Law School
University of Michigan

4.7 of 5 stars Average Student Rating (of 112 Student Reviews)

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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The structure of the classes varies based upon the content of the course.
Doctrinal courses tend to be more Socratic.
While the style of the classes has varied, the quality of the instruction is consistently high.
Faculty are highly recognized in their respective fields and accessible to students.
Students interest in research have ample opportunity, encouragement and support (including a Student Research Roundtable)


Quality of Life

Cost are about a high as one would expect around a large research university.
Whatever you want your life to be, you can find it.
I live very close to campus and feel secure in an around campus.


Level

3L


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4.5 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Admissions

1) Other than the standard Personal Statement and Resume, Michigan also asks for applicants to submit 2 optional essays from a list of 7 topics provided by the admissions office.
2) Apart from these essays, the factors in selection are the same - LSAT, GPA, Work Experience, Extra-curricular activities.
3) Scholarship notices are sent a few months into the admissions process to admitted students. Usually they are awarded on a pretty straightforward formula based on GPA and LSAT.
4) 14-20 Darrow Scholarships are awarded every year which are basically full rides. Dean Zearfoss sends out emails to a select number of students out of whom the Darrow scholars are chosen. These students then submit additional essays and a committee comprising members of the faculty select the final recipients of the scholarship.


Level

1L


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4.5 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Emphasis on theory; Socratic method is mainly used; class size for 1L classes was 90.


Quality of Life

Cost of living is relatively expensive for most incoming students, but Ann Arbor is a very good city with lots to offer to each type of person.


Admissions

LSAT and application.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

1L classes are very very intriguing and you learn a ton just from other classmates and their experiences in life.
Michigan is not competitive really at all. There are a few students that are, but they are a minority of students and they learned pretty quickly in the first semester that it is not cool at all to be that way. I mean, there are gunners (for sure), but again everyone knows who they are and it definitely got a little better 2nd semester.
Grading is typical -- curve for the first year classes (curve is to a B+).


Quality of Life

Lawyers Club is great for the first year. Even after working and living in New York City for four years after undergrad and before law school, I still enjoyed the Lawyers Club and found it very comforting to have that living option.
Library is great... it's the library, I don't know what to say. You can study there with ease and it's nice.
Crime and safety aren't issues, it's Ann Arbor.


Admissions

Typical Top 10 admissions process in terms of LSAT scores, personal statement, resume, etc. I would say the most unique part of the application process at Michigan versus other schools I got into is the personal and fun nature of Dean Zearfoss, which shines throughout everything Michigan. From her blog, to the letters sent by admissions, and they various city tours, it just makes you want to learn more about the school.


Level

2L


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4.8 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Quality of Life

The Law Quad is the aesthetic jewel of Ann Arbor.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The Socratic method is used predominantly in first year courses. While it is also used in larger elective classes (such as Evidence and Jurisdiction), many students opt for seminar-like courses in their second and third year. These seminars have a smaller number of students and allow for more theoretical and creative class discussions.
The available courses range widely. Because there is such a wide array of courses, students often complain that they don't have enough time to take all of the courses they're interested in. For this reason, many students have trouble deciding whether they have the time to study abroad. While appealing, it limits the number of interesting courses one can fit into their short three years.
By far, the best and possibly most popular courses are the clinical programs that range from Human Trafficking to Immigration, Juvenile Justice and General Litigation.


Quality of Life

As a first-year student, I recommend living in the law quad. Aside from being close to classes and the dining hall, it's critical to be surrounded by a network of fellow first year law students. This way, it is easier to integrate yourself into the law school community, create study groups, and feel part of group of scholars.
The facilities are perfectly adequate. Like most dorms, laundry is difficult (all washers and dryers are stored in one location which requires students to walk across the quad with their laundry). The location is central, a stones throw away from the undergrad facilities, restaurants, coffee houses, etc. With that being said, law students are very territorial and tend not to stray far from the law quad.
The first year of law school, while difficult, was also somehow the most fun. I attribute this in part to the student body and in part to the community.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Most classes are awesome, but of course, they vary by professor. Most large classes combine theory and practical application, usually involving the Socratic style of teaching. Seminar classes are often theoretical, while practicums and clinics provide practical experience through either role playing or representing real clients. There isn't a clinic for every area of practice, but where there isn't a clinic, there is usually a practicum that gives students a better field for real world practice. Many faculty members are leaders in their field, and I've been lucky to take classes from professors whose names alone give me credibility in my field of study when I apply for internships and jobs.


Quality of Life

Ann Arbor is the best college city ever. It really caters to students, so not only are the libraries and school buildings open late (or even 24-hours), but so are many restaurants and coffee shops. While the cost of living may be a little more than other cities, it's nothing near New York or Chicago prices. There isn't much crime, there is always something going on (on campus or off), there are many great restaurants (some are famous), and we have great Big 10 sports teams to top it all off.


Admissions

U of M's application process was very similar to the other law schools I applied to. There weren't too many essay questions, and obviously I needed to take the LSAT. Some scholarships were awarded upon acceptance, but the financial office was very helpful when figuring out money questions.


Level

Other


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4.5 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Quality of classes: the vast majority of professors and adjuncts are great scholars, and interesting personalities. Most of them know how to teach their disciplines in a way that would prevent you from taking a nap during the class.
Theory vs. practical study: Michigan offers it all. You can take purely theoretical classes or choose among a multitude of clinics, seminars, and practicums.
The Socratic method: not all of the professors routinely use it - especially during the second and third years.
Class sizes are manageable. Ranges from as many as 100+ at some first-year classes to as few as 5+. On average: 30-40 people in a class.
Competitiveness: people are undoubtedly competitive but try to remain nice. People do help each other. Most of the uber nerds are humble, though Michigan has its small repository of noisy jerks.


Quality of Life

Ann Arbor's cost of living wasn't that high. The school itself is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. Michigan definitely has is the most beautiful law school campus of the U.S. schools. Facilities are great. The old library is breathtaking. The new library is unique in its architectural design. The moot courtroom is state-of-the-art. Housing and dining options are plenty. Neighborhood is safe and quiet. The only thing I didn't like about Michigan is that it is rather cold there, and the sky is grey a lot of the times.


Admissions

I remember Michigan had more optional essay questions than other peer schools that I applied to. I took it as a sign that they really are interested in who I was. They also gave me a scholarship to fund my studies.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Generally, the faculty is extremely accessible and committed to quality teaching. Also, the first-year legal writing program is outstanding: it is taught by experienced practitioners who, again, are committed to helping students develop their legal writing and research skills. Michigan still uses traditional letter grades on a fairly tough curve compared with other top schools.


Admissions

I have no idea what the admissions process is.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

As with any school, some of the classes are great and some are satisfactory. But they were all hard at Michigan Law, and I loved it. I became especially close with the people in my small section my 1L year. The Socratic method was used in almost all of my classes, except for the seminars. I did a semester-long externship the first semester of my 3L year and it was fantastic.
Everyone at Michigan Law is smart, but it wasn't the hellish competitive atmosphere that I expected of law school. I have a genuine affection for the people I went to law school with, and I don't think many people can say that. Michigan Law students are 1) very smart, 2) very engaged, and 3) nice and fun to be around.


Quality of Life

Ann Arbor is great. I had a big and comfortable but also inexpensive studio apartment three blocks from the law school and I stayed there all three years. It's a great campus and a great atmosphere.


Admissions

Standard difficult law school application process. Long application which at the time included a specific "why do you want to go to Michigan" question. High LSAT scores needed.


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