Wayne State University Law School

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Wayne State University Law School
WSU LS logo.png
Established 1927
Type Public
Dean Jocelyn Benson
Location Detroit, Michigan, USA
Campus Urban
Website http://www.law.wayne.edu/

Wayne State University Law School is located in the City of Detroit’s Cultural Center, and is one of the schools of Wayne State University. It is one of two public law schools in the state of Michigan. The Law School has educated and trained lawyers since 1927, and its 10,000+ alumni serve as leaders of the bench and bar. Alumni include six of the last ten presidents of the State Bar of Michigan, members of Congress, the former national president of the Federal Bar Association, and a quarter of all sitting judges in the Michigan judiciary.

The Law School offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in day, night, and combined programs. It also offers a number of dual degrees, including the J.D./M.B.A. combined program, and J.D./M.A. programs in economics, history, dispute resolution, and political science, among others. The Law School also maintains the fourth largest Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in the nation. LL.M. students can pursue advanced study in taxation, labor law, and corporate planning.

There are approximately 750 students enrolled in the Law School’s J.D. program. According to the 2006 U.S. News data, entering law students in 2005 had undergraduate GPAs ranging from 3.33 (25th percentile) to 3.72 (75th percentile), and LSAT scores ranging from 153 (25th) to 159 (75th). The Law School’s 2005 acceptance rate was 39%, and maintained a 2007 bar passage rate of over 95%, above the state average of 74% for all takers of the Michigan Bar Exam.

The most recent U.S. News & World Report's rankings for 2014 placed Wayne Law at 87 out of 194 accredited law schools.[1] Wayne Law's alumni continue to outpace all other Michigan law schools, including U of M Law School, on the "Super Lawyers" list within the state of Michigan.[2] This list encompasses lawyers who have achieved or continue to achieve success in the field of law.


The Law School was founded in 1927 and was originally named the Detroit City Law School as part of the City Colleges of Detroit. Allan Campbell served as the Law School’s founding dean, which graduated its first class with the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree in 1928.

The City Colleges of Detroit thrived and was subsequently renamed Wayne University in 1933. In 1956, the University joined Michigan State University and the University of Michigan as one of the state’s three major public research institutions, and was renamed Wayne State University.

The Law School received full American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation in 1939. The School’s Moot Court program (originally called the Case Club) was established in 1938, and the Wayne Law Review began publication in 1954. As an additional honor, members of the Wayne Law Review were awarded Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees rather than LL.B. degrees (J.D. degrees were awarded to all law students with an undergraduate degree beginning in 1965). In 1965, the Law School’s students founded the Free Legal Aid Clinic, which is now operated in conjunction with the Elder Law & Advocacy Center and Lakeshore Legal Aid.

At the urging of the ABA and the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners, Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan Law School joined to form the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) in 1960. ICLE provides Michigan lawyers with accessible continuing legal education and resource materials that enable them to practice law more effectively, and is now one of the largest organizations of its kind in the nation.

Deans of the Law School have included Allan Campbell (1927–1937), Arthur Neef (1937–1966), Charles Joiner (1968–1975), Donald Gordon (1975–1980), John Roberts (1980–1987), John Reed (1987–1993), James Robinson (1993–1998), Joan Mahoney (1998–2004; first female law school dean in Michigan history), Frank Wu (2004–2008), and Robert Ackerman (2008–present).


According to Wayne State University's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 53.4% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[3] Wayne State University's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 31.0%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[4]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Wayne State University for the 2013-2014 academic year is $52,000.[5] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $207,702.[6]

Law School complex[edit]

The Law School moved to its present location in 1966. In 2000, the Law School completed a $17-million addition and renovation project. Located on the University's main campus, the Law School complex features:

  • the 250-seat Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium, used for lectures, visiting court sessions, and public events
  • a moot court facility
  • seminar rooms and five large lecture halls with multimedia equipment and terraced seating
  • casual seating areas for student conversation and study
  • offices for student services and organizations
  • facilities for the Law School's clinics
  • faculty and administrative offices

The Law School is also nearly set to begin construction of the Damon J. Keith Center, named in honor of Judge Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, an alumnus of the Law School. The Keith Center will replace the current classroom building, and will also add office space, the Keith Center for Civil Rights, and the Keith Collection.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20140311/NEWS/140319958/wayne-state-law-school-makes-strides-in-national-rankings
  2. ^ http://www.superlawyers.com/toplists/lawschools/michigan/2009/
  3. ^ "Wayne State University School of Law Required Disclosures". 
  4. ^ "Wayne State University Law LST Profile". 
  5. ^ "Wayne State University Law School Tuition & Fees". 
  6. ^ "Wayne State University Law School Estimated Cost of Attendance Profile". 
  7. ^ "Damon Keith". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "John Conyers". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Susan Bieke Neilson". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Arthur Tarnow". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "David M. Lawson". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nancy Garlock Edmunds". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Marcia Cooke". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Laitner, Bill. “He can run with anyone.” Detroit Free Press. 29 October 2006.
  15. ^ "Gary Peters". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Judge Paul D. Borman". United States District Court -- Eastern Michigan District.