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.
2020-2021 Mini-Seminar Topics
- Crisis in American Democracy (Prof. Kate Andrias)
- Health Justice and Systemic Inequality (Prof. Sam Bagenstos)
- Digital Learning, Digital Lawyering (Prof. Patrick Barry)
- Pandemics and Law in Science Fiction (Prof. Nicholson Price)
- Strangers to Ourselves (Prof. Roseanna Sommers)
- Lawyering While Female (Prof. Bridgette Carr)
- Racism, Colonialism, and the United Nations (Profs. Kristina Daugirdas and Susan Page)
- Business Development for Associates (Prof. Robert Hirshon)
- Cannabis Law and Social Justice (Profs. Howard Bromberg and Mark Osbeck)
- Tort, Crime and Punishment: A Short Visual History of Legal Process from the Norman Conquest to Game of Thrones (Prof. David Guenther)
- Loveable Crooks, Despicable Lawyers (Prof. Don Herzog)
- Clerking: The Nuts and Bolts (Profs. Kerry Kornblatt and Jessica Lefort)
- The US Soccer Women's National Team Equal Pay Dispute (Prof. Timothy Pinto)
- Lawyers as Leaders: Exploring the Qualities of Effective Leadership (Profs. Tifani Sadek and Vivek Sankaran)
- Race, Gender, and American Incarceration (Prof. Margo Schlanger)
- What Do I Wanna Be When I Grow Up? Strategies for Figuring It Out (Prof. Evan Caminker)
- Rebellious Lawyering: Self and Movement (Profs. Mira Edmonds and Gowri Krishna)
- In Courts Where Ghosts Appear: The Salem Witch Trials (Prof. Len Niehoff)