Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Research
- Room: 311
- Telephone: 313-596-9826
- J.D. University of Detroit Mercy School of Law '96
- B.A. Michigan State University '93
Professor Cunningham joined the UDM Law Faculty in 2000. She teaches Public International Law, Applied Legal Theory and Analysis, and International Advocacy and has been named Faculty member of the Year by the Moot Court Board of Advocates. In addition to teaching, she serves as the curriculum director for the Law School’s two joint-degree programs: The Degrees of the Americas program with the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and The Canadian & American Dual J.D. Program with the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. She also chaired the School’s building renovation project.
Professor Cunningham began her administrative work at the School in 2005 when she was named Director and then Assistant Dean (2006-09) of Academic Initiatives. In this role, her chief responsibility was to assist the Dean in the implementation of UDM Law’s new curriculum, which includes the innovative Law Firm Program. She also worked to create and implement the School’s Mexican joint-degree program.
Before coming to UDM, Professor Cunningham completed a federal judicial clerkship and litigated at both the trial and appellate levels, specializing in employment, civil rights, and tort-reform litigation.
She is an active member of the Legal Writing Institute, serving on its Global Legal Skills and Diversity Initiatives committees. She also enjoys her work as a deputy editor for the American Bar Association-- International Law section’s annual “Year In Review” publication.
Recent Presentations and Publications:
Comparative Law in Context: Resolving the Conflict between our Assumptions and our Reality (work in progress summer 2012)
Cara Cunningham & Michelle Streicher, The Methodology of Persuasion: A Process-Based Approach to Legal Writing, 13 J. Legal Writing Inst. 159 (2007).
Additional Scholarly Work
Deputy Editor, Sandra Walker et al., Regional and Comparative Law: Canada in International Legal Developments in Review 2010, 45 Intl Law 471 (2011).
Deputy Editor, Diego Parravicini et al., International Investment and Development in International Legal Developments in Review 2009, 44 Intl Law 283 (2010).
Managing, Meeting & Exceeding Law School Community Expectations in Renovation
American Bar Association, Bricks, Bytes & Continuous Renovations Conference
San Diego, California (2012)
Joint Degree Program Curriculum Design & Successful Student Transitions
Global Legal Skills Conference VI
Chicago, Illinois (2011)
Exploring Alternative LL.M. Programs: Executive, Mixed Delivery, & Dual Degrees
(Non-U.S. & Cross-Discipline)
Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting
San Francisco, California (2011)
UDM Law Adjunct Faculty Workshop
Detroit, Michigan (2010)
Empowerment Teaching & Persuasive Writing (poster presentation)
14th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute
Marco Island, Florida (2010)
Common Law Lawyers Reason, But Do We Make Sense (To Our Civilian Law Counterparts):
How to Argue by Analogy in a Common Law Context
Global Legal Skills Conference V
Monterrey, Mexico (2009)
Appellate Brief Writing
CORT Appellate Advocacy & Legal Writing Skills Seminar
Novi, Michigan (2006)
Teaching First-Year Law Students to be Practicing Attorneys:
A Contextual Approach to Legal Writing and Research
12rh Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute
Atlanta, Georgia (2006)
The Methodology of Persuasion: Exploring the Irony that Standardized Methods Foster Creative Thinking and the Creation of Compelling Arguments
12th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute
Atlanta, Georgia (2006)