Overall Student Rating
4.7 of 5 stars (115 Ratings)

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Displaying 1-10 of 115 Student Reviews

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Michigan Law Review

5.0 of 5 stars

May 2015 | FORMER STUDENT

Uppers

Collegial. People really get along and like each other. Excellent professors and discussion environment. Great job prospects, and huge (and successful) alumni network.

Downers

Huge. Easy to get lost in the crowd, just because of sheer size.

Comments

Make sure you like football. It's a big part of the culture even for law students.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Good place to spend three years

4.0 of 5 stars

May 2015 | FORMER STUDENT

Uppers

The faculty is very high quality, and the course offerings are very good. I also appreciate the national alumni network. Michigan feeds its graduates to all of the major legal markets, so there's less competition among your peers and a broader network to tap into when looking for a job.

Downers

Because the school is in a small college town, it's a very insular community. It can be helpful to really get to know your class, but more often than not, it just makes everyone really cliquey. Good luck if you don't find a good group of people early in your 1L year.

Comments

Michigan is a great place to go if you aren't sure where you want to practice after graduation. It has national recognition and will get your foot in the door at a lot of different places.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Fading star

4.0 of 5 stars

April 2015 | FORMER STUDENT

Uppers

Still a top school; very strong faculty; very strong student body

Downers

Placement at top firms is declining; no natural home market; clerkship placement is declining; class sizes are increasing, diluting the brand and placement; placement is now more like Georgetown than Penn or Virginia

Comments

UMich needs lots of high-LSAT students to make its numbers, so they are willing to wheel and deal on tuition if you can help them look good.

Would You Recommend

Yes

4.8 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Academics

Classes are predominately theory based, but you can find some practical gems which are spectacular opportunities. The professors are eager to find research aides or unique academic opportunities for their students. Large population interested in international law leads to numerous study abroad opportunities. Depends on the professor whether the class is taught socratically or not, but class sizes are small generally after the initial first year sections. Academics are very demanding, students are very dedicated to their work and success. Very close knit student body, very little competition.

Quality of Life

It is what you make of it. I found it to be a good balance between school work, social life, and down time. I also held a job which I did not have trouble making time for. I know some students who were always under a mound of work, but I never felt that way. Ann Arbor is a fantastic place to live, very accessible and very intertwined with the life of the University. It isn't overly expensive and is a very safe and friendly community.

Admissions

Pretty standard/typical: Application essay, LSAT, LSAC references, etc.

4.8 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Academics

I loved classes at Michigan. The professors are exceptionally accessible and brilliant. There is a general focus on theory but there are also seminars that allow for more practical application. Also, the clinical program is great, and a structured externship program (seminar paired with support in finding an externship placement) is offered periodically (approximately once per year). I didn't find it to be competitive at all, although that might be changing as the job market gets tougher. Most professors use the socratic method 1L year and in large, basic classes (evidence, crim pro, etc); it tapers off for upper-level classes and is nonexistent in seminars. There is a great externship program for students to work with NGOs in Geneva (Switzerland), although the number of students that can participate is limited. It seems that research opportunities exist, but generally students are approached by a professor rather than the other way around. Most of the classes I took were large (around 100 students), but each semester I had at least one smaller lecture or seminar; in my later semesters, a number of my classes were small. Getting into seminars can be competitive, and in some cases the professors get to pick their students, but students generally get most of the classes they want. The workload is tough, as it is at any law school, but students found ways of managing their stress and choosing a mix of classes such that it was manageable.

Quality of Life

Ann Arbor is a great place to live. It's not too expensive and housing options are varied. Housing right near campus is not that nice for the price (perhaps $800-$900 for a one-bedroom) but students that are willing to walk for 15 or 20 minutes might not be able to find a cheaper place, but they can find a nice one for the price. The campus is beautiful and the law quad is one of the most picturesque places I've ever seen. The library and computer labs are excellent. There is a moot courtroom that is used by clinical students and it is good, including advanced A/V capabilities. There is dorm housing that people seem to like, although it does not include kitchen facilities; I believe that the dorms are about to be renovated. The neighborhood is safe and fun, as campus is integrated with downtown Ann Arbor. Community relations, crime, and safety are all very good. In general, students are very happy.

Admissions

Michigan asked us to write an essay basically indicating why we wanted to go to law school. There was also an LSAT requirement. The admissions process was very standard. Financial aid seems to be generally in the form of merit scholarships and loans, although some students might also get need-based grants. It seems that merit scholarships are somewhat more available for in-state students. I received a merit scholarship in an amount equal to half the yearly tuition at the time I enrolled; this scholarship helped a lot but as tuition rose in my 2L and 3L years, the scholarship covered a decreasing share (as the scholarship did not go up each year).

5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Academics

The classes are of very high quality. Many involve a modified socratic method in which teachers' questions and students' responses drive the classroom dynamic but in which cold-calling and stumping students is avoided. Professors focus on giving students solid groundings in course materials while also teaching them to think like successful lawyers. Class sizes vary, but there are as many opportunities for small classes as anyone could want. Students at Michigan are much more cooperative than competitive, so collaboration and community dominate the atmosphere and the classroom. Michigan is a first-class university over all, and quite large, so no matter what interest a student has, Michigan is very likely to have a strong program that encompasses that area. For similar reasons, there are tons of opportunities for research. Michigan's large classes are graded on a standard curve; smaller classes are not ,which generally means pretty high marks are given out. Michigan has innumerable leading faculty. Michigan has extensive study-abroad opportunities as well as domestict out-of-residence programs. Like any top law school, Michigan offers its students opportunities to learn a great deal, so enthusiastic students will find no shortage of opportunities to learn.

Quality of Life

Ann Arbor is much less expensive than an urban area. The unviersity of Michigan as a whole and the law school in particular (especially with its brand new, super-modern, spacious, beautiful new building) is really wonderful. There are multiple gyms, lots of top libraries and computer labs, an impressive moot courtroom, beautioful old rooms on the law quadranagle itself that are attached to a dining hall, and more. Ann Arbor is a university town, so community relations are great. It is also very safe. Michigan students are, on the whole, a very happy lot.

5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Academics

I found the professors engaging in class and available outside of class. Class sizes were sufficiently large, and the reputation of the school sufficiently sound, that there was very little pressure to claw your way to #1. Colleagues were cooperative - sharing notes was the norm.

Quality of Life

I lived in the Lawyer's Club - on campus law student dorm - for two years. I found the environment very encouraging and friendly. It is a safe atmosphere, and the community dining experience is excellent for bringing law students together.

Admissions

I filled in an application, wrote several essays, took the LSAT and applied. I did not participate in financial aid/scholarships.

5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Academics

Many classes and all first year classes are Socractic method. Profs are very well versed in the field, some having written the case books that we use. Other students are only somewhat competitive--not at all typical for a top-10 law school, but still very intelligent and hard working, so the competition is intrinsically high but not necessarily direct or mean-spirited. Grading seems fair and work-load also seems appropriate for the credits. Many clinics offered for both litigation and transactional work and some research opportunities with profs exist. Notable faculty include profs Uhlmann (environmental law), Pritchard (securities law), Krier (property law), Simma (sitting ICJ judge), Kethledge (Sixth Circuit Judge), Green (Detroit Deputy Mayor), among others. Sections are approx 24 students, and first year classes are from 2 to 4 sections together. Most popular upper level classes might have 100-120 students, but seminars are much smaller (15-25). Many study abroad opportunities exist, including Geneva, South Africa, and many others that I'm not entirely familiar with.

Quality of Life

Cost of living is relatively high for Michigan but relatively low for what I'm used to (New York City). The campus and the facilities are beautiful, but I wish the library would stay open past midnight. Other libraries and the reading room are open until 2am (undergrad libraries later I think, but I never go there). Computer labs and available computers are plenty and very up to date. The housing is fine but is currently going through a $20 million renovation so I imagine will be much more impressive in a year or two. The dining is absolutely mediocre, but I have high standards and some of my friends love(d) it. The area is relatively exceptionally safe and overall I like it a lot. Lots of bars and restaurants near campus as well. Happiness, especially for being in law school, is relatively high.

Admissions

LSAT, standard essay, optional "Why Michigan?" essay, 2-3 letters of recommendation, standard financial aid, extra scholarship for having done TFA.

Level

3L

5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Quality of Life

The lawyers club was great when I lived there, but they are making massive renovations that will make it even better. Significantly so.

5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT

Academics

Michigan has a wide variety of classes in almost any discipline you can think of, ranging from large classes with professors who focus on theory and love the socratic method to tiny seminars, clinics, and practicums, where students get to engage in actual law practice (from clinic in tax, family law, environmental law, real estate, health law, or corporate work, to practicums in evidence, intellectual property, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution). Following 1L year, I'd say 25-30% of courses are based on the socratic method.

Quality of Life

If you want to live near campus, Ann Arbor has surprisingly high rent--it is a university town, after all. However, prices drop rapidly as you move in any direction away from campus and/or consider taking on roommates. I spent my first year in the Lawyer's Club, the law school dormitory that wraps around two sides of the gorgeous law quad. The Lawyer's Club is not for everybody (you do sleep in twin extra long beds and eat your meals out of the dining hall), but I wouldn't trade my experience living there for anything. It created an incredible sense of community among the ~50% of the 1L class living there and allowed me to make friends out of my immediate section. Meal times became a welcome break from the hub bub of school, I was able to eat fresh fruit and vegetables without out when and how I was going to get a car to go to the grocery store, and the dining hall staff was very receptive (even acquiescing with my request to add Honey Bunches of Oats to the cereal bar). I spent my third year in the Kerrytown historic district, a quick 15 minute walk but worlds away from the more "fratty" undergraduate areas immediately adjacent to campus. In Kerrytown, I had the farmers market, the natural foods coop, a small grocery store, a wine store, a few bars, some asian restaurants, a coffee shop, and the famed Zingerman's Delicatessen all within a two minute walk. It was also a stone's throw from the trails around Argo pond, and closer to the State Street and Main Street eating and drinking establishments. Ann Arbor is not a New York or Chicago by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a vibrant college town with two independent movie theaters and an awesome performance lineup each semester. I definitely could have seen more of town with a car, but was able to function quite well with just my own two feet and a bicycle.

Admissions

I received an application fee waiver via LSAC, which encouraged me to apply. I don't recall any unique application questions or essays, but I did receive a scholarship offer with my admissions offer, which was nice.

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