Sometime back, I had written about three executive LLMs that Indian mid-career lawyers  can take a look at. One of those, mentioned only towards the end of the piece, was the Masters in Advanced Corporate Law (MACL) offered by the Michigan Law School. The MACL course caught my eye for a number of reasons, including the fact that the tuition fees ($31,337) is significantly lower than at other US law schools offering a similar sort of program.

To learn a bit more about the course, I reached out to Joseph Pollak,  the International Affairs Program Manager at Michigan Law School. In an e-mail interview, he discussed the admission process, ideal applicant profile, and a whole lot more.

(Edited excerpts)

Joe Pollak of Michigan Law School
Joe Pollak

Is there a particular profile of lawyers that you think would be a good fit for the MACL program?

The ideal MACL student is an early or mid-career lawyer who would like to study corporate law and securities regulation from a US and comparative perspective.

It is someone interested in gaining knowledge, working hard, building relationships with classmates and professors and forever becoming part of the exclusive Michigan Law community. Someone who wants to pause their busy day-to-day life for three months and immerse themselves in a vibrant intellectual world surrounded by the gorgeous University of Michigan campus and our lively college town – to recharge in the fresh air of the American Mid-West – and emerge ready to tackle the next phase of their career.

Would Indian lawyers be exempt from the English proficiency requirement?

Normally, Indian applicants would need to supply test scores evidencing high English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). However, we understand that practicing lawyers may have other ways of showing that their English skills are sufficient.

Anyone who would like to request a waiver from our normal requirement should write to law.macl.admissions@umich.edu and we will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis.

Would the MACL course allow one to sit for either the NY Bar or the California Bar, or any other US Bar exam?

At the moment, no. Our purpose for creating the program is to provide deep and useful expertise in the specific area of corporate law and securities regulation. Creating a program that allows graduates to sit for a state bar exam would detract significantly from that purpose.

We encourage people interested in qualifying for a US bar exam to enrol in our 9-month LLM program. Having said that, we are keeping an eye on some proposed rule changes that may allow MACL graduates to sit for a US bar exam in the near future.

In terms of course load, what would you say is the approximate number of study hours that the course would require? A lot of the applicants would be lawyers who may not have had to study for a while now.

Since study habits vary significantly from student to student, let me approach the questions in a different way. The MACL program is academically rigorous and it will require study hours outside of the classroom.

However, nearly all of our MACL professors were law firm lawyers before becoming academics so they understand the lifestyle, pressures, and mindsets of practicing lawyers and have tailored their courses accordingly. For example, MACL classes are graded on a tiered pass/fail basis rather than on a strict A through F rubric.

Could you talk about the writing requirement that the MACL program includes?

MACL students choose their own subjects for a piece of writing similar to the kind of writing that they encounter in their regular law practice.

Michigan Law’s legal research and writing professors work with students one-on-one and in small groups throughout the 12 weeks of the program to further hone foundational lawyering skills of writing, research, and analysis.

Lastly, would MACL students have access to the career development services at Michigan Law?

Yes! MACL students have access to online and written resources provided by our Office of Career Planning, including our job board and a comprehensive collection of specialized guides on relevant topics.

In addition, MACL students have access to perhaps our most valuable career resource: upon graduation, MACL students become part of a network of Michigan Law alumni around the globe.

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