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The University of Michigan Law School (Michigan Law) is the law school of the University of Michiganmarker, in Ann Arbormarker. Founded in 1859, the school has an enrollment of about 1,200 students, most of whom are seeking Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, although the school also offers a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree. The Law School has 81 full-time faculty members (60 tenured and tenure-track and 21 in clinical and legal practice). It is regarded as one of the most selective and prestigious law schools in the United States.

The law school has graduated the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Frank Murphy, William Rufus Day, and George Sutherland, as well as a number of heads of states and corporate executives. The school places more graduates in Supreme Court clerkships than any other public law school in the United States.


Michigan Law has long been a leader in legal education. Michigan Law was ranked third in the initial U.S. News & World Report law school rankings in 1987, only below Yalemarker and Harvardmarker, and is one of seven schools never to appear outside the magazine's top 10. In the 2009 U.S. News ranking, Michigan Law is ranked 9th. Other 2009 rankings place Michigan as high as second. Only Yale Law School, Harvard Law Schoolmarker, and Columbia Law School have graduated more Supreme Court Justices than Michigan Law, and Michigan Law has placed more Supreme Court law clerks than any other public law school, with over 50 to date.

Admission to Michigan Law is highly selective, with only one in five applicants accepted. Approximately 99.8 percent of the graduating class of 2008 was employed by graduation, earning a median starting salary of $160,000. About 750 employers were present in Ann Arbor for the Law School's Early Interview Week in August 2006. The majority of Michigan Law grads work in New York, Illinois, California, Washington, D.C. and Michigan.


The Law School was founded in 1859, and quickly rose to national prominence. By 1870, Michigan was the largest law school in the country.

In 1870, Gabriel Franklin Hargo graduated from Michigan as the second African-American to graduate from law school in the United States. In 1871 Sarah Killgore, a Michigan Law graduate, became the first woman to both graduate from law school and be admitted to the bar.

Although the law school is part of the public University of Michiganmarker, only three percent of the law school's expenses are covered by state funds. The remainder (97-98% of Michigan Law's budget) is supplied by private gifts, tuition, and endowments.

As of 2009, Michigan Law is engaging in a $102 million dollar enterprise, constructing an addition to the law building that remains loyal to the English Gothic style. This enterprise is fully funded by endowments and private gifts. 2009 also marked the school's sesquicentennial celebration. As a part of the festivities, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. visited the school and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building.

Law Quad

[[Image:Lawyers Club.jpg|thumb|180px|The Lawyer's Club, Law Quadrangle, Library reading room, Library exterior, and Library interior.]]The Law Quadrangle is designed in English Gothic style

Built between 1924 and 1933 by the architectural firm York and Sawyer with funds donated by William Cook (an alumnus), the Cook Law Quadrangle comprises four buildings:

  • Hutchins Hall, the main academic building, named for former Dean of the Law School and President of the University, Harry Burns Hutchins
  • The Legal Research Building. In 2007, the University of Michigan Reading Room was named 94th on a list of "American's Favorite Buildings."The building is one of only three law buildings on the list.
  • John Cook Dormitory
  • The Lawyer's Club, providing additional dormitory rooms and a meeting space for the residents of the Quad; highlighted by a Great Lounge, and a dining room with a high-vaulted ceiling, an oak floor, and dark oak paneling.
  • In 2009, Robert and Ann Aikens made a $10 million gift to the University of Michigan Law School for the school's ongoing building expansion and renovation project. The Aikens' gift will help fund construction that expands instructional space at the historic Law Quadrangle for the first time since the school's main classroom building opened in 1933. The Law School will name the new commons the Robert B. Aikens Commons.


Michigan Law School students publish six well-regarded law journals including the Michigan Law Review, the sixth oldest legal journal in the U.S.

The other law journals include:

Moot court competitions

Students may compete in intramural and extramural moot court competitions, the oldest of which is the prestigious Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition, an eighty-year tradition at the Law School.

Student Funded Fellowships

Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) is a program designed to fund Michigan Law students who public interest summer jobs with low-pay. SFF is governed by a board of 9-12 law students and operates independently of the Law School. The Board elects its own members, including two co-chairs, a treasurer, and various committee chairs. Board members head fundraising efforts throughout the year, ranging from Donate a Day's Pay (DADP), in which highly paid law firm clerks donate a day's salary to SFF, to a grand auction in March that invites bids on various donated items, including sports tickets, meals with faculty members, and art. In the late spring, Board members review applications for summer funding and select a limited number of highly qualified students for grants. In 2007 about twice as many students applied for grants as could be funded.

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

See also


  1. University of Michigan: Diversity Research & Resources, Proposal 2 Information. Link to UM website
  2. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Granholm, No. 2:06-cv-15024 (E.D. Mi.) (Lawson); Nos. 06-2640, 06-2642 (6th Cir. 2007).
  3. January 10, 2007 statement by Dean Evan Caminker. See statement here


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