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. Some 1L mini-seminars offer no credit.
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.
2022-2023 Mini-Seminar Topics
- Art and Advocacy (Prof. Patrick Barry)
- Criminal Justice Reform by Comedian Jon Oliver (Prof. Imran Syed)
- Law-School Admissions in a Post-Affirmative Action World (Prof. Sam Erman)
- Lawyering While Female (Profs. Bridgette Carr and Chavi Nana)
- Business Development for Law Firm Associates (Prof. Bob Hirshon)
- Current Issues in Cannabis Law (Prof. Mark Osbeck)
- The Enduring Allure of Book Bans (Prof. Susan Page)
- Lawyering in Washington, DC (Prof. Chris Walker)
- Tech Trends: A Primer for Lawyers (Profs. Tifani Sadek and Kristen Wolff)
Fall 2022 Mini-seminar Information
- Between Shadow and Light -- Domestic Violence and the Law (Prof. Julia Lee)
- The Federal Reserve (Prof. Jeffery Zhang)
- Law in Rural America: Cows, Courts, and Country Lawyers (Prof. Emily Prifogle)
- The Law of Globalization (Prof. Julian Arato)
- What Can Short Stories Teach Us About Life, Law, and Life in (the Shadow of) the Law? (Prof. Steven Schaus)
Winter 2023 Mini-seminar Information for 2Ls and 3Ls
- Can a River Sue? Rights of Nature, Here and Abroad (Prof. Oday Salim)
- Designing Your MLaw Life (Profs. Bridgette Carr and Vivek Sankaran)
- The Law of Reservation Dogs (Prof. Matthew Fletcher)
- Public Speaking for the Faint of Heart: Classrooms, Courtrooms, and Conference Rooms (Prof. Evan Caminker)
- Shakespeare and the Law, Deconstructed (Prof. Len Niehoff)
- You Gotta Listen to This: How to Tell a Great Story (Profs. David Moran and Michael Steinberg)