STUDY INTERNATIONALLY

STUDY INTERNATIONALLY

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

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 ensures every student the opportunity to represent a client.
  • A unique law firm program that allows students to engage in simulated cases and transactions in specific practice areas.

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Downtown Detroit location provides proximity to courts and employers
  • Strong Alumni Network dedicated to supporting Detroit Mercy Law graduates
  • Ability to pursue a concentration in Immigration Law or Family Law

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

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Alumni Award

Justice Brian Zahra

Justice Brian K. Zahra was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court on January 14, 2011, by Governor Rick Snyder.  Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, he served 12 years on the Michigan Court of Appeals and 4 years on the Wayne County Circuit Court.

Justice Zahra received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Wayne State University.  To finance his education, he opened and operated a small health and personal care retail store in downtown Detroit, later opening a grocery outlet, also in Detroit, with two partners.  In 1987, he graduated with honors from the University of Detroit School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review.  While in law school, he also served as Articles Editor of the State Bar of Michigan's Corporation and Finance Business Law Journal.  He then served as law clerk to Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for two years before joining the law firm of Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman in 1989.  In 1994, Governor John Engler appointed him to the Wayne County Circuit Court.  He was elected to a six-year term in 1996 and continued to serve on the Circuit Court until December of 1998, when he was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals by Governor Engler.  He was elected to six-year terms on the Court of Appeals in 2000 and 2006.  From December 2005 to January 2007, he served as the Court of Appeals' Chief Judge Pro Tem.

Justice Zahra has taught evidence as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.  He has served on many professional and legislative committees, including the Michigan Civil Jury Instructions Committee, the Circuit Court Appellate Rules Committee, the Domestic Violence Legislation Implementation Task Force, and the advisory committee for the Michigan Judicial Institute Domestic Violence Benchbook.  He has also served on the Michigan Board of Law Examiners, which drafts and grades the examination that law school graduates must pass in order to become licensed attorneys.

Justice Zahra has been active in many civic and charitable organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Kiwanis Club International, Leadership Detroit, the Knights of Columbus, the Novi Youth Hockey Association, the Maltese American Community Club, and the Maltese American Benevolent Society, of which he is a past officer.  He is a former board member and officer of the Catholic Lawyers Society, and he is a member of the Federalist Society, having served as secretary and vice-president of the Michigan chapter.

Justice Zahra frequently attends School of Law events and is quick to respond to requests for his assistance by the administration, faculty, and student organizations.

 

ALUMNI Award Criteria

Spirit of UDM:  Alumni Achievement Award

On April 11, 2014, University of Detroit Mercy hosted the inaugural University-wide celebration, Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Awards.  The new event honored distinguished alumni with an Alumni Achievement Award.  The 2014 award recipient on behalf of the School of Law is Brian K. Zahra ('87), Justice, Michigan Supreme Court.  At the School of Law's Reunion on November 15, 2014, we will recognize Justice Zahra as the recipient of this tremendous honor.

The Spirit of UDM Alumni Achievement Award was established to recognize distinguished graduates, from the University's colleges and schools, who have excelled in their chosen profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in their work, and benefitted the wider community through their support.  Award recipients reflect the University's mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater.

 

This award is what we previously called the Law Alumnus of the Year Award.  Previous recipients of that award are:

1985  Hon. James H. Brickley ('54)

1985  Nathan B. Goodnow ('30)

1985  Frank J. Kelley ('51)

1986  Donald H. Mitzel ('51)

1986  Hon. James L. Ryan ('57)

1987  Hon. Thomas G. Kavanagh ('43)

1988  Hon. George R. Deneweth ('42)

1989  John A. Kruse ('52)

1990  William L. Cahalan ('51)

1991  William D. Gilbride, Sr. ('50)

1992  James A. Courter ('61)

1993  Hon. Michael F. Cavanagh ('66)

1994  Hon. Joseph A. Sullivan ('48)

1995  Hon. Alice R. Resnick ('64)

1996  Hon. Louis F. Simmons, Jr. ('56)

1997  William D. Booth ('62)

1998  Thomas C. Mayer ('55)

1999  Charles R. Rutherford ('57)

2000  Hon. Roman S. Gribbs ('54)

2001  Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr. ('67)

2002  Hon. Peter E. Deegan ('66)

2003  Edmund M. Brady, Jr. ('66)

2004  Hon. Maura D. Corrigan ('73)

2005  L. Brooks Patterson ('67)

2006  Frederick W. Lauck ('69)

2007  Denise Ilitch ('80)

2008  Hon. Patrick J. Duggan ('58)

2009  Lawrence G. Campbell ('69)

2010  Joseph V. Walker ('72)

2011  Robert A. Ficano ('77)

2012  Hon. Michael J. Talbot ('71)

2013  Judiciary Honored

 

The 2014 Spirit of UDM:  Alumni Achievement Award honorees on behalf of the other schools and colleges of the University are:

School of Architecture – Philip Kinsella '58, Architect and Managing Principal, KRJDA, LLC Architects

College of Business Administration – Emil Brolick '69, '72, President & CEO, The Wendy's Company

School of Dentistry – John DiBiaggio, D.D.S. '58, Former President of Tufts University, Michigan State University and University of Connecticut

College of Engineering & Science – William C. Young '64, CEO, Absopure Water Co. and Plastipak Holdings

College of Health Professions – Nancy Susick MSN, RN '86, Senior Vice President, Beaumont Health System and President, Beaumont Hospital, Troy

College of Liberal Arts & Education – Frederick M. Seibert '70, '73, Owner & President, Preece, Inc.

EVENTS


Lunch at the Michigan Bar Exam - East Lansing

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 11:30 am

Detroit Mercy Law will provide complimentary boxed lunches for alumni taking the Michigan Bar Exam on July 26 and July 27. Look for us outside the Breslin Center near Gate C during your lunch break each day. You can sit and relax or grab and go - whichever you prefer. For additional details, please contact Denise Hickey, Assistant Dean of Alumni Relations.


Red Mass 2016 - Atrium

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:00 pm

Detroit Mercy Law will host its 104th annual Red Mass on Tuesday, September 20, at noon at Ss. Peter & Paul Jesuit Church, followed by a complimentary luncheon in the atrium. Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., J.D., will celebrate the Mass. Father Kammer is a Jesuit priest, an attorney, and a member of the Southern Province of the Jesuits. He has been director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute since March of 2009. Hon. Victoria Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan will lead the Renewal of the Lawyer's Oath of Commitment.

Red Mass is an opportunity for law students, judges, lawyers, civic leaders, faculty, staff, and administrators of all faiths to come together and celebrate the beginning of the new judicial term and academic year. The School has hosted the Red Mass on behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit at Saints Peter and Paul since the School opened in 1912.


Reception at the State Bar of MI Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids - Amway Grand Hotel

Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Dean Phyllis L. Crocker will host a cocktail reception for Detroit Mercy Law alumni, State Bar dignitaries, members of the judiciary, faculty, and students at the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Michigan at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids on September 22 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.  She will make remarks at 5:15 p.m.

Event Details>>


Golf Outing - The Inn at St. John's

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 12:00 pm

Detroit Mercy Law will host a Golf Outing on September 30 at The Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, with a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m. followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m. All alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, students, and their guests are welcome to attend this exciting new event as part of Detroit Mercy's Homecoming festivities. More information will follow soon. Please contact
Denise Hickey or Amy Smith with any questions.

Save the Date Card>>

NEWS

  • Lawyers could take voluntary online tests to assess skills

    While Michigan is ripe for some improvements in continuing legal education, a task force that recently studied the issue doesn’t believe that includes adopting the mandatory approach used by most other states..

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  • Professor Larry Dubin Quoted in The Detroit News

    Detroit Mercy Law Professor, Larry Dubin, was recently quoted in The Detroit News on the report that Wayne County prosecutors delayed sharing evidence with Davontae Sanford's attorneys that would have exonerated him. Sanford spent eight years in prison for murders he did not commit according to the report.

    Read More

  • Nate Mark ’18 Recently Published in the State Bar of Michigan’s Real Property Law Section E-Newsletter

    Detroit Mercy Law Student, Nate Mark, recently published an article in the State Bar of Michigan's Real Property Law Section e-newsletter.

    Read More

  • Ryan VanOver ’17 Addresses Drone Surveillance in the Detroit News

    The Detroit News recently published an op-ed piece by Ryan VanOver '17, on the issue of unlawful drone surveillance. VanOver recommends that the Michigan Legislature amend the statute to regulate recreational drone users.

    Read More

  • Vanessa Guerra ’17, Balances Law Studies with State Legislative Duties

    Legal News profiled Vanessa Guerra '17, who is currently serving her first term as State Representative in Michigan's 95th District. She is the youngest member of the House and serves as a trustee for Bridgeport Township, treasurer of Michigan Legislature's Progressive Women's Caucus and on the Governor's Criminal Justice Policy Commission.

    Read More

  • Detroit Mercy Law Community Mourns Those Killed in Orlando

    We were deeply saddened to learn that Christopher Andrew Leinonen, one of the people murdered on Sunday at the nightclub in Orlando, was the son of one of our graduates, Christine Leinonen ('98). Christopher's partner, Juan Guerrero, was also killed in the nightclub massacre. The two families are now planning a joint funeral instead of the wedding they had been anticipating. The death of every person at the club is tragic. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Christine and her family, to the Guerreros, and the families and friends of every person killed Sunday morning.

    Phyllis L Crocker

    Dean and Professor of Law
    University of Detroit Mercy School of Law