Recent Posts

  • Conditioning my mind to finish!

    It’s hard to believe that we are in July 2012. I haven’t had a moments rest, no relaxing trip, or breaks from last semester to the current one. In fact, my final for the Winter term ended on a Monday and my classes started that same week—Wednesday. Since I have enrolled in the dual degree program I have transitioned much.   Initially, bei ...
    Jul 12 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 39

    September 23th, 2011Back in full swing (really never stopped)  Today concludes the 4th week of classes for me.  This semester I started the JD/MBA program and now spend my time between two campuses.  The nature of my life remains busy but I am enjoying every moment of my journey.  I'm enrolled in four (1 business & 3 l ...
    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 38

    May 13th, 2011Good to get my head above water, even for a spell.          Today I finished my third year of law school!  If I was a full-time student, I would be graduating today, but I have no regrets attending part-time.  I am happy to participate in the celebration of many of my fellow law ...
    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 37

    May 2, 2011 – Make Momma Proud        Today was my son's graduation from a program called Reaching Higher which is offered at his school.   He was one of a few students targeted as a future leader.  The program offered students ways to help develop their unique leadership abilities.  ...
    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 36

    April 30, 2011 - BLSAs Annual Year End Brunch        Each year the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) hosts an end of the year brunch for its members, alum and supporting faculty.  The event was held at a local restaurant and the food was quite tasty.  This year the organization was able to provide 4 ...
    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Ryan Gutierrez

David Koelsch

David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic and the Asylum Law Clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The Immigration Law Clinic represents immigrants on a variety of legal issues, including abandoned immigrant children and abused immigrant women. Professor Koelsch also teaches U.S. Immigration Law and a comparative U.S.-Canada Immigration Law course as well as a Seminar on Spirituality and the Law. Koelsch was named the 2009 Outstanding Immigration Law Professor by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Recent Posts

  • David Koelsch's Blog

    "Life's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."  This is a somewhat dated reference but the immortal lines uttered by Forrest Gump could equally be applied to work in the Immigration Law Clinic.  At least once each week, students leave the Law School to go out into the community to meet with real people and try ...
    Mar 13 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 19

    Good things are happening at the Immigration Law Clinic.  We had a pretty active term with seven individual hearings, fifteen master calendar hearings, eighteen applications for relief filed (including four extensive asylum claims, a T visa petition, and three citizenship applications, as well as other petitions).  We also researched and ...
    Nov 05 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 18

    One of the more interesting activities my students and I do is go to jail – on behalf of our clients.  Currently, we represent two detainees in the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Each client is from West Africa and both attempted to enter Canada to make a refugee claim there but were not allowed to do so because they coul ...
    Oct 29 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 17

    Sometimes one of the hardest lessons to learn is that our clients are not our friends and, rather, we are their lawyers and not their therapists or social workers.  Clients with lawyers who treat them with kid gloves lose.  This point was brought home to students in the Immigration Law Clinic this term. Our client is a political activist ...
    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 16

    The summer term (as it always does) flew by this year.  The students in the Immigration Law Clinic were hard at work on a number of interesting cases and the new term promises to be a great experience for our students – and hopefully for our clients.  The past term had a couple highlights in my mind, not strictly in terms of wins on beha ...
    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by David Koelsch

Meagan Hanna

Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November, and she recently joined the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

During law school, Meagan was active around the School of Law as the Law Review's Executive Editor of Outside Articles and the Vice-President of the St. Thomas More Society. She participated in the Criminal Trial Clinic, and took advantage of two internships with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and a summer internship with Judge Stephen Murphy of the Eastern District of Michigan.

In her free time, Meagan also serves as a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, enjoys tap dancing, and can't resist reading a good book.

Meagan genuinely enjoyed her time at UDM Law and she is passionate about talking to prospective students about her experience. Please contact the admissions office to obtain her contact information.

Recent Posts

  • What ever happened to Meagan...?

    Hello all! Thank you to all of my loyal readers who joined me for all of my law school adventures! I graduated in May, so I'm obviously not a "student blogger" anymore, but there were so many of you who followed my blog throughout my three years of law school, and I felt you deserved an update on my post-law school life. (Yes, there IS life after ...
    Nov 20 Tags: Untagged
  • May 10, 2012: Baccalaureate Mass

    Something I love about UDM Law is the strong sense of tradition, much of which stems from the school's Jesuit roots. One nice opportunity that is available to the students who choose to take advantage of it is the Baccalaureate Mass. The mass is held at the church adjoining the law school, and takes place the night before graduation. It's an optio ...
    May 11 Tags: Untagged
  • May 9, 2012

    The papers have been turned in. The final exams have been completed. The editing has come to an end. The cap and gown have arrived. The announcements have been sent. The party has been planned. I graduate on Friday. It still hasn’t quite hit me yet. I really planned my classes well this semester. I had a crazy few days where I had a project due ...
    May 09 Tags: Untagged
  • April 2, 2012

    Less than a month and a half to graduation!! Where has the time gone?! With it being the beginning of the month, I have filled out my April calendar, and it is making me wonder just where all of the time has gone! This is the month for final exams, final papers, and final projects. Fortunately, this semester seems pretty light in comparison to sem ...
    Apr 02 Tags: Untagged
  • March 10, 2010

    What a busy week it’s been! Last week was the annual Barrister's Ball, also affectionately referred to as "law school prom." It was held at the beautiful Coach Insignia on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center. It was a fun opportunity to get dressed up, eat an outstanding dinner, do some dancing, and spend time with friends. This was the first ...
    Mar 11 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Meagan Hanna

Recent Posts

  • Blog Entry 113

    October 3rd, 2011Just another manic Monday… Mondays are my longest day of the week; not a great way to kick off each week, I know. Although just as long as any other Monday I’ve had this semester, today has been anything but typical. It started with the alarm going off after a restless night of not sleeping.  There was a dumpster top slammin ...
    Oct 21 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 112

    September 15th, 20113L Year Welcome back! It is crazy that two years have already passed since I started law school. It feels like I’ve been on a rollercoaster for two years filled with ups and downs, twists and turns. It is bittersweet that this is my last year of school.  Whoever said that law school gets easier was sadly mistaken.  ...
    Oct 21 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 111

    April 18th, 2011Election Season It’s a pretty crazy time of year around the law school.  It is election time for class officers in the Student Bar Association.  I could not be happier to say that I have decided to retire from the SBA. I was class president for both my 1L year and currently my 2L year.  Our current SBA executive ...
    Oct 21 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 110

    April 11th, 2011Writing Across The Curriculum UDM has a great program called “writing across the curriculum” which means that every required class must have a paper assignment as part of the class.  This requirement is definitely annoying; however, very beneficial.  My writing has improved tremendously, in large part, because of how ...
    Oct 21 Tags: Untagged
  • Blog Entry 109

    March 30th, 2011Let the countdown begin! In just a short 6 weeks, I will have completed my second year of law school. This is completely INSANE! I cannot describe how fast time is flying. I officially put myself in “finals zone” today which means longer days, less sleep and essentially zero social life until the middle of May. I know it might soun ...
    Oct 21 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Ashley Gautreau

Alison Carruthers

Year: 3L (Expected Graduation May 2013)
Student Org: Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review
Undergrad: B.A. Finance, Michigan State University
Hometown: Canton, MI
Fun Fact: Avid golfer and cook

Recent Posts

  • Farewell UDM!!! I am looking forward to being an active alumna instead :)

    This will be my last post as a UDM blogger :(  I graduated last weekend, and now I'm about to start my bar prep class, PASS the BAR(!), and start my career in September!   To follow up on my last post, life did get a bit crazy after my trial so I never got around to telling you about it.  It sure was hard, but it actually went reall ...
    May 16 Tags: Graduation, finals, bar exam, alum
  • About to do my first trial - ahh!

    I'm going to be doing my first full trial tonight, as part of my Trial Practice class.  Its basically our final exam for that class, so each aspect of our performance will be graded.   I wanted to write this blog post in 2 phases to give you the full spectrum.  The first being today, right before the trial actually happens - because ...
    Apr 17 Tags: Untagged
  • Where everybody knows your name...

    One of the things that drew me to this school was the seemingly close-knit atmosphere.  I liked that the school was small, etc.  And now that I've been here for 3 years, I can say that the school has really delivered that culture to me.  It is really nice to walk down the hallway and have 5 to 10 people say "Hi Alison, how are you do ...
    Apr 08 Tags: Untagged
  • Nearing my last full month as a law student -- starting to look back

    As April gets closer, I realize that it will be the last full month I have as a law student.  That is the weirdest feeling in the world.   A close friend from law school asked me and a few other friends last week:  what was your favorite part of law school?  My answer:  (laughter)... There is no single answer, I have love ...
    Mar 25 Tags: Untagged
  • Has law school gone by fast or slow???

    Now that graduation is less than 2 months away (scary!) - I cannot figure out if I believe law school went by fast or slow.  It just depends on what angle I look at it.  In some ways it feels like my first day was "forever-ago"; but in other ways it has flown by at lightning speed.  I'm definitely excited and really anxious to start ...
    Mar 11 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Alison Carruthers

Dan Gordon

Year: I started law school in 2010

B.A. in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario

Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Windsor

Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan-Dearborn

Hometown: Brampton, Ontario

Fun Fact:
I love British t.v.

Recent Posts

  • It's January!!!

    The second week of school is now over.  Everyone's back from the holiday.  Classes are well under way.  And student organizations are planning their awesome events.  I think it's safe to say that everything is now back to normal.  So far I like all of my classes this semester.  I say "so far" because&nb ...
    Jan 18 Tags: last
  • It's November

    I can't believe it's November already.  Well, I can believe it.  I just don't want to.  Time is going by so quickly, and there is still so much to do.  In a few short weeks, classes will be over and it will be exam time.  This is the point where everyone's stress really hits.  But whatever.  It's nothing I haven't ...
    Nov 05 Tags: UDM Law, fun, November
  • The School Year Begins...

    So summer is officially over! My books have been purchased, classes have started, and I already have a number of assignments to finish. But I must say that I'm not particularly sorry to see Summer go. School has been on for the past two weeks, and in those two weeks I have had the opportunity to reconnect with my friends and make new friends. The ...
    Aug 26 Tags: School, start, summer
  • July 17, 2012

    I've finally made the move to Michigan!  I actually wanted to move here for a while, but the timing never seemed right.  Now, I'm here for my last year of law school and I couldn't be happier.  Also, I'm happy that I don't have to cook for a week because once again my Mom brought me some homecooked food.  :)  &nb ...
    Jul 17 Tags: Untagged
  • My Summer so far...

    It's June now, and I have been enjoying my summer. From time to time I like to do this thing I used to do a lot more before I started law school called "sleeping in."  I had forgotten how wonderful it is.  Of course, I just sleep in once in a while.  But the times I do sleep in it is sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.  :) I had the opport ...
    Jun 27 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Dan Gordon

Javier Macias

Year: 1L, Class of 2015
Undergrad: B.B.A. Marketing, University of Notre Dame
Hometown: El Paso, TX
Fun Fact : Ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain

Recent Posts

  • Winding Down

    It's that time of the school year. My Law Review note is complete. I'm at the end of my assignment lists for my classes. Finals are around the corner. I will soon be registering for my final year of law school...I can already feel the dry, Texas air in my lungs. It's amazing how quickly time flies, and how much I've learned these last two years. G ...
    Apr 13 Tags: Untagged
  • Upper Level Courses

    At this point, courses are in direct preparation for the bar exam. It's more than a year away, but I can already feel the wealth of knowledge seeping through my pores. Whether it's Article 9 this or Probate that, the takeaway is simple: learn the law and apply it on the bar. I may go through my entire career and never revisit some of the concepts I ...
    Feb 20 Tags: Untagged
  • It's All Downhill From Here

    That's the general attitude among 2Ls. We're officially more than halfway into law school. It's a great feeling knowing that in a year, graduation will be a big priority. Just as importantly, the talk of studying for the bar will take up every syllable that comes from our mouths. In the meantime, our law review articles are in full-swing. I think ...
    Jan 14 Tags: Untagged
  • Semester 3

    The third semester of law school has a strong focus on getting a Summer Associate position for the following summer. It's an exciting process that involves sending applications and networking with firms. The more interviews the better, so you can take what you learn from one and correct it for the next. After focusing on that, you remember you sti ...
    Nov 19 Tags: Untagged
  • Year Two

    I'm a month into 2L year and it's going well. It's odd not having Section 1 for every class, and in reality, I see the people from my 1L year very rarely. Upper level courses are smaller and a little more relaxed. Having adjunct professors is pretty cool considering three of my professors are Judges. They relate the material to their everyday lives ...
    Sep 22 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Javier Macias

Kelly Carranza

Year: 3L Evening
Undergrad: B.A. Latin American Studies, Oakland University
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Fun Fact: Member of the very first world synchronized skating team and was a member
of Team USA for 5 years - today I also coach synchronized ice skating.

Recent Posts

  • Crunch Time

    There has been loads going on around UDM Law and the snowy weather finally seems to be behind us, but just when you start to enjoy life just a little...finals.  It is hard to believe that it is exam time again already, and for some reason it has been really hard to get focused.  I think it is because there has been so much going on that s ...
    Apr 25 Tags: Untagged
  • Writer's Block

    I remember sitting in one of the prospective student open house presentations before starting law school listening to a member of the administration who tried to warn us about the amount of writing that we would do in law school.  I didn't understand how much of an understatement that was.  I've been working on the same document today for ...
    Mar 09 Tags: Untagged
  • The Most Common Question

    About a week or so back I had the opportunity to meet with several prospective law students.  It had been a while since my schedule allowed me to participate in showing off UDM and talking to people about some of the great things it has to offer, but I was quickly reminded of one particular question that never fails to come up.  Each tim ...
    Jan 29 Tags: Untagged
  • 24 Hour Break! Awesome!

    Work as hard as you can to study for finals.  Don't waste a minute.  It will be worth it.  You can recover after the last final for two whole weeks.   All of the above is usually true.  In past years, all of those statements have been true.  This term, however, my break just started about an hour ago and it will end a ...
    Jan 07 Tags: Untagged
  • The Product of Late Night Studying

    ‘Twas 10 Days Before Finals   ‘Twas 10 days before finals, and all through the halls, Smartphones began chiming, but not for phone calls. Each student looked down, and tried not to shout, but it was too late, another mass email had just come out.   The look of sheer panic, and an occasional pout, each student read what it said: Go ...
    Nov 30 Tags: Untagged
  • Other entries by Kelly Carranza

Recent Posts

  • Death by Boredom

    I've heard a saying about law school that goes something like this: "The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, and the third year they bore you to death." Believing this to be true, I thought that I was surely going to die of boredom during my last year. Fortunately for me, I don't thin ...
    Sep 12 Tags: Untagged
  • Newest "Voice"

    Hey all! I'm Jessica and I'm the newest "voice" of UDM Law. I just finished my second year of law school, which makes me a 3L...finally! Actually, I shouldn't say "finally" because the past two years have flown by and I'm still in shock that I only have a year left before I have to take the Bar. Scary!! Although I'm a little nervou ...
  • Other entries by Jessica LeFevre

Julia Belian

Associate Professor Julia Belian, although less than a century old herself, finds deep satisfaction in learning and teaching the ancient roots and contemporary twists of Property Law and Estates & Trusts, which are also her primary areas of scholarship. Before joining UDM in the fall of 2008, Belian served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2006-2008, where she was given the Tiera Farrow Faculty Award by the Association of Women Law Students and was also named Most Outstanding Professor by the Graduating Class of 2008. From 2002 to 2006, Belian was on the faculty at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska.

Belian’s higher education began in her native Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy cum laude in 1980 from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She worked as an editor at a mid-sized daily newspaper for nearly ten years before earning a Master of Divinity degree at Yale University in 1993 and her J.D., with distinction, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996. At Emory, Belian served as Editor-in-Chief of the Emory International Law Review, received the Clark Boardman Callaghan Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Law School, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. She has practiced in both Minnesota (Faegre & Benson, LLP) and California (Morrison & Foerster, LLP), with most of her experience in the fields of estate planning and exempt organization law.

Recent Posts

  • Issues, issue spotting, and issue muddling

    One of the things we learn to do in law school is to "spot issues," as they say.  The label is somewhat misleading; you probably already see issues all around you.  The skill we learn in law school is really more of a skill at distinguishing issues:  Distinguishing similar issues from each other, distinguishing relevant issues from i ...
  • Networking and gingerbread

    This week, my Property class and I started a new unit.  This unit focuses on the study of possessory estates and future interests, and that study requires (and teaches) a kind of legal thinking that is very different from most of what first-year students learn to do. Certainly, every area of law requires practitioners to read very carefully.& ...
    Oct 05 Tags: Untagged
  • Jingles and professionalism

    Many things about Michigan surprised me when I first moved here four years ago, including the fact that I could still be so surprised - the big-box stores and fast-food chains had made me think every town had become a kind of bland Everywheretown, with little variation from place to place. I had not been a resident for more than a few hours, howeve ...
  • On being called on in class

    We have just wrapped up our third week of a new school year.  One of the great joys and privileges afforded to me is to teach first-year Property Law.  My students are, I hope, beginning to learn that I expect a lot of them.  In the 1973 film, "The Paper Chase," Prof. Kingsfield begins the protagonist's first day of law school by ca ...
  • Other entries by Julia Belian