When we talk about the private sector, we’re talking about law firms and in-house counsel. The majority of Michigan Law students begin their careers in private practice, earning positions with leading law firms around the world.
Public Interest and Government
At its core, public interest law is about access to justice and to legal representation. It’s about advocating for underserved and underrepresented communities within varied and wide-ranging practice areas.
Government legal practice is intellectually challenging and rewarding, offering a wide range of experiences. For example, the Department of Justice (DOJ), dubbed the Nation's Law Firm, provides exciting opportunities in the areas of litigation, enforcement, and investigation. Government jobs also span a plethora of practice areas—from securities, to healthcare, to international trade law—so the skills and experience gained in the government transfer to both the private and nonprofit sectors.
Michigan has a strong tradition of sending its graduates to prestigious judicial clerkships in federal and state appellate and trial courts. Our graduates serve as judicial clerks in every circuit in the country. Since 1991, Michigan Law has placed 36 graduates in United States Supreme Court Clerkships.
Michigan Law is home to one of the most prestigious legal academies in the world, and we’re historically among the top five institutions supplying law faculty in both the United States and abroad.
International practice serves both private and public sectors, and can be based either domestically or abroad. Michigan Law offers students a wide variety of opportunities to gain hands-on experience exploring paths in international law.
Information for Transfer Students
Admitted transfer students participate, along with other second-year students, in our on-campus interviewing program, in which about 500 employers visit the campus.
Transfer students are eligible to bid for any interviews they wish; we allow no pre-screening of candidates by the employers. Just as the students who enter Michigan Law in their 1L year succeed, our transfer students experience extraordinary success in their legal careers.
Of the 54 transfer students from 37 different law schools who have graduated in the past three years, 98% reported jobs within 10 months of graduation. Over 15% began their legal careers with prestigious judicial clerkships, all at the federal or state supreme court level. More than 75% went to jobs at private firms, with more than 78% of that group going to American Lawyer 100 or Global 100 firms.
Those who chose not to work at firms went on to sought-after legal positions in public interest and the government, at employers like the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., and St. Andrew's Refugee Service in Cairo, Egypt.
As a whole, these transfers spread out to 25 cities across the nation and overseas.
Most Popular Markets
(Class of 2015-2019)
New York 25% Illinois 12% Michigan 12% California 12% Washington, D.C. 10%
Jobs by Sector
(Class of 2019)
Law Firms 66% Clerkships 18% Public Interest 8% Government 7% Business or Industry 1% Academia <1%
1L Job Statistics
During summer 2020, our 1Ls worked in 88 cities in the United States and abroad.
Public Interest 42% Law Firms 20% Government 14% Judicial 14% Business/Industry 5% Academia 5%
2L Job Statistics
During summer 2020, our 2Ls worked in 73 cities in the United States and abroad.
Law Firms 66% Public Interest 20% Government 10% Business/Industry 2% Academic 2% Judicial <1%