The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan is one of the world’s finest institutions of legal education. Housed in the Cook Quadrangle on the University of Michigan’s central campus, the Law School is unmatched for beauty and is superbly functional for its residential and scholarly community. The School has a sizable and diverse faculty, with many preeminent in their fields. The careers of alumni also speak eloquently to the strength of the School; our graduates are leaders serving with distinction in the public, private, and academic sectors in this nation and beyond. It is one of the oldest schools in the United States founded in 1859.
The off-site opportunities abound both internationally and domestically through the externship and independent study programs. The South African Externship Program allows students to spend the fall term working in South Africa for human rights organizations or other nonprofit legal organizations. The Geneva Externship Program gives students the chance to spend the winter term at UN agencies and non-governmental organizations in Geneva, engaged in a broad range of international legal work. Other students have pursued externships with the U.S. Department of State, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Commerce, Overseas Private Investment Cooperation, and at public interest organizations in New York, Washington, D.C., and London. Further, the School supports paid internships at the AIRE Centre in London, as well as those offered through the Cambodian and Refugee Law Programs. Michigan is one of a select group of U.S. law schools whose students are eligible for clerkships at the European Court of Justice through the Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program and at the International Court of Justice.
The social and intellectual climate of the University of Michigan Law School reflects not just its faculty but its student body: bright, diverse, interesting, intellectually engaged men and women from 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and almost 30 foreign countries. They represent about 80 undergraduate majors from 264 institutions. About one-fifth hold degrees in science, engineering, or math. Almost three-quarters of entering students are a year or more removed from undergraduate work. Fifteen percent typically come to us with an advanced degree. Women comprise 44 percent of our population and students of color make up 23 percent.
Student interests and talents are expressed in an array of extracurricular activities that thrive despite the demands of legal study. More than 50 student groups are organized around specific interest areas within the law, as well as academic and social support groups defined by religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, professional, and personal interests. Many students participate in community service, pro bono work, and student government. About 450 students—more than half of our second- and third-years—serve on the editorial staffs of the School’s six scholarly journals. And many students take advantage of opportunities to test and develop their professional skills outside of the classroom through moot court and client-counseling competitions.
Student-organized conferences and symposia on cutting-edge topics further enhance academic life at Michigan Law. Recent symposium topics include environmental law, urban renewal, feminist legal theory, affirmative action and voter initiatives, Asian corporate governance, and international jurisdictional boundaries.