Law School
University of Michigan

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

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4.5 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Professors are all high caliber and have a diverse background. Some have extensive research backgrounds, others have extensive practical experience (especially professors who lead clinics and teach courses like contracts and evidence). Some of the best classes are practicums that are run by current judges and/or federal prosecutors because they expose students to practical experience. The legal writing program is exceptional especially Professor Falon's class who really takes extreme care to teach students to write well and with precision necessary for the legal profession.


Quality of Life

The law quad was great for me because I was new to Ann Arbor, Michigan and law school. The law school food is fine in the dormitory area and very convenient. I lived off campus my 2L and 3L years but they were close to the law school and I always felt safe walking around.


Admissions

It is important to have great grades and scores but the admissions office cares deeply that the personal statement, additional statements and the recommendations are very good. I think that they focus on the overall credentials because they realize that many people applying have similar if not identical top grades/LSAT scores.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The first year legal writing course is a highlight - those professors, in particular, want to get to know each student on an individual basis and help them achieve their professional goals. Professors across the board, though, are very eager to get to know students - much more so than at my undergraduate school. My 1L criminal law professor invited a group us to her house for a home-cooked brunch; my constitutional law professor took small groups of 4 out at a time to lunch.
Clinical offerings are particularly popular, especially the human trafficking clinic and the innocence clinic. Seminars fill up quickly, and are a wonderful way to get to know professors who can eventually become your clerkship letter of recommendation writers.
The first year workload was not nearly as bad as I imagined - by the second semester, I spent about one hour working outside of class per hour in class. Upperclassmen are very eager to help 1Ls with outlines and informal advice, as well as through a formal tutoring program. My 1L sectionmates were a very collaborative, non-competitive bunch. I like to think of Michigan as a school where everyone is smart, but where people don't take themselves too seriously. Douchebaggery is frowned upon.


Quality of Life

If you love football, you'll fit right in. If you don't think you love football, you're wrong! I didn't know a thing about football before I got here, but my classmates patiently described the intricacies of the game, and you'll see me at every home game at the Big House!
Ann Arbor is a college town with many reasonably-priced housing and dining options. The town is very safe, and it's not uncommon to run into your professors shopping at the local grocery store or getting coffee downtown.


Admissions

Pretty standard application for schools in the top 14 (LSAT, personal statement, 2 required letters of recommendation). There were a series of optional essays as well, but they were truly optional - I didn't submit one.
A substantial percentage of the class receives some sort of merit-based aid - most in the form of ~$10k/year scholarships. About 14 matriculants each year receive the prestigious Darrow scholarship, which provides up to full tuition for all three years and a summer stipend of $7,500 for the first year summer.


Level

3L


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Socratic method used in majority of classes. Great majority of professors are experts and published in the respective fields. Good balance of theory and practical classes. This law school has an opportunity for any/all interests. Students are competetive but do not sacrifice comraderie. The fact that class rank is not disclosed, fosters a collegial environment.


Quality of Life

I have not expereinced campus living/dining, but all other services and facilities are great. A bit expensive, but you get what you pay for. Crime has risen in the area just South of the law quad, but common sense safety (like not jogging by yourself at 2AM) would prevent 90% of these crimes.


Admissions

In addition to the traditional personal statement, application requested optional essays on specific interest in the University of Michigan Law School, career plans, if grades and test scores reflect applicant's ability to succeed in law school, overcoming a failure or setback, experience with diversity and how applicant would contribute to diversity of class, and skills and values of a good lawyer.


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The classes are extremely good, for the most part, with some exceptions. The doctrinal classes are more geared towards theory than practice, though classes like tax, that lend themselves to practical application more immediately, are taught with a more practical bent. The socratic method depends on the professor, and I've had a good mix. The clinic opportunities are superb, and one of the best things I have ever done in my time at Michigan.


Quality of Life

You come to Michigan because you want the Michigan experience, including having a social life focused on the law school and other law students, the accessibility afforded by 95% of the student body living in close walking proximity, and the experience of attending law school at the best law school in the Big Ten. The library is adequate, and the reading room is beautiful. I've never felt unsafe on campus, and Michigan does a good job of keeping students safe, including free rides home after 10PM, security guards are consistently visible, and the campus police patrol. I think most people here are generally very happy.


Admissions

Michigan has fairly standard admissions practices, but they do allow you to write optional essays to illustrate your interest in the school.


Level

3L


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4.5 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

There is a wide variety of courses, fitting almost any law student's individual interest. The Law School has a number of well-known and accomplished professors in their fields.
Although law school is inherently competitive, Michigan law students do not let competition get in the way of maintaining great relationships with their colleagues. Students are overwhelmingly courteous. No one tears pages out of library books here. People readily share outlines.


Quality of Life

The Law Quad is one of the most beautiful law school building complexes in the country, and with a new building addition is about to add quite a bit more space. Space is plentiful and the library is one of the most impressive. And of course the Gothic Reading Room speaks for itself.
Although living close to campus can be a bit expensive in Ann Arbor, there are many nice and affordable housing options a bit outside the immediate university locale.


Admissions

Very thorough application review process. Dean Zearfoss takes special care to write a personal note to every admitted student on his or her letter of admission.
Merit scholarships are awarded fairly, without regard to whether an applicant has committed to attending the law school yet or not. Michigan Law does not try to "game" the financial aid process.


Level

2L


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4.5 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

It was a very fine academic experience, but it was almost entirely focused on theory versus practical study. In retrospect, there should have been much more emphasis on clinics.


Quality of Life

Michigan football makes everything better, especially law school.


Admissions

Nothing unusual stands out in my mind except Admissions Dean Sarah Zearfoss. Dean Zearfoss was unreal; she knew every applicant - and current law student, and alum - by name and face. She hand-picks a community. Michigan Law is lucky to have her.


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4.3 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

High quality of classes; emphasis on doctrine and theory; varied use of Socratic method based on the professor's style; advising should be sought out by students; class sizes are varied; larger classes are more competitive; average workload; lots of international opportunities.


Quality of Life

Cost of living is low in the midwest, everything is close to campus, very collegial atmosphere.


Admissions

Questions are standards on the applications; LSAT range is high 160s/low 170s; the process also takes into consideration the candidate as a whole, their background and what they could bring to the law school


Level

2L


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

One of the great things about Michigan is that it has something for everyone and a student can really make what they want out of their law school career. There are lots of seminars and clinics offered. Many students studied abroad in the programs set up in, among other places, Geneva, London, and South Africa. Classes were competitive in the sense that they were challenging and filled with bright students, but were not so competitive that people were unfriendly or unwilling to be helpful. There wasn't a single class that I share outlines with my classmates and have them do the same with me. First year classes tend to be a bit more typical, having around 80 students and are graded on a curve. My professors were engaging and tended to find a good balance between theory and practice.


Quality of Life

Ann Arbor is a great place to go to law school. There is a diverse spread of events and activities. Ann Arbor has a very college town feel that gives you the opportunity to really get to know your classmates and others at the university because there is always that common bond. For the most part it is not an expensive place to live, although rent can be a bit high for certain areas on campus. The law school accommodations are nice and improving with all of the recent construction.


Admissions

On the surface, the Michigan admission process appears to be much like all the other law schools. But the admissions office (and particularly Dean Zearfoss) really digs into the submissions by every applicant. Going into each application season, the admissions office has an idea of the type of class and each of the individual pieces that an applicant might bring to Michigan. So while Michigan is selective with respect to LSAT and GPA, I believe that it is closer to very selective because it wants an interesting and genuine person along with high numerical statistics.


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4.3 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

My 1L classes were excellent, good mix of theory and practice. Socratic method used extensively and to good effect. Pretty competitive classes, but not cut throat. Leading faculty. Tough grading. Lots of study abroad opportunities. Tough but just manageable workload.


Quality of Life

Cost of living is lower than the East Coast. Ann Arbor is a good town, small but not tiny. MLaw facilities are good.


Admissions

Michigan Law is very selective and requires additional essays and a high LSAT. It has excellent financial aid and scholarship opportunities.


Level

2L


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4.3 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Fantastic - wide range of class offerings; accessible, brilliant, engaging professors; numerous clinical opportunities. Grading guidelines struck me as fair, and similar to most other law schools'; students almost always were able to get into courses of their choice.


Quality of Life

Ann Arbor is the jewel in Michigan's crown, but a jewel in one of the nation's most economically strapped states nonetheless - cost of living runs about 1/3 of what it does in NY or SF. In addition, the law school itself is considered the architectural gem of the University - it wasn't unusual to see brides and grooms getting their wedding photos snapped in the Quad. While the current space is a bit cramped, the law school is about to open an absolutely gorgeous, state-of-the-art new building; I only wish I had attended the school long enough to take advantage of it. The library always struck me as more than adequate, though it feels a bit outdated architecture-wise. The moot courtroom is gorgeous, Ann Arbor is charming and vibrant. Overall happiness - a 10.


Admissions

Totally standard. No unique application questions.


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