Inn of Court

The Detroit Mercy Law chapter of the American Inns of Court brings together judges, lawyers, and law students who share a passion for professional excellence. Membership is made up of three categories – masters of the bench (judges, experienced lawyers, and law professors), barristers (lawyers with lesser seniority but who have several years of experience), and pupils (law students).

Each year, twelve students in their final year of law school are invited to join the Inn. Students learn about the ideals of professionalism, ethics, and civility inherent in competent counseling and advocacy through programming and mentoring. Students are put on teams with the judge and attorney members. Each team presents one time over the course of the year on a particular aspect of litigation and the ethical issues surrounding the topic.

The Inns of Court dates back to an English tradition from the 13th century. Detroit Mercy Law’s Inn of Court was founded in 1985 by Judge Julian A. Cook Jr. Detroit Mercy Law is one of only two law schools in Michigan to offer an Inn of Court.


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    Masters of the Bench

    Masters of the Bench ensure that their team’s program concept and format are fully developed prior to the month of the assigned presentation. Masters host team preparation meetings at their chambers or firm offices and invite their Pupils to attend trials or other proceedings to enhance the Inn experience. At program meetings, Masters of the Bench from the presenting team introduce the presentation and moderate the discussion. All of the Masters attending the program are invited to offer critique of the presentation to identify the standards of professional conduct of the bar. The Masters’ critiques on the presentations are the heart of the Inn of Court experience.

    Term Ending May 2022
    • Hon. Stephanie D. Davis, U.S. Magistrate Judge
    • Hon. Shalina D. Kumar '96, Oakland County Circuit Court
    • Theodore (TR) Eppel, Butzel Long, P.C.
    • John A. Hubbard, Hubbard, Snitchler & Parzianello PLC
    • Stephen M. Kelley '81 (President), Stephen M. Kelley, P.C.

    Term Ending May 2023
    • Hon. Laurie J. Michelson (Counselor), U.S. District Court
    • Danielle J. Hagaman-Clark '01, Michigan Department of Attorney General
    • Patrick Hickey '84, Hickey Hauck Bishoff & Jeffers PLLC
    • Vernon R. Johnson '86 (Exec. Comm.), Johnson Law PLLC
    • Eric Straus '85, Assistant U.S. Attorney
    • Marlena Taylor '09, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office


    Barristers prepare pupils for their roles in the team presentation. Barristers organize multiple team meetings during the month of their assignment and practice with the Pupils. Barristers may join the Masters in critiquing the demonstrations at program meetings. In these ways, Barristers serve as role models and liaisons to the bar.

    Term Ending May 2022
    • Meriam Choulagh '16 (Secretary), Harvey Kruse
    • Sean P. Murphy '14, Hubbard, Snitchler & Parzianello PLC
    • Matthew Piccirilli '12, Tanoury Nauts McKinney & Garbarino PLLC

    Term Ending May 2023
    • Elyse Culberson '17, Jackson Lewis P.C.
    • Patrick Fortuna '16, DeBates Law, P.C.
    • Zak Toomey, Assistant U.S. Attorney
    • Jennifer Qonja, Rogers & Associates, P.C.


    Pupils are responsible for diligent preparation and execution of their assigned presentation. Pupils are expected to meet at the convenience of the attorneys and judges on their team and to devote adequate time to prepare for such meetings and practice sessions. Pupils are also expected to know the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct and to raise and answer questions during discussions at all program meetings. As the principal beneficiaries of the Inns of Court, Pupils’ attendance at all meetings is mandatory.

    Pupils commit approximately two hours one day a month when not presenting and 16-20 hours in the presentation month. Pupils earn one credit for participating, which is applied in the winter term.

More Information About Inn of Court

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    Contact Dean Lundberg, Administrator

    Tanya Lundberg

    Tanya Lundberg
    Administrator, Inn of Court
    Assistant Dean, Career Services & Outreach
    (313) 596-0260