In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M., M.C.L., and S.J.D. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 12 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Japanese studies, world politics, Chinese Studies, Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and Russian and East European Studies), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.H.S.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Health Services Administration), J.D./M.P.H. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health), J.D./M.P.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy Studies), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in natural resources), J.D./M.S.I. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Information), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work), J.D./M.U.P (Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning), and J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in economics).
The Law School offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, civil rights, feminist legal theory, law and literature, psychology, sociology, economic commercial law, Japanese Law, asylum and refugee law, and Chinese law. In addition, upper-class students may take clinical and externship courses for up to 12 hours of credit. Students may elect a civil or criminal concentration. These clinics include Child Advocacy Law Clinic, Criminal Appellate Clinic, Environmental Law Clinic, Mediation, and Pediatric Advocacy. Students must take at least 1 seminar in their second or third year; most recently, 63 seminars were offered. Externships may be arranged for up to 12 hours of credit. Students produce a significant research paper under the supervision of a Michigan Law faculty member, on a subject related to the substantive field of the externship. Under the supervision of a school faculty member, students may pursue up to a total of 6 hours of independent research. The same variety that exists for the law school summer internships exist for pro bono legal work. Students do direct advocacy with a legal aid program, public defender, or a program focusing on one area, such as child advocacy. They also work on public policy issues, such as working with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on its Voting Rights Project, the Sierra Club, or the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights. Special lecture series include the William W. Cook Lecture Series, Thomas M. Cooley Lectureship, Helen L. DeRoy Fellowship, Sunderland Faculty Fellowship, Bishop Lectures, and Dean’s Special Lecture. Study abroad is available at Amsterdam Law School in the Netherlands; Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI), Geneva; Waseda University Law School, Tokyo; University College in London; Bucerius Law School, Hamburg; Katholiecke University in Leuven, Belgium; the University of Paris II in France; European University Institute in Florence; and the University of Tel Aviv Law School, Israel; special fellowships support student-initiated study for third-year students and recent graduates. Individual tutors are available to any students who request them. The most widely taken electives are Enterprise Organizations, Evidence, and Taxation of Individual Income.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 82 total credits, of which 32 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: an elective, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Introduction to Constitutional Law, Legal Practice I and II, Legal Practice Skills, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of 1 seminar, a course meeting the professional responsibility requirement, and Transnational Law. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of 2 days of presentations by deans, faculty, and upper-class students; tours; information about the school and Ann Arbor; and an introduction to the study of law. On the second day of orientation, new students, along with participating orientation leaders, administrators, and faculty, are brought to various sites in the Ann Arbor and Detroit area to engage in a community service project.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.