History

Detroit Mercy Law was founded in 1912.

Detroit Mercy Law has prepared students for the practice of law in the heart of downtown Detroit at the Riverfront Campus since opening its doors in 1912. Our approach to legal education over the years has centered on intellectual rigor, service to others, and inclusivity.

Detroit Mercy Law’s history is marked by Jesuit and Mercy values. The School of Law is part of University of Detroit Mercy. The University of Detroit, originally known as Detroit College, was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1877 as the first Catholic college in Detroit. In 1990, University of Detroit consolidated with Mercy College of Detroit, which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, to form University of Detroit Mercy.

Class Composites

Class Composite Photo

Our class composites show alumni throughout our history.

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Building Portraits

Henry H. Tarrant

Our portraits display notable individuals throughout our history.

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Building Art

Justice? Carlos Lopez

Our artwork represents ideals that have informed our history.

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    Law School Deans

    Law School Deans Though the Years

    • 2021-Present     Jelani Jefferson Exum
    • 2014-2021          Phyllis L. Crocker
    • 2013-2014          Troy L. Harris (Interim Dean)
    • 2009-2013          Lloyd A. Semple
    • 2002-2009          Mark C. Gordon
    • 1995-2002          Stephen A. Mazurak
    • 1982-1995          Bernard Dobranski
    • 1979-1982          Carl M. Selinger
    • 1976-1979          Richard A. Seid
    • 1974-1976          Joseph Dante Grano
    • 1971-1972          William T. Downs
    • 1969-1971          Brian G. Brockway
    • 1968-1969          Paul P. Harbrecht, S.J.
    • 1967-1968          Philip Colista
    • 1964-1967          Paul P. Harbrecht, S.J.
    • 1960-1964          Louis H. Charbonneau, Sr.
    • 1955-1960          David Cowan Bayne, S.J.
    • 1932-1955          Daniel J. McKenna
    • 1928-1932          Peter J. Monaghan
    • 1927-1928          Hon. John P. Scallen
    • 1921-1927          Hon. P. J. M. Hally
    • 1912-1921          Hon. George S. Hosmer