The University of Michigan Law School
) is the law school
of the University of Michigan
, in Ann Arbor
. 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
. 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 world.
The law school has graduated the late 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 is also a top 5 school in terms of alumni serving as judges in federal courts, academia, elite law firms, and in public service. The school routinely places its graduates in the highly coveted Supreme Court Clerkships, more than any public law schools in the world.
Michigan Law is regarded as an academic powerhouse. It ranked third in the initial U.S. News & World Report law school rankings
in 1987, only below Yale
, and is one of seven schools to never appear outside the magazine's top 10. In the most recent U.S. News
ranking, Michigan Law is ranked ninth. As recently as 1997, the Law School was tied for the top spot in the U.S. News
attorney/judge survey. Michigan Law consistently ranks first among public law schools. About only one in five applicants to Michigan Law is accepted. The most recent class had a median LSAT
score of 169 (top two to three percent), and a median undergraduate GPA
About 98 percent of the graduating class of 2006 was employed by graduation, earning a median starting salary of $125,000. About 750 employers were present in Ann Arbor for the Law School's Early Interview Week in August 2006. Michigan Law has placed more Supreme Court law clerks than any other public law school, with over 50 to date. Such success in post-graduate employment is reflected in Vault Law Rankings, where Michigan is ranked second.
The Law School was founded in 1859. Unlike other law schools whose programs developed slowly, Michigan 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 pass the bar.
The Law Quadrangle is designed in English Gothic style
The Cook Law Quadrangle was constructed using funds donated by William Cook (an alumnus) and comprised the four original buildings were built between 1924 and 1933 by the architectural firm York and Sawyer:
- 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, likely the largest building in the world devoted exclusively to a law library
- John Cook Dormitory, providing housing for 352 students
- The Lawyer's Club, 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 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.
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
Michigan Law School students may compete in intramural and extramural moot court competitions, the oldest of which is the Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition. The Campbell Competition has been an annual event at the Law School for more than eighty years, and winning it is one of the highest honors a UM law student can achieve.
Student Funded Fellowships
Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) is a grant program designed to fund Michigan Law students who take low-paying summer jobs in the public interest. 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 up 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 Members
- Ralph W. Aigler (J.D. 1907), Nationally known expert on property , member of U-M faculty, 1910-1954; also inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor
- Ronald J. Allen (J.D. 1973), Northwestern University John Henry Wigmore Professor of Law, one of only four Americans to be designated as a Yangtze River Scholar (China's highest academic award, which was formerly only for Nobel Laureates) in 2007. Allen is the first professor to earn the award, which usually goes to scientists or economists.
- Edgardo Angara (LLM 1964), former president of the University of the Philippines and Senate President of the Philippines.
- Todd Anson (J.D. 1980), Former Managing Partner of Brobeck, Phleger, and Harrison LLP(bringing LEGO's theme park to the United States), and Co-Founder of Cisterra LLC (2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year).
- Prudence Carter Beatty, (J.D. 1968), US Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York
- Steven G. Bradbury (J.D. 1988), Acting Assistant Attorney General (Office of Legal Counsel)
- Nicole (Niki) Burnham (J.D. 1994), Author, RITA award winner
- Mike Cox (J.D. 1989), current Michigan Attorney General
- Ann Coulter (J.D. 1988), Political personality
- Clarence Darrow, famous trial lawyer; defense counsel in in the Scopes Monkey Trial and Leopold and Loeb
- Harry M. Daugherty (LL.B. 1880), Republican Party boss, member of the "Ohio Gang"
- William R. Day (LL.B. 1870), United States Secretary of State, 1898; United States Supreme Court Associate Justice, 1903-1922
- Harry T. Edwards (J.D. 1965), former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Larry Elder (J.D. 1977), radio and television talk show host
- Barry Fink (J.D.), American Century Investments chief operating officer
- Jeffrey L. Fisher (J.D. 1997) - Stanford Law School professor; argued Crawford v. Washington before the Supreme Court
- Harold Ford, Jr. (J.D. 1996) - former U.S. Representative from Tennessee; Democratic Leadership Council chair
- Ralph M. Freeman (LL.B. 1926), United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan judge
- John J. Gardner (attended 1866-1867) - U.S. Representative from New Jersey; mayor of Atlantic City
- Richard Gephardt (J.D. 1965) - U.S. Representative from Missouri (1977-2005)
- Wycliffe Grousbeck (J.D. 1986), Owner of the Boston Celtics.
- James P. Hoffa (LL.B. 1966) - International Brotherhood of Teamsters president
- Amalya Lyle Kearse (J.D. 1962), - United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit judge
- Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy (J.D. 1947) - United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit senior judge
- Raymond Kethledge (J.D. 1993) - United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit judge.
- J. Thomas McCarthy (J.D. 1963), Author of McCarthy's Treatise on Trademark and Unfair Competition
- Charles Edward Merrill (1906-1907), Co-Founded stock brokerage firm Merrill Lynch (NYSE MER) with Edmund C. Lynch. Worked at Merrill Lynch 1914-56
- Frank Murphy (LL.B. 1914), United States Attorney General, 1939, and United States Supreme Court Associate Justice, 1940-1949
- Rob Pelinka (J.D. 1996), prominent sports agent, best known for representing Kobe Bryant
- Bob Pickett (J.D. 1972), prominent attorney and talk show host & personality in NYC on 98.7 KISS-FM and other nationally syndicated shows.
- Rob Portman (J.D. 1984), Director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Branch Rickey (J.D. 1911), Major League Baseball executive and Hall of Famer; created the modern minor league system and signed Jackie Robinson to a contract, breaking the sport's 20th-century color line.
- Richard Riordan (J.D. 1956), Los Angeles Mayor, 1993-2001
- John M. Rogers (J.D. 1974), Federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
- Larry Sager, (J.D. 1999), Author of No Guns, No Knives, No Personal Checks—The Tales of a San Francisco Cab Driver winner of the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award for the Best First Book (Fiction) from the Independent Publishers Marketing Association.
- Ken Salazar (J.D. 1981), U.S. Senator from Colorado
- Anthony Joseph Scirica (J.D. 1965), chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Cynthia Leitich Smith (J.D. 1994), author
- George Sutherland (1883), United States Supreme Court Justice
- Masaaki Tanaka (LL.M), President and Chief Executive Officer of UnionBanCal Corporation and its principal subsidiary, Union Bank of California (NYSEUB).
- Larry D. Thompson (J.D. 1974), Former Deputy Attorney General of the United States
- Henry Clay Thornton (AM 1868), Prominent Logansport, Indiana, attorney; Uncle and mentor of William Wheeler Thornton
- William Wheeler Thornton (LL.B. 1876), Judge, Author, Indiana Deputy Attorney General, Indiana State Supreme Ct. Librarian
- John M. Walker, Jr. (J.D. 1966), former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Moses Fleetwood Walker (attended 1881-1882) - Baseball player and author; first African-American to play major league professional baseball
- David Westin (J.D.) - Current President of ABC News
- James J. White (J.D. 1962) - Robert A. Sullivan Professor of Law at Michigan Law; expert on the Uniform Commercial Code
- Ralph Wilson - Buffalo Bills owner
- Roxanne Wilson (J.D. 2003) - appellate lawyer; candidate on The Apprentice fifth season
- Bob Woodruff (J.D. 1987) - journalist; ABC News anchor
- Sam Zell (LSA B.A. 1963; J.D. 1966) - land developer; founder of Equity Office Properties; former National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts chairman
- Miriam Defensor Santiago (LL.M. 1975, S.J.D. 1976) - member of the Senate of the Philippines
- University of Michigan: Diversity Research & Resources, Proposal 2 Information. Link to UM wesbite
- Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Granholm, No. 2:06-cv-15024 (E.D. Mi.) (Lawson); Nos. 06-2640, 06-2642 (6th Cir. 2007).
- January 10, 2007 statement by Dean Evan Caminker. See statement here