Best Law Schools in Michigan: A profession in law can be financially profitable with an average pay of about $127,000. A career in law is satisfying for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the potential for six-figure compensation. The legal industry attracts people who desire to have a real impact on the world. Many people are passionate about doing good deeds and serving the public.
A top law school prepares aspiring attorneys both inside and outside of the classroom. The top schools not only offer strong foundations in legal research, criminal law, torts, and contracts, but also numerous opportunities for getting practical experience. Pro bono work prior to graduation has become the standard as public and community service are becoming an increasingly important focus in institutions. In conclusion, passing classes and the bar exam won’t guarantee you a job in the field.
Detroit, one of the most populous and significant economy in the country, is located in Michigan, the tenth most populous state in the U.S. Due to the location of two of the schools on our list in this city, students have access to a wealth of job, externship, and clinical placement options.
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Best Law Schools in Michigan
According to their placement in US News and World Report’s list of top law schools, all of the institutions are ranked. These institutions boast broad and in-depth curricula, high rates of employment, excellent faculty, and outstanding programs for experiential learning.
5. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Lansing, MI)
The Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University, located in Lansing, is the perfect place for aspiring attorneys who want to have a significant impact on the law and legal advocacy. Through their participation in the nationally renowned Innocence Project, which has been credited with the release of 375 wrongfully imprisoned individuals to date, Cooley Law students have been having a beneficial effect for years.
The only chapter in the state that discusses post-conviction DNA innocence is at Cooley Law. This is only one standout instance, though, since the school also has other award-winning professors and clinics. The Elderly Law and Real Estate Planning clinics are two further examples of great clinics. Any school’s experiential learning curriculum must include effective and high-quality clinics, and Cooley Law excels in this area.
The school’s stellar reputation is attested to by its noteworthy alumni, including Rosemarie Aquilina, a Michigan Circuit Court judge who oversaw Larry Nassar’s prosecution and sentencing, a case that garnered widespread media attention in 2017. Aquilina teaches at the university on a part-time basis.
Cooley is one of the top 100 law schools in the nation and provides working adults and other “nontraditional” students who want to pursue a career in law with a top-notch part-time legal education. The school’s excellent continuing education program for recent law school graduates and practitioners with some experience in the field serves as a prime example of its dedication to education. The Master of Laws (LL.M) programs offer part-time and full-time online classes so that working professionals can sharpen their skills.
Compared to previous years, when Cooley Law admitted 80% of candidates, 54% of applicants were accepted in 2019.
4. University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (Detroit, MI)
Downtown Detroit’s legal sector is home to the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Without a doubt, Mercy School of Law students have strategic access to a wide range of possibilities for experiential learning, such as internships and externships, thanks to the school’s location in the heart of the legal district. This school is a top pick among aspiring legal professionals around the nation for a variety of factors, including this one.
Want evidence of Detroit Mercy Law’s excellence? To begin with, within a year after graduation, more than 80% of recent graduates found full-time work in a position requiring a J.D. This places Detroit Mercy Law’s post-graduation career prospects alone above the national average. Recent grads aren’t simply getting any job; many of them have landed jobs at prestigious national legal firms, governmental agencies including the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, prestigious state judicial clerkships, and more.
One of the school’s greatest strengths is its strong and talented faculty, which includes Catherine Archibald, a famous expert in gender and international law. Archibald has received recognition for her pro bono work in the fields of immigration, family, and housing law in addition to having articles published in prestigious law journals.
How does Detroit Mercy Law produce top-notch attorneys? Without outstanding clinical programs, no law school is noteworthy. Students gain practical legal experience as early as their first year through mini-clinics like the Greening of Detroit Clinic and the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Hearing. Community attorneys instruct and guide students. The numerous clinics available to upper-level students ensure that they receive practical training. Here, the school can take pride in a brief history. The Urban Law Clinic was one of the first to open in the entire nation.
Some prospective students place equal weight on a school’s culture and ideals as they do on its employment figures. The mission of Detroit Mercy Law is supported by its Jesuit and Mercy traditions, giving aspiring attorneys a solid foundation in ethics and social justice.
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3. Michigan State University College of Law (East Lansing, MI)
The second-oldest law school in the state was founded in 1891 and is currently known as the Michigan State University College of Law (previously the Detroit College of Law). According to the most recent US News & World Report, the school has earned its place among the top 100 law schools in the nation, like many other reputable institutions of higher learning. Less than half of candidates are accepted each year, so it should come as no surprise that getting into law school can be highly hard.
Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the Larry Nassar case and was previously featured as a notable alum of another institution on this list, is notable faculty at the Detroit College of Law. Along with a distinguished faculty, the university has illustrious graduates, such as Dennis Archer, a former justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and current governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer.
The MSU College of Law’s reputation has allowed its graduates to work and make an impact in all 50 states in addition to producing renowned faculty and alumni. Many are employed in the legal field, holding illustrious positions like National Appeals Attorney for the Vietnam Veterans of America and attorneys at famous law firms around the nation.
Students at Detroit College of Law receive training from luminaries in corporate and regulatory law. Students not only receive supervision from outstanding instructors but also sharpen their legal abilities and gain useful experience, such as the distinctive and significant Indian Law Clinic, which prepares individuals who aspire to work in Indian Country. Last but not least, by taking part in the prestigious Moot Court, students can hone their abilities and form bonds with peers who share their interests via great collaboration.
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2. Wayne State University School of Law (Detroit, MI)
Wayne State University School of Law has received the most awards out of all the institutions on this list so far. According to the rankings published by US News & World Report in 2022, it has only been on the list of “Best Value Schools,” “Best Law Schools,” and “Part-Time Law Schools” for the past three years. It is also the second-best law school in Michigan.
Additionally, with an average debt of about $55,000 among law schools in the area, its graduates have one of the lowest rates of debt. Being the greatest legal school in the nation while also being the most cheap in Michigan makes it a winning combo. However, this school is more than just its high ranks.
The WSU School of Law is now a major center for advocacy and real-world legal education. The Levin Center, the Program for International Legal Studies, and the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights are located there. By addressing the social, political, and economic needs of underrepresented groups in Southeast Michigan, The Keith Center helps graduates become “agents of change.” By offering objective and fact-based monitoring, the Levin Center also equips students to assume leadership positions in preserving the openness, accountability, and integrity of public and private organizations. Legislative oversight is the topic of a new audio series from the Levin Center.
The International Legal Studies program offers students the chance to study abroad while learning about other countries’ legal systems. This is just a small example of the numerous practical and career opportunities that are open to students as they become well-versed in theory, excel in practice, and have a desire to give back to the community.
With an employment rate of nearly 90%, more than 85% of graduates found full-time jobs within a year of graduation.
1. University of Michigan Law School (Ann Arbor, MI)
The law schools at the University of Michigan are strong competitors of Stanford and Harvard. The school’s stunning quads and gothic-style architecture provide a beautiful setting for rigorous study and training. Beyond aesthetics, this law school is the most competitive on this list thanks to its excellent curriculum, faculty, and programs, as well as an admittance rate that hovers around 27%. The average LSAT score for the class of 2023 was 169, and their average GPA was 3.77.
What distinguishes the University of Michigan Law School from other top schools that get a large number of candidates each year? The school offers a challenging and varied curriculum that covers a wide range of legal topics, including writing and drafting, public interest law, Japanese law, antitrust law, and legal theory and philosophy.
These subjects are taught in courses by experts in their fields. For instance, Julian Mortenson is a well-respected educator, a prolific scholar, and a pro bono lawyer. He has worked on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, written articles in several prestigious law journals and reviews, and served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter.
Its extensive and intensive practical offerings, which give students the experience and abilities they need to become top lawyers in the area and the nation, go along superbly with its programs and faculty.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best GPA for law school?
The median GPA for accepted students in 2021 at the top 20 law schools according to U.S. News was 3.86.
What type of lawyer is the simplest to become?
Estate Planning. Although a profession as a legal clerk is the simplest, it is only appropriate for novices. When practicing law for lawyers, estate planning emerges as the most stress-free legal practice sector. Since estate planning is a branch of law that deals with death, many lawyers steer clear of it.
What kind of lawyer get the highest pay?
Trial lawyers are currently the highest paid professionals, and their pay is based on the location, prominence of the case, and other factors.
What are the drawbacks of practicing law?
Numerous lawyers experience difficulties with disorganization, inadequate editing and proofreading abilities, and errors. If that applies to you, have hope since those flaws don't have to prevent you from succeeding or make you waste time trying to fix them.
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