HANDS-ON LEARNING FROM DAY ONE

HANDS-ON LEARNING FROM DAY ONE

  • * A legal writing program that starts in the first year and continues through the upper level courses.
  • * A clinical program that entitles every student to the opportunity to represent a live client.
  • * A unique law firm program that allows students to engage in simulated cases and transactions in specific practice areas.

DEDICATED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

DEDICATED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • * Committed to developing lawyers who serve the public good
  • * Committed to serving the Detroit community
  • * Founded on Jesuit and Mercy principles of service and the success of each individual

Study Internationally

Study Internationally

  • * Dual degree program with the University of Windsor
  • * Extensive international law and comparative law courses
  • * Established relationship with Universite d"Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand, France

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • * Downtown Detroit Location provides proximity to courts and employers
  • * Strong Alumni Network dedicated to supporting UDM graduates
  • * ability to pursue a concentration in Immigration Law

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Professor introduces students to full breadth of Con Law

by Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

“There’s not much coverage of it in college programs or grade school – so, they’re bright and capable and eager and launching into a field they’ve never really had a chance to explore before. It’s a lot of fun to go on this adventure with them and to be their guide as to parts of it. It’s always fun for me to see how far they go in such a short period of time.”

Olson, who teaches Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, finds his students bring a wide array of background and experiences to the classroom, and “an amazing cross-section” of socio-economic classes, ages, occupations, creeds, and cultures.

“I’ve found it very interesting and enriching to associate with all of these interesting people,” he says.

When Olson earned his degree in political science from Brigham Young University, studies primarily centered on relations with the Soviet Union.

“I like to tell people my undergrad education became obsolete with the fall of the Berlin Wall,” he says. “That’s an exaggeration, but it’s amazing how quickly the world can change.”

Fascinated by two undergrad semesters on Constitutional Law and International Law, he set his sights on law school – and on teaching.

“I felt I had a talent for teaching and wanted to teach something I found interesting and challenging. Law seemed to be the ideal field – and I was right.”

He went on to teach at the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Oklahoma City University School of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law where he was also Associate Dean, and Appalachian School of Law where he was the founding Dean. He was also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Southern Virginia College and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Great Falls in Montana.

Actively involved in accreditation processes, Olson has served as co-chair of an accreditation site team for the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE).

“When it works well, the accreditation process encourages participating schools to articulate what they are, what they want to become, and how they intend to get there,” he says.

Olson shares his past experience with students, including his clerkship for a state trial judge in Idaho, an invaluable experience for teaching Civil Procedure.

“I can relate experiences from the clerkship to show the way the court approaches its decision-making role and how the rules really do shape the litigation.”

He also shares a rare case from private practice in Portland that has come in handy teaching Property, in which he negotiated the settlement of a rule against perpetuities case; and a case of a client whose employer breached its contract and refused to pay salary it owed.

“It was gratifying that our firm was able to get a full recovery plus statutory penalties and attorneys fees for him,” Olson says. “I also handled a libel defense and successfully obtained a dismissal – a nice result in an interesting type of case that most first year associates would not get a chance to handle.”

Olson has a deep respect for the governmental structure that the framers crafted.

“I recognize the preeminence of the rights of speech, press, religion and assembly in maintaining a free government – for me there are no more interesting or important questions than the ones posed in constitutional analysis.”

One of the great challenges, he says, is to respect the democratic process essential to the U.S. constitutional republic while also giving full effect to the constitutional protections that temper that majority rule.
“There’s a common misperception that judicial review is anti-democratic – that’s not so. The Constitution required super-majority support for its ratification and any later amendment.

“There’s no inconsistency between popular sovereignty and fealty to the Constitution as it is duly ratified. But that misperception of anti-democratic judicial review feeds a constant temptation to conclude that our own preferences must be what the Constitution actually requires.”

The danger can be illustrated in the context of the First Amendment.

“It must protect more speech than just that in which I would engage or my version of the First Amendment just appoints me czar,” Olson says. “So, we must explore how far those speech protections will go.”
The same questions arise in other areas.

“It’s not enough that I’m pleased with the policy result – I have to ask honestly whether we’ve achieved these results in accord with the constitutional system that a super-majority of the citizens has chosen. Any other approach subverts the bedrock principle of popular sovereignty.”

Olson cites the 7-year legal case over prolonging or ending treatment for Terri Schiavo – a Florida woman with massive brain damage – as an interesting way of framing questions about respect for the constitutional structure and process and an important cautionary tale.

“There were many people who on a broad array of issues had questioned whether the courts were not simply imposing their policy views on social controversies; yet, suddenly when faced with a result they didn’t like, wanted the courts to do the same thing they had so vociferously condemned – to impose a decision contrary to the rules established through the political process based on their policy preferences,” he says.

“We all have policies we prefer, and we’ll all lose at times in our effort to persuade others. We have to accept losing – even when we’re convinced we’re correct or even morally superior – as a requisite price of a free government. We’ve no reason or right to think if we abandon popular sovereignty that we’re entitled to be the new sovereign.”

Olson views the 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission issue as a prime example of what he terms “the human capacity for mind-boggling inconsistency.” When the government argued that media corporations had an exception from the limits on speech only because of legislative grace, which could be withdrawn at will by the government, one would have expected those media corporations to howl in opposition, he says.

“Instead, in an amazing show of hypocrisy, the media corporations cast their lots with hoping the government will continue to give them a preferred status rather than defending the principle of free speech. Thankfully, the court did not make the same choice.”

A member of the Federalist Society, Olson enjoys hearing – and sometimes being a part of – debates with contrasting perspectives.

“The conservatives and libertarians who make up the group often have diametrically opposed viewpoints, and the invited commentator may bring yet another perspective or two into the picture. I enjoy the commitment to our constitutional system of government and the active debate that generates a broad array of positions.”

Olson, who is married with seven children, enjoys reading and listening to classical music.

Of Norwegian heritage with family roots in Minnesota, he enjoys genealogical research, and volunteers every Saturday at a local family history center. “I’m always fascinated by the story of people’s lives and the puzzle of trying to find their ancestors.”

EVENTS


Annual Public Interest Career Fair - Atrium

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 12:00 pm

The Career Services Office in partnership with the Externship Program and SBA Public Interest Committee are pleased to present the Annual Public Interest Fair.  Meet representatives of local, state, national, and international government, public service, and non-profit organizations in a table talk format.  Bring copies of your resume (that comply with the samples in the Career Planning Manual).  No advance student registration is required.  Lunch will be provided.

Employer Online Registration is now available.


Lunch and Learn: Special Summer Program - Online Webinar

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 12:30 pm

Come learn more about UDM Law's conditional admission program, the Special Summer Program.

Participants will receive a link to the webinar in their confirmation email.


Special Summer Program - Online Webinar

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 6:00 pm

Come learn more about UDM Law's conditional admission program, the Special Summer Program.

Participants will receive a link to the webinar in their confirmation email.


Preparing for Fall On-Campus Interviews - Room 235

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 12:30 pm

Learn what you need to do before the semester ends and over the summer to prepare for the on-campus interview application process, particularly the Early Interview Session.  A duplicate session will be held at 5 p.m. for evening students and those who cannot attend this session due to scheduling conflicts.  A similar session will be held in June for Dual JD candidates.  Refreshments will be provided.  Advance registration on Career Connect is appreciated.


Preparing for Fall On-Campus Interviews: Evening Edition - Room 249

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 5:00 pm

Learn what you need to do before the semester ends and over the summer to prepare for the on-campus interview application process, particularly the Early Interview Session.  This session is for upperclass evening students for whom summer 2016 will be their last summer in law school, and those who cannot attend the afternoon session due to scheduling conflicts.  A similar session will be held in June for Dual JD candidates.  Refreshments will be provided.  Advance registration on Career Connect is appreciated.


Beyond OCI with Lexis: The Small Firm Job Search - Room 249

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 1:00 pm

Only a small percentage of students obtain their post-graduation employment through on-campus interviews. Find out how everybody else finds a job! Meet with us to discuss strategies for finding jobs with small mid-sized firms.  A duplicate session will be held at 5 p.m. for evening students.  Advance registration on Career Connect is appreciated.


Beyond OCI with Lexis: The Small Firm Job Search-Evening Edition - Room 249

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 5:00 pm

Only a small percentage of students obtain their post-graduation employment through on-campus interviews. Find out how everybody else finds a job! Meet with us to discuss strategies for finding jobs with small mid-sized firms. This duplicate session is designed for evening students.  Advance registration on Career Connect is appreciated.


March 4, 2015 - McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion - UDM Law Campus

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 5:00 pm

Our annual McElroy Lecture provides a forum for prominent thinkers and leaders to address fundamental issues of law, religion, and society.  It seeks to educate students, legal professionals, and the public on a variety of questions related to moral philosophy, freedom of conscience, the interaction of legal and religious institutions, and the role of religion in public life.  Its goal is to encourage discussion of these issues in our community and deepen our understanding of them.  This year's lecturer is Professor Nelson Tebbe of Brooklyn Law School.  His topic is "Religion and Social Coherentism: A Progressive Theory of Religious Freedom."  The lecture will be held on Wednesday, March 4, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Room 226 of the School of Law, followed by a complimentary reception in the atrium. Complimentary parking will be available in the Blue Cross lot nearby. Addditional details will be posted here shortly.

 

NEWS

  • UDM Law Warming Center Clinic on Tenant Rights

    Thirteen UDM first-year law students assisted attorneys from Legal Aid and Defender Association, Neighborhood Legal Services, and Detroit Center for Family Advocacy at a Clinic UDM Law hosted at Ss. Peter & Paul Jesuit Warming Center on January 15.  The students and attorneys provided information and individual consultations to 35 guests on housing related matters.  Additionally, Sydney Booth ('14), a participant in UDM's Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program, introduced her newly formed law firm, Rushing Law, and conducted a short presentation on Criminal Expungement.  

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  • PROFESSOR DUBIN COMMENTS ON HIGH PROFILE CASES IN THE NEWS

    Professor Larry Dubin recently commented in The Detroit News on two high profile federal cases.  First, he discussed the DeBoer case, which challenges Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on January 16 that it would accept the case.  Professor Dubin stated in part, "Public opinion has shifted greatly, making this an issue that needs to be resolved due to the conflicting federal law that now exists."

    On January 23 and 25, Professor Dubin discussed the Kazan case, in which a Muslim woman filed suit against the City of Dearborn Heights and its police department, alleging that her constitutional rights were violated when she was forced to remove her hijab when she was booked by a male officer for a traffic violation.  Professor Dubin noted that the case involves conflicting rights:  "Ms. Kazan is entitled under the First Amendment protection of her religious beliefs including the wearing of a hijab, which may cover part of her face.  However, the police have the right to process a person who is being arrested."

    Justices to rule on same-sex marriage, Jan. 16, 2015, The Detroit News (quoting Prof. Lawrence Dubin)

    Woman sues Dearborn Heights for forced hijab removal, Jan. 23, 2015, The Detroit News (quoting Prof. Lawrence Dubin)

    Meet the Women Suing a Michigan Police Department and Standing Up Against Islamophobia, Jan. 25, 2015, Mic Network (quoting Prof. Lawrence Dubin)

  • NEW SOLO AND SMALL FIRM INCUBATOR PROGRAM EARNS PRAISE BY STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN

    UDM Law's New Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program is featured on the State Bar of Michigan's Stories of Service website. The Program is praised as an innovative model for teaching recent graduates how to grow and sustain a solo practice while also meeting the legal needs of low-income clients through pro bono service.

    UDM Law’s New Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program Aims to Grow Better Lawyers, Jan. 21, 2015, State Bar of Michigan Website – Stories of Service

  • MANY DISTINGUISHED UDM LAW ALUMNI ARE SWORN IN TO OFFICE

    Many distinguished UDM Law alumni have been sworn in to serve as members of the judiciary and Legislature recently. We are proud of their ongoing commitment to the School of Law's mission and the example they set for our students in their service to the public.

    Macomb County's judiciary has a sister act. Suzanne Faunce ('98), a former county assistant prosecutor, and her sister, Circuit Judge Jennifer Faunce ('90), who won re-election, were sworn in on January 5 by retired District Judge and current Visiting Judge Sherman Faunce, their father. Both women stated that it was one of the "greatest moments in their lives" to be sworn in together and with their father beside them.  Related article:  Family affair: Faunce sisters sworn in as judges by father, Dec. 22, 2014, Macomb Daily

    Many other alumni have also been sworn in as members of the judiciary, including:

    Hon. Brian K. Zahra ('87) was re-elected to the Michigan Supreme Court.

    Hon. Michael J. Talbot ('71) was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to be Chief Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

    Hon. Christopher Murray ('90) was re-elected to the First District of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Judge Murray is currently a member of the University of Detroit Mercy Inns of Court and is president of the DMBA Inns of Court.

    READ MORE

     

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  • PROFESSOR BROUGHTON COMMENTS IN LAW360 ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS

    On January 7, Professor J. Richard Broughton commented in Law360, a national legal news service, on President Barack Obama's renewed nominations of 17 judicial candidates for the federal bench and the likely response of the new Republican-controlled Senate.

    Obama Judicial Noms Face Uphill Battle in Republican Senate, Jan. 7, 2015, Law360

  • CRIMINAL TRIAL CLINIC HAS SUCCESSFUL YEAR

    Students in UDM's Criminal Trial Clinic represent indigent misdemeanor defendants in district courts. The Clinic is led by Adjunct Professor Michael Morgan and Professor Richard Krisciunas. The following students won cases on the merits while acting as defense counsel in the Clinic in 2014:

    Nargiz Nesimova gained an acquittal at trial for a client charged with Obstructing a Police Officer.

    Robert Warchuk won a motion to dismiss for a client charged with Operating with a Suspended Driver's License, Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia, and violating the local knife ordinance.

    Amanda Gingrich convinced the city attorney to dismiss the case against her client charged with violating the local knife ordinance.

    Amanda Gingrich convinced the city attorney that the police had arrested the wrong man for Operating with a Suspended Driver's License.

    Jared Henry convinced the city attorney that police had arrested the wrong man for Obstructing a Police Officer.

    The Criminal Trial Clinic arranges for UDM law students to act as public defenders in district courts in Eastpointe, Hamtramck, Plymouth, and Troy.

    To learn more about the Criminal Trial Clinic, visit the Clinics' website.