Michigan Law Professors & Michigan Law Student Admission

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Michigan Law Professors can practice law in the state of Michigan under Rule 5(D) of the Board of Law Examiners Rules. This rule allows law school instructors, who fail to meet the practice of law requirements of Michigan’s Admission on Motion Rules, to  receive a special certificate to practice law in Michigan. Attorneys eligible for a special certificate in Michigan are required to complete the Application.

Michigan law student admission, at least on a limited basis has its own special rules. For Michigan law student admission to occur a student must be involved in the following under Michigan Court Rule 8.120 . This rule allows Michigan law student admission into the Michigan courts on a limited basis and for recent law school graduates to practice law in Michigan on a limited basis.

A law student must have completed the first year of studies at an ABA approved law school and meet the academic and moral standards established by the law school Dean. The student must be eligible to participate in a qualifying clinic or program. A “recent law graduate” is a person who has graduated from law school within the last year.


Michigan law students admission certification requires students to:

  • Show good character and legal competence
  • Certify in writing that they understand the Michigan rules of professional conduct
  • Certify in writing that they understand the Michigan Supreme Court rules
  • Can not receive any compensation for their representation, but they may be compensated if they are in employment of legal aid bureaus, attorneys, public defender organizations or by the state.

Law students and recent graduates may participate as part of:

  • Legal Aid Clinics and Defender Offices. Under the supervision of a Michigan Bar member, law students and graduates may staff public and non-profit defender offices, legal aid clinics that are organized under a city or county bar association or an accredited law school, or for the primary purpose of providing free legal services to indigent persons.
  • Legal Training Programs. Law students and graduates may participate in legal training programs organized in the office of county prosecuting attorneys, county corporation counsel, city attorneys, and the Attorney General.

All such programs and clinics must be supervised by a licensed Michigan attorney.

A sitting judge must approve the law student or graduate’s appearance. If the judge grants approval, the judge may suspend the proceedings at any stage if he or she determines that the representation by the law student or graduate is professionally inadequate and  substantial justice requires suspension.

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