University of Michigan Law School Exposed—Rotten to the Core


University of Michigan Law School Exposed—Rotten to the Core

Oct 23, 2023 7 min read
Hans A. von Spakovsky

Election Law Reform Initiative Manager, Senior Legal Fellow

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration.
The University of Michigan North Campus signage at the University Of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan on July 30, 2019. Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

Given the militantly leftist curricula and faculty at those schools, the student support for Hamas is no surprise.

You will get “Progressive Prosecution: Law and Policy,” where you will learn how the role of prosecutors is not to put away criminals who break the law.

They won’t make you good lawyers, and the “education” you will receive is probably not worth the exorbitant amount you will pay for it.

This is the last article of a 10-part series that J. Christian Adams and I started over six months ago to expose the radical curricula of the top 10 law schools as rated by U.S. News & World Report last year. Christian covered the top-ranked school, Yale, then Chicago, Harvard, NYU, and Cal Berkley. I covered number two, Stanford, and also Columbia, Penn, UVA, and now the University of Michigan. As Christian has said, if you’ve missed any of the madness catalog, click a link.

UMich is just as bad as the other schools, if not worse. If you want to spend almost $100,000 a year to turn your son or daughter into a radical, America-hating extremist whose goal is to bring down our republic, particularly our supposedly white supremacist legal system, then Ann Arbor is the place to go. 

None of this is surprising given the recent news about student organizations at various colleges, including law students, supporting Hamas terrorists and their kidnapping and murder of Israeli civilians, the same way the infamous, anti-Semitic German American Bund of the 1930s supported the Nazis. Law students at three of the law schools we have covered—Harvard, NYU, and Columbia—have had job offers from law firms withdrawn because of their support for these terrorists. 

No shock that the University of Michigan has such groups, too, like the “Young Democratic Socialists of America,” who applaud Hamas’s killing spree as the “revolutionary will of the people,” and “Students Allied for Freedom and Equality,” who call on “honor[ing] our martyrs” in “resist[ing] imperialism.” 

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Given the militantly leftist curricula and faculty at those schools, the student support for Hamas is no surprise. The only surprise is the politically correct Big Law culture actually doing the right thing and canceling job offers to students who have neither the character nor the fitness to practice law. 

If you are going to attend UMich, you had better be prepared to agree, as stated by the law school’s “Advisory Board on Race and Racism,” that there is “systemic, institutional racism and discrimination within the Quad.” According to the school’s interdisciplinary “Program in Race, Law, and History,” the law school’s work “is grounded in scholarship that has established race as at the core of interpreting the history of the Americas.” Apparently, race drives everything we do in “religion, culture, labor, biology, and politics,” which is why we, as a society, have “rationalized profound inequality.” 

Speaking of biology, the law school administrators obviously need a basic lesson in biology, since their 2025 class profile says that 1% of the class are neither men nor women but “nonbinary or other genders.” Maybe they should add a third category for the class profile labeled “confused.”

Of course, UMich knows all about racist behavior since it has been one of the leading law schools in promoting race-based admissions for decades. Under “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Information,” the school brags about its leading role in Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 Supreme Court decision that approved the law school’s racial preference admissions policy in the name of “diversity.” The law school criticizes the voters of Michigan for approving the 2006 proposition that outlawed such preferences, and the president of the university, Santa Ono, issued a statement after the Supreme Court finally ruled against such discrimination in the Harvard/University of North Carolina cases expressing how “deeply disheartened” she was by the ruling—no doubt as disheartened as George Wallace was by Brown v. Board of Education.

Ono brags about the university’s “diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan, DEI 1.0,” and the development of its “next strategic plan, DEI 2.0.” Those are code words for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination.

This perverse, distorted view of America and the law pervades the coursework at UMich. The class on “Critical Race Theory” will brainwash—sorry, I mean teach—students that our legal system and laws are “historically central to and complicit in upholding racial hierarchy as well as other hierarchies of gender, class and sexual orientation.” A similar course, “Race and the Law,” posits that the law “has created and maintained a regime of white supremacy in the United States” and will provide students with “the tools essential to resist that regime.” 

Haven’t had enough? You can take “Civil Rights: Slavery & Trafficking,” which among other things, explains the “loopholes” in the 13th Amendment that are “used to justify prison labor.” Bet you didn’t realize that when convicted felons are given the opportunity to work to earn some income and develop skills, that is tantamount to the slavery we fought a Civil War and passed the 13th Amendment to end. In fact, according to UMich, such modern work programs are “traceable to the convict leasing schemes of the Jim Crow era.” You’ll learn all about “morality, femininity, and whiteness” and “explore race, gender, indigeneity, anti-Blackness…colonialism, globalization, and federalism.” 

I am sure that learning all about colonialism will help a fledgling lawyer pursue a tort case for personal injuries, draft a contract for a business client, close a real estate deal, or prosecute someone in a criminal case. Right? Wrong. 

Speaking of prosecutions and trying to protect the public from dangerous criminals, don’t expect to get that training at UMich. Instead, you will get “Progressive Prosecution: Law and Policy,” where you will learn how the role of prosecutors is not to put away criminals who break the law and victimize the innocent. No, according to the course description, prosecutors should “see their role as combatting overincarceration, eliminating racial and socioeconomic inequity, and changing a criminal legal system that too frequently exacerbates those inequities.” You will hear all about the “progress” the “progressive prosecutor” movement has made.

Progress? As my colleagues Cully Stimson and Zack Smith outline in painful detail in their new book, “Rogue Prosecutors: How Radical Soros Lawyers Are Destroying America’s Communities,” the progressive prosecutor movement has led to dramatic increases in crime in cities throughout the country where these rogue prosecutors have gotten elected. Their refusal to prosecute misdemeanors and many felonies, when combined with their push for no-cash bail and no detention for criminals awaiting trial, has devastated urban communities and victimized the very individuals they claim they are trying to help—law-abiding citizens in poor, often majority-minority urban neighborhoods.

And we can’t forget the need to turn law students into environmental justice warriors. For that, you can take “Environmental Justice,” which will teach you about the environmental decisions that “disproportionately impact people of color, indigenous peoples, and the poor.” The course will address “environmental racism and other form of environmental injustice.”

No modern socialist training camp would be complete without a course like “Life, Death, Love, and the Law.” This course “will inquire into the ethics of reproduction” including the “choice to have children and the choice to terminate a pregnancy.” The course will “think about death, what it is, whether it is bad.” Wait. What? No, really, that is from the course description.

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I don’t think anyone who knows the realities of life and has lost a loved one or a friend needs a law school course to know what death is or whether “it is bad.” Israeli families that have had their loved one tragically murdered could also tell the students at UMich who support Hamas everything they need to know about this topic, too.

Christian and I graduated from law school back when these institutions were still trying to teach their students how to practice law, not indoctrinate them with socialist, racist, anti-American propaganda that defames our legal and justice system and trains them to be revolutionaries who will overthrow our system. Going through the course catalogs and programs of the supposedly best law schools in the country has been very depressing. 

As Christian said in our first article, these schools are no longer trying to produce “lawyers capable of helping clients” with practical legal problems. They’re churning out a generation of lawyers with contempt for our Constitution and the rule of law who will “destroy treasured American institutions such as tolerance, liberty, and free speech.” 

The only piece of advice we have for students is this: quit looking at the elite, expensive law schools thinking they will somehow turn you into a competent, highly professional lawyer, and that you need to go there to get a good job. They won’t make you good lawyers, and the “education” you will receive is probably not worth the exorbitant amount you will pay for it. There are many other fine law schools, including many state schools, that are far more affordable and have not yet become socialist training camps. Do well there, and you will be able to get hired. 

Not only will you get a better education at those schools, but you might also actually get through them without being persecuted for being a patriot who believes in the Constitution and rejecting the racist, elitist political orthodoxy that passes for normal in the woke law schools that are living on their past reputations for excellence and masquerading as institutions of higher learning. 

This piece originally appeared in PJ Media