One of the hallmarks of being a student at Michigan Law is the unusual level of access to and interaction with professors. The mini-seminar program takes that experience to a whole new level.
If you thought you knew your favorite professors before, consider the insights you'll have after you've had dinner at their houses while their children run around in diapers. And for the reserved student who has avoided more than cursory visits to office hours, the mini-seminar presents the perfect opportunity to take advantage of one of the most special features of our community.
Implemented in 2005, the program has proved enormously popular with students and faculty alike. The mini-seminars capitalize on both the Law School's unique physical environment, where most faculty live within a stone's throw of the Quadrangle, and our ethos of collegiality, to provide a new venue for personal connections between students and faculty in a casual forum.
For one ungraded credit, groups of 10 or 12 students meet with a professor (or two) over the course of a semester (or in some cases, the entire academic year) to hold provocative conversations in a series of two-hour sessions in the professor's home or some other non-classroom setting.
The seminar's theme is faculty-selected—often intensively law-focused, balanced by a handful of topics that might be described as marginally legal. About 15 mini-seminars are offered each year.
2021-2022 Mini-Seminar Topics
- American Ecological Writings (Prof. Nicolas Cornell)
- Criminal Justice Reform by Comedian Jon Oliver (Prof. Imran Syed)
- Lawyering While Female (Prof. Bridgette Carr)
- The Opioid Litigation (Prof. Richard Friedman)
- Poetry and Parks (Prof. Patrick Barry)
- Selected Topics in Entrepreneurship Law and Policy (Prof. Tifani Sadek)
- Decision Making (Prof. Nancy Vettorello)
- Hollywood, Bollywood and the Law: The Globalizing Entertainment Industry (Prof. Vic Khanna)
- LatinX Civil Rights Lawyering ... and Clienting (Prof. Luis C.deBaca)
- Supreme Court Term OT 2021 (Profs. Daniel Deacon and Leah Litman)
- Reexamining Violence in America (Prof. Mira Edmonds)
- Ancient Greek Literature for Modern American Lawyers (Prof. Sherman Clark)
- Clerking: The Nuts and Bolts (Profs. Kerry Kornblatt and Jessica Lefort)
- How and Why to Run for Office (Prof. Dana Thompson)
- International Human Rights in Film (Prof. Steven Ratner)
- The Life of a People’s Lawyer: Using the Law to Advance Social Justice (Prof. Michael Steinberg)
- Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Prof. Scott Hershovitz)
- Abraham Lincoln and Legal Ethics (Prof. Ted Becker)
- In Courts Where Ghosts Appear: The Salem Witch Trials (Prof. Len Niehoff)
- Public Speaking for the Faint of Heart: Classrooms, Courtrooms, and Conference Rooms (Prof. Evan Caminker)
- The Shifting Social Narratives That Have Shaped Marijuana Law and Policy (Prof. Mark Osbeck)