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"Besides hard work, a key to successfully preparing for the SJD at Michigan is starting the hard work early. I was lucky to have the support of faculty and administrative staff whose doors were always open. As SJD students, we are fully integrated in the research and faculty life of the school, and benefit both from dedicated events, such as the weekly colloquium, as well as academic job market workshops for and by alumni."

—Raphaël Beauregard-Lacroix, LLM ’19, Current Michigan SJD student

Doctor of the Science of Law (SJD)

The Michigan SJD is the gateway to either an academic career or professional advancement internationally.  Admission is intensely competitive and is granted only to those with a strong academic record, enthusiastic faculty support, and a dissertation topic that suggests a significant and original contribution to legal literature.

The three paths to admission are the following:

  1. Complete an LLM degree at Michigan Law: The most common path is for students who have earned or are currently earning a Michigan LLM degree to apply by the May deadline.
  2. Apply as an LLM/SJD: Students with prior legal training in the Anglo-American tradition may apply in January for direct admission to the SJD program, though they will be required to successfully complete a modified LLM year before proceeding to the SJD.
  3. Apply directly to the SJD program: In the rarest of circumstances, exceptionally qualified candidates with excellent credentials relevant to their proposed dissertation may be admitted directly to the SJD program. These extraordinary students must demonstrate significant prior studies as well as produce a prospectus that clearly shows readiness to begin thesis research immediately. The application deadline is in January.

"Michigan offers an ideal environment for law students pursuing a doctoral degree. The most critical issue in a doctoral program is the commitment of the faculty. At Michigan, the faculty is extremely dedicated to supporting young scholars in the S.J.D. program."

—Doron Teichman, LLM '02, SJD '05
Assistant Professor, Hebrew University Faculty of Law, Jerusalem, Israel

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