Law School (University of Michigan) records: 1852-2010
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Access and Use

Acquisition Information:

This record group (Donor no. 343 and 7644), arrived in various accessions, beginning in 1957. A major transfer of 34 linear feet arrived in 1999. Periodic additions to this record group are expected.

Access Restrictions:

The Law School records are open for research except for certain records restricted by statute or university policy. Restricted material includes personnel-related files including search, review, promotion, and tenure files which are restricted for thirty years from date of creation and student educational records which are restricted for seventy-five years from the date of creation. Restricted records are located in boxes 73, 75, 119-121

In addition, records of the Law School added to the record group after January 1, 2001 are restricted for twenty years from date of accession in accordance with the university's policy on the records of Executive Officers, Deans, Directors and their support offices. Records in this category are located in boxes 81-121 and are identified with an "ER restricted" note.

Access Restrictions for University of Michigan Records

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of Restricted Records

  • Personnel-related files , including search, review, promotion, and tenure files, are restricted for thirty (30) years from the date of their creation.
  • Student educational records : FERPA's protection of personally identifiable information in a student's education records ends at the time of a student's death and therefore is a matter of institutional policy. As a courtesy to the families of recently deceased students who were enrolled at the time of death, the University generally will not release information from their education records for five years without the consent of the deceased student's next of kin. Eighty-five (85) years after the date the records were first created, the University will presume that the student is deceased. Thereafter the student's education records will be open. Student records at the Bentley Historical Library are restricted for eighty-five (85) years, but may also be made available upon proof of the death of the student.
  • Executive records : Records generated by the university's executive officers, deans, directors, department heads, and their designated support staff are restricted for twenty (20) years from the date of their creation.

Restricted files are indicated in the contents list of the collection’s finding aid with a restriction note indicating the restriction type and the date of expiration.

For further information on the restriction policy and placing Freedom of Information Act requests for restricted material, consult the reference archivist at the Bentley Historical Library ( or the University of Michigan Freedom of Information Office website (

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., University of Michigan Law School Records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Processing Information:

A number of Bentley Historical Library archivists have assisted in the processing and description of the Law School records as they have been received by the library over a period of years, including Darwin Matthews (1983), Kathy Koehler (1985), Vladimir Kajlik (1989), Sondra Smith (1996), Kristine Palmquist (1999), and Heather Briston (2000).

In 2000, Jennifer Jacobs and other Bentley staff, with special funding and support from the Dean of the Law School, undertook a major survey and appraisal of administrative and historical files at the Law School which resulted in the addition of more than thirty linear feet of material to the Law School record group. Jacobs completed a major revision of the finding aid in 2001.

In preparing digital material for long-term preservation and access, the Bentley Historical Library adheres to professional best practices and standards to ensure that content will retain its authenticity and integrity. For more information on procedures for the ingest and processing of digital materials, please see Bentley Historical Library Digital Processing Note. Access to digital material may be provided either as a direct link to an individual file or as a downloadable package of files bundled in a zip file.