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STUDY INTERNATIONALLY

  • Dual JD program with the University of Windsor
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HANDS-ON LEARNING FROM DAY ONE

HANDS-ON LEARNING FROM DAY ONE

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EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

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DEDICATED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

DEDICATED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Committed to developing lawyers who serve the public good
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Helping Hand: Company launches pro bono program at kickoff luncheon

David Sherbin, senior vice president and general counsel for Delphi Automotive, was fresh from passing the bar exam in 1987 when he got his first taste of pro bono work.

It was an experience that still resonates with him today, some 25 years after he began his legal career with one of Chicago’s principal transactional law firms.

“I probably handled between 25 and 30 divorce cases as a pro bono lawyer, which was quite an education for a corporate securities attorney,” Sherbin said of his volunteer legal efforts over a five-year period with the firm formerly known as Katten Muchin & Zavis in the Windy City. “As I look back, it was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my legal career.”

Sherbin, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and his juris doctorate from Cornell University Law School, made his comments during an April 19 luncheon program at Delphi’s headquarters in Troy. The program served as the kickoff for the company’s pro bono initiative, and included presentations from representatives of the Family Law Assistance Project in Oakland County, the Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the Mobile Law Clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

The three groups figure to benefit greatly from Delphi’s generosity, which is expected to involve upward of 15 attorneys on the corporate legal staff. The new Delphi was formed in 2009 when it purchased assets and liabilities through bankruptcy of the former Delphi, now know as DPH Holdings Corp.

“This pro bono work is something that I’ve wanted us to become involved with since I joined Delphi more than six years ago, but the timing just wasn’t right,” Sherbin said, noting that he came on board with the former company in the fall of 2005, days before it filed for bankruptcy protection. “We are now a new company and I feel we are in a position to give back, and to make a difference for the less fortunate in the community.”

The company’s commitment to the pro bono cause is “music to the ears” of Joe Papelian, a past president and current board member of the Oakland County Bar Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting legal aid work in the greater Detroit area.

Papelian, who has served as deputy general counsel of litigation for Delphi over the past 14 years, told those attending the April 19 luncheon that “you’re not a complete lawyer until you give back” to the community, a message he has taken to heart throughout his legal career. A former assistant prosecutor with Oakland County and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Papelian has worked tirelessly on behalf of various legal aid groups and said that he has been impressed with the caliber of the organizations represented at the luncheon.

“As part of my involvement with the Oakland County Bar Foundation, I have had the opportunity to see the work of these groups firsthand and I have been unbelievably impressed by the level of service they have extended to those in need,” Papelian said.

Michael Byrnes, director of Clinical Programs at the UDM School of Law, said the Mobile Law Office has enabled the school to take its “legal show on the road” each week, not only across Metro Detroit and Michigan, but also to more than 20 other states. The Mobile Law Office, which has grown from one to three retrofitted RVs that the school utilizes, makes a stop every other week at the Adams-Pratt Oakland County Law Library. There, law students, UDM faculty members, and volunteer attorneys meet with clients in need of assistance with a “specific focus on elder law and veterans issues,” according to Professor Brynes, who earned his law degree from UDM in 1977 and formerly worked with the New York Attorney General’s Office before moving into academia.

While many of the cases involve veteran and elder law issues, the UDM program also handles immigration, urban, juvenile, and mortgage foreclosure matters, according to Tammy Kudialis, director of Project SALUTE. The acronym, in this instance, stands for “Students and Lawyers Assisting U.S. Troops Everywhere,” and it has become a watchword for UDM’s efforts to provide free legal assistance to veterans.

“We have trained over 1,200 attorneys to assist us with the veterans clinic and the response we have received from veterans everywhere we have gone has been amazing,” Kudialis said. “They are incredibly grateful for the help we have offered, for assisting them in obtaining benefits that they have earned in service to their country.”

Cooley Law School Professor Ashley Lowe, director of the Family Law Assistance Project in Oakland County, also spoke at the Delphi luncheon, encouraging members of the company’s legal staff to volunteer at twice monthly intake clinics and in helping low-income clients with divorce, custody, and personal protection order (PPO) matters.

“Most of the clients we serve are survivors of domestic violence,” Lowe said. “Providing PPOs for them is a way that we can make an immediate impact in their lives, offering them safety and some peace of mind.’

Lowe said that many of the cases are handled by Cooley law students working under the supervision of FLAP attorneys and pro bono lawyers.

“It has proven to be a great way for our students to gain practical legal experience while also instilling in them the importance of pro bono work as they embark on their careers,” she said, noting that Cooley also offers volunteer opportunities in a host of other areas, including bankruptcy, immigration, real estate, and tax assistance.

Lynda Krupp, managing attorney of the Civil Law Group for the Legal Aid and Defender Association, said that the Detroit-based organization is the “largest provider of free legal services” to the indigent in Michigan even though it has absorbed a “40 percent staff cut” because of federal budget reductions over the past few years.

“We seek pro bono attorneys who would be willing to assist with outreach intake at locations in Ferndale and Southfield,” Krupp said in a handout to those attending the luncheon. “Initially the pro bono attorney would work with an LAD attorney in interviewing and providing legal advice to prospective clients.”

The LAD also offers monthly pro se divorce clinics in Macomb County, at which “pro bono attorneys help the clients prepare the pro se pleadings and explain the divorce process,” according to Krupp.

Following the presentations, Delphi General Counsel Sherbin encouraged members of the company’s legal staff to immediately become involved in the pro bono opportunities, stating that “it is incumbent upon us to give back” and “to make a difference in the communities where we live, especially when the needs are so great.”

http://www.legalnews.com/detroit/1297284/

EVENTS


January 5, 2017: Prospective Student Open House - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Find out why men and women have been choosing Detroit Mercy Law for over 100 years for their legal education.  Learn how Detroit Mercy Law not only teaches you the law, but teaches you how to be a lawyer.  Through your education here, you will become a lawyer who makes a difference in your workplace and your community.  

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the campus and speak with admissions representatives, faculty, and current students.  


International IP Law Clinic Launch - Atrium

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 12:00 pm

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and University of Windsor Faculty of Law will launch their joint International Intellectual Property Law Clinic on Wednesday, January 11, from 12:00 - 2:00 pm in the atrium of Detroit Mercy Law. Leaders of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office will join IP attorneys from both countries, faculty, students, alumni, and media to celebrate this one-of-a-kind clinic and discuss collaborations between the schools and the countries' IP offices. For additional information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Assistant Dean Denise Hickey.

READ MORE     REGISTER ONLINE


Walk in Wednesday - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Walk-in and visit with an Admissions representative without an appointment during exteneded evening hours.


Patent Drafting Competition Reception - Atrium

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 5:30 pm

Detroit Mercy Law is hosting its Second Annual Patent Drafting Competition, beginning with a reception on Friday, February 10, from 5:30 - 7:00 pm in the atrium. Competitors from 15 law schools across the U.S. and Canada will join leaders of intellectual property law, including representatives of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and attorneys, alumni, faculty, and administrators, to kick-off the competition. The competition will be held on Saturday, February 11, at the USPTO satellite office in Detroit, a few minutes from the Detroit Mercy Law campus. For additional information regarding the event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Assistant Dean Denise Hickey.


Walk in Wednesday - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Walk-in and visit with an Admissions representative without an appointment during exteneded evening hours.


McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Our annual McElroy Lecture provides a forum for prominent thinkers and leaders to address fundamental issues of law and religion. This year's lecturer is Intisar A. Rabb, a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. Dr. Rabb also holds an appointment as a Professor of History at Harvard University and as the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

The lecture will be held on March 2, 2017, from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in room 226, followed by a complimentary reception in the atrium.

Register Online for McElroy Lecture>>


Law Review Symposium - Room 226

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 8:30 am

The Law Review will host its annual symposium on March 3, 2017. The symposium will feature legal professionals and scholars from across the country to discuss the American Bar Association's implementation of Standards 314 and 315, which deal with formative assessments in law school classrooms. For more information click HERE.

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