In the Workers' Rights Clinic, students represent workers facing challenges with unemployment insurance claims. First-year law students, under the supervision of an experienced attorney, receive course credit to provide free unemployment insurance advice and representation to UI claimants in administrative proceedings. Second- and third-year law students also represent UI claimants in administrative proceedings, and they may additionally handle appeals to the state circuit courts and Michigan Court of Appeals.

The Clinic provides the opportunity for students to develop a wide variety of real-world advocacy skills, including investigation, interviewing, client counseling, negotiation, legal research and writing, trial practice, and oral advocacy, while helping the community in significant and meaningful ways.

About the Clinic

The Workers’ Rights Clinic encompasses students from their first to third year of legal education. It is the only clinic at the University of Michigan Law School—and among the only law clinics in the country—offering first-year law students the opportunity to handle cases.

Our students—including 1Ls—receive course credit to litigate actual unemployment insurance cases under the supervision of experienced attorneys. We provide not only a practical experience for students to develop real-world advocacy skills, but also an opportunity for them to engage their community in significant ways. 

First-year students handle cases before administrative law judges. Our upper-level students handle complex cases at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels, further developing and honing their legal skills.

The WRC offers its clients an array of legal representation ranging from basic legal advice to client counseling, trial and appellate advocacy, and complex brief writing. Students first-chair a mix of cases from the administrative tribunal level all the way through the Michigan Court of Appeals. Each student is responsible for a docket of cases ranging in complexity and procedural posture.

Since its inception in 2010, the WRC has equipped more than 700 students with the skills necessary for promising legal careers. The WRC is passionate about educating future lawyers while advocating on behalf of Michigan workers and looks forward to continuing this meaningful work for years to come.

We Are Not Accepting New Clients at This Time

The Clinic has reached its maximum case capacity and is not currently accepting new clients. Please check below for our referral list of other lawyers that provide representation to UI claimants.

For current Workers' Rights Clinic clients and courts, our contact information is:

Phone: 734.936.2000
Fax: 734.647.4042

Mailing Address:
701 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091

Alternative Sources of Representation for UI Claims

The Clinic is not currently accepting new clients. Here is a list of possible alternative sources of representation for your UI claims:

  • The UIA Employee Advocacy Program

    The Advocacy Program, in certain types of cases, can provide you with an advocate free of charge to represent you at your Administrative Law Judge hearing.


  • The Counsel and Advocacy Law Line

    The Law Line can assist you with over-the-phone advice as you pursue your claim.


  • Can You Refer Me to Another Lawyer?

    Michigan State Bar Lawyer Referral Service

    Some private attorneys we know who handle UI cases for a fee:

    Nicholas Pietropaolo
    Schwartz Law Firm, P.C.
    37887 West Twelve Mile Road, Suite A
    Farmington Hills, MI 48331
    Phone: (248) 553-9400
    Fax: (248) 553-9107

    Alec Gibbs
    Law Office of Gregory T. Gibbs
    717 S. Grand Traverse Street
    Flint, Michigan 48502
    Phone: (810) 239-9470
    Fax: 810-235-2468

    Syeda Davidson (SE Mich)
    Burgess & Sharp PLLC
    43260 Garfield Rd Ste 280
    Clinton Township, MI 48038
    Phone: (586) 226-2627
    Fax: (586) 226-2630

    The Law Office of Marc Asch (Kalamazoo)
    137 N. Park St.
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007
    Phone: (617) 653-8184
    Fax: (269) 585-6154

    Blanchard | Walker (Ann Arbor)
    Phone: (734) 929-4313

    Nacht Law (Ann Arbor)
    Phone: (734) 418-0356 or (888) 312-7173

    Marshall C. Disner
    26700 Lahser Rd.
    Suite 400
    Southfield, MI 48033
    Phone: (800)-529-3476
    Direct: (248) 565-2067

    Mark Risk (northern Michigan)
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Phone: (231) 941-0054​