from students and alumni of university-of-michigan-law
Great faculty. Fantastic fellow students. Fair balance between academic and practical.Alumni
If you can’t get into HYS, it’s a very strong choice. Great faculty, relatively pleasant students, nice town, and much less back-biting than CCN. Once you’re there, the most important thing to do is to get a position as a graduate student instructor at the undergrad college–you teach or grade (much, much less than) 20h/wk, they pay your entire tuition and give you health insurance and $8k/semester in stipend. Doesn’t even have to be the department in which you majored–any humanity/social science will do. Humungous, loyal alumni base. You’ll get used to the cold–it’s warmer than Chicago.Alumni
Michigan is a great place to go to law school. The students are smart and generally laid back – and most of the faculty really cares about students. And three years in Ann Arbor can be fantastic. But all potential applicants need to really do their homework about law school debt. It is not clear that any top law school (Michigan, Penn, UVA, Chicago, Harvard etc…) is worth the current price. Yale may be the exception – because of its generous LRAP program. Ultimately – applicants need to understand that there are far fewer law firm jobs available – and competition for public service is equally fierce. All of which means that the decision to go to law school should be carefully made.Alumni
Michigan was a great place to go to law school. I’m not sure the question about practical/clinical training for the practice of law school is a fair one because that’s not really what any law schools do. Maybe it’s what they should do, but that’s not how the field is oriented. Still, Michigan does a good job on this front and has an excellent array of clinical offers and practical classes. You can only learn so much in an academic setting no matter how practical the curriculum is.
The problem with Michigan Law School is that it’s located in Michigan. If you want to, say, be a Silicon Valley corporate lawyer, Berkeley and Stanford (obviously) but also Hastings or Santa Clara even, may be better choices, because you can spend three years imbibing the culture. At MIchigan, there is no local flavor that is of any use to anyone outside of Michigan. Who really cares if Ford’s fourth assistant GC for trademark protection comes to speak at a panel?
Unless you have good grades and are interested in pursuing a career in “Big Law” the career services folks are of little to no help.Alumni
Amazing education with students and faculty that are both welcoming and engaging.3L
Be prepared to both compete and socialize with a group of highly intelligent individuals.3L
Great mix of high quality education in a college setting that can let you relive undergrad if you so desire. Its not every top 10 law school that lets you also go to the biggest football stadium in the country.2L
I absolutely love Michigan Law. Our career services office appears to still be scrambling to get its shit together following the Great Collapse. I have the sense that they sat around connecting students with firms, and now they actually have to figure out how to help students who aren’t shoe-ins at firms. Other than that, this is an incredible place. The members of the faculty are brilliant, approachable, and very accessible. There is also a sense of pride and tradition at Michigan that I really enjoy. It’s more subtle than some of the bigger name schools like Harvard or Yale, and that’s what I like about it.1L
Interesting work experience definitely helps, although there are a lot of people who come here straight from college. I think the essays are very important. My work experience and ability to write about it in an interesting manner probably made up for a middling GPA from an Ivy, and an LSAT at the median. Also, I have a lot of fun here when I choose to, and have pretty good prospects after graduation, which I’m not sure I can say for other law schools.2L
Michigan is fantastic. Three of my six professors clerked for Supreme Ct. justices. The other three are tremendously well-regarded in their fields. Two of my six classes used casebooks written by professors at Michigan. All this to say that the professors here have intense intellectual horsepower. / / But more than that, (nearly) all of them are tremendous instructors. Cold calling hasn’t been terrifying experiences so much as truly effective and instructive ones. / / I have a rosy picture, perhaps, because I haven’t gone through the OCI process and I’m brand new. But I had high expectations coming in, and they have been surpassed.1L
Michigan’s a great place for going to school with smart, supportive, fun people. It’s a great place to make friends, but not a great place to date. Maybe blame it on so many people living in the Lawyers’ Club (though that’ll be closed for a year or two for renovations) and Ann Arbor being pretty uninspiring as far as night life goes. Hey, I love Ricks as much as the next girl but most of us are not 21 anymore! One sweaty night on the dance floor now is much like any other during college–except I’ve gotten quicker at my end-of-the-night math and process that a WASPY name+Columbia+Goldman+MBA student=97% asshole before I get walked too far away from my friends. / / On the upside, firms are straight up loving Michigan. By anecdotal information shared between the 2 and 3Ls, lots of firms have doubled or tripled their number of Wolverine summer associates in the last year or two. My west coast firm jumped from 1 for 2011 to 6 for 2012. Woot!2L
The people here are real human beings. It’s not super competitive, and if you’re an asshole Dean Z can and will probably spot you from a mile away, and prevent you from coming (even if you’re a 180/4.3 type).2L
The school is generally responsive to student requests for additional courses in underserved areas of the curriculum. / / Career services is not particularly helpful if you have a career plan that is not one of the normal large firm, clerkship, or public interest paths. That doesn’t mean they’re not a resource, but if you know where you want to wind up, you’ll need to take ownership over the jobs and courses that get you there.2L
“Ours is a very collegial student body . . . so, I think it’s really important that there not be a high ‘jackass’ quotient here.” – Sarah Zearfoss – Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions, UMich Law
See more at AdmissionsDean.