows.
Michigan Law faculty have, from the outset, reflected the school’s commitment to foreign, comparative, and international law; and to an interdisciplinary approach to legal research and teaching. Michigan is unique in the number of law professors who are also voting faculty members of a world-class department in another discipline. About 1/3 of our tenure track faculty hold doctorates in other fields.
[Sources: Elizabeth Gaspar Brown, Legal Education at Michigan 1859-1959; and University of Michigan Law School Faculty 07/08]