Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


In Michigan Law's first year, 1859-60, students could choose from a total of 13 courses, including Criminal Law, Easements, Domestic Relations, and Contracts. The Law Department, as it was called then, did not have its own building. Three part-time faculty members taught 90 students who pursued the two-year degree. A college degree was not required for admission.

A century and a half later, the state of legal education at Michigan Law and at institutions around the country has changed in nearly every way: a far greater variety of classes, many more faculty, the requirement of a degree for admission, three years to earn a JD rather than two.

Beyond that, what can be said about the sate of legal education, both at Michigan Law and at law schools around the country, from the top tier on down? What is a degree worth? Are students well prepared to practice law when they leave the safe confines of the classroom? What are schools doing well, and what could they do better? Here, we explore these questions, with insights from experts on legal education.