Michigan Law School
Michigan is consistently one of the highest-ranked law schools in the United States. Though located in the Midwest, its national reputation attracts student and employers far and wide and its esteemed alumni can be found everywhere in the country and the world.
Aside from top-notch academics, Michigan Law is perhaps best known for its collaborative and friendly environment. Despite being one of the larger law schools, students are encouraged to interact not only with each other but faculty, staff, and administrators. Due in part to its setting, Michigan has been able to foster a strong sense of community where, for example, mini-seminars are often held at professor’s homes. This culture is further reflected in its admissions process where Michigan truly considers each applicant holistically.
Noteworthy for candidates interested in pursuing a dual degree, Michigan is also home to over 100 top-ranked graduate programs including the Ross School of Business and Ford School of Public Policy. In fact, Michigan Law has formally established 14 dual degree programs in conjunction with 13 different graduate programs.
Located in Ann Arbor, which was named the No. 1 place to live in a 2017 study conducted by Niche.com, “the University of Michigan is completely absorbed into the city.” Because of that, students can enjoy exploring the Nichols Arboretum or going to a Michigan football game while also having easy access to films, concerts and live shows at the historic Michigan Theater or sophisticated dining at The Gandy Dancer. For those looking for more of a metropolis, Detroit is a close 50 miles away and Chicago within 2 hours reach by train, bus or car.
Each entering class at Michigan is approximately 320 students who are then divided into eight core sections of 40. For their Legal Practice course, classes are further divided into smaller 20 student sections. These “sections” help make this relatively large school seem smaller. Michigan’s broad ranging course offerings vary in size and experience. Classes are taught in various manners from pure lecture to all discussion. Class sizes typically range from 10 to 130 students.
Michigan also takes a strong interdisciplinary approach to its legal education allowing for up to 12 credits of non-law school (generally graduate level) related coursework to be applied towards obtaining a law degree.
Unique amongst its peer schools, Michigan admits one-fourth of their entering class into their Summer-Start program, where students begin law school in the summer and then graduate a semester earlier than their cohorts who start in the Fall. Students in this section often find the transition into law school more relaxed due to the slightly lighter course load and intimate atmosphere.
Finally, in furtherance of its commitment to congeniality, Michigan, does not rank its students until after graduation.
Clinical and Experiential Learning
Michigan is highly dedicated to providing hands-on experience to its students and values its reputation as a school “known for producing both great legal thinkers and great legal doers.” Aside from the mandatory 1L Legal Practice Program, everyone student is guaranteed enrollment into one of its 18 upper-level clinics including Child Advocacy, Federal Appellate Litigation and Environmental Law. Through these clinics, Michigan is able show its commitment to public service while building practical knowledge (i.e. preparing witnesses, drafting pleadings, handling legal transactions) and expanding interdisciplinary and cross-border awareness.
Outside the walls of the school, Michigan provides for five distinct externship programs where students are placed in local, state, and federal governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States and all over the world.
Class Size: 320
Average Age: 25
Students of color: 24.3%
Median LSAT: 169 (low 164, high 170)
Median GPA: 3.8 (low 3.57, high 3.89)
- Law Firms: 62.46%
- Judicial Clerkships: 21.14%
- Business & Industry: 1.89%
- Government: 13.88%
- Education: 0.63%
- Northeast/Mid-Atlantic: 28.3%
- Central: 33.6%
- South Atlantic/Central: 18.8%
- Mountain/Pacific: 17.1%
- U.S. Territories/Foreign: 2.2%