Orientation is coordinated through the Office of Student Life. A variety of orientation programs introduce new students to the Law School each summer and fall. Upper-class law students serve as orientation leaders to first-year, transfer, and graduate students, working closely with groups of new students during the orientation program.
Orientation Leaders are recruited during the winter semester. Initial training sessions for Orientation occur during the winter semester in preparation for summer and fall Orientation days. A second training session occurs immediately prior to the academic semester for which a student has volunteered.
First Year Information Program
The First Year Information (FYI) program helps first-year students (1Ls) adjust to life as law students.
Upper-class leaders lead small group discussions on exam preparation, study skills, and class review sessions throughout the term. In addition, FYI Leaders conduct other activities such as panel discussions and other programs of interest for first-year students. FYI is meant to provide an informative and enjoyable transition into the first year of law school, and serve as an academic support system for new students.
FYI Leaders are expected to serve as Orientation Leaders just prior to the start of the semester for which they have volunteered. This provides continuity for the incoming students and introduces them to upper-level students to whom they can turn with questions or concerns. Initial training sessions for Orientation occur during the winter semester in preparation for summer and fall Orientation days. A second training session occurs immediately prior to the academic semester for which they have volunteered.
Becoming an FYI Leader
FYI Leaders are recruited during the winter semester. Training sessions for FYI, separate from the Orientation training session, occur in late May in preparation for the summer semester and in early September for the fall/winter academic year.
FYI Leadership Board
The FYI Leadership Board is responsible for creating new academic support materials, designing innovative programs and activities, and generally supporting the work of FYI Leaders. Students who serve on the Board have an opportunity to create lasting change in one of the Law School's core student support programs.
The objective of the Leadership Board is to work closely with the Office of Student Life to develop new programs, design curricula, and plan events and activities aimed at supporting students through their first year of law school. The Board will comprise five students selected by Director Nealy, based on nominations from outgoing Board members and 1L FYI participants. The Board will be selected in April; each member will receive a $250.00 stipend per semester.
Michigan Access Program
The Michigan Access Program (MAP) is an innovative social justice leadership program at the University of Michigan Law School that utilizes social justice curricula, experiential learning models, and intergroup dialogue to offer students from a range of social identities a resource for living, learning, and thriving in Law School.
MAP seeks to build and support a community of social justice leaders within the Law School, teach leadership and conflict resolution skills with an emphasis on intercultural competence, and provide students with opportunities to explore their own thinking, histories, and beliefs around the concepts of social identity and social justice. Every student is invited to participate regardless of background, with special emphasis on encouraging the participation of non-traditional students. Several members of the Law School faculty actively participate in this program as instructors, and as advisors throughout the academic year.
MAP has two basic components: a Pre-Orientation session that takes place in late August, and a series of workshops that occur during the academic year. The Pre-Orientation session is a four-day overnight leadership retreat for incoming 1L MAP students scheduled a week before the Law School's general orientation for new students. Although participation is open to all incoming 1L students, space is limited. Students interested in participating in the Pre-Orientation program must complete an application and demonstrate an interest in social justice leadership.
MAP continues during the academic year with workshops that are open to the student body on various social justice related topics, dialogues, and networking opportunities.