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.


Open All | Close All


    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 2024
    • Hon. Kimberly Altman, U.S. Magistrate Judge
    • Hon. Terrence G. Berg, U.S. District Court
    • Thomas W. Cranmer, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone P.L.C.
    • George B. Donnini, Butzel Long, P.C.
    • James C. Howarth, Law Offices of James C. Howarth
    • Kevin A. McNeely '85, Miller & Tischler, P.C.
    • Mary Pat (Rosen) Meyers, Meyers Law PLLC
    • Prof. Andrew Moore, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
    • Hon. Margaret Van Houten '94, Wayne County Circuit Court
    Term Ending May 2025
    • Michael Even Carter, Chief Defender
    • Theodore "TR" Eppel, Butzel Long, P.C.
    • John A. Hubbard, Hubbard, Snitchler & Parzianello PLC
    • Stephen M. Kelley '81 (President), Stephen M. Kelley, P.C.
    • Hon. Shalina D. Kumar '96, U.S. District Judge
    • Robert Moran '92, Eastern District of Michigan
    Term Ending May 2026
    • Patrick Hickey '84 (Executive Committee), Hickey Hauck Bishoff Jeffers & Seabolt, PLLC
    • Hon. Laurie J. Michelson (Counselor), U.S. District Judge
    • Henry Edward "Hank" Moon, Eastern District of Michigan
    • Melissa S. Palepu, Michigan Department of Attorney General
    • Eric Straus '85, Eastern District of Michigan
    • Hon. Marlena Taylor '09, 36th District Court
    Masters of the Bench - Emeritus
    • Robert Agacinski, Fmr. Atty. Grievance Administr.
    • George J. Bedrosian, (1929-2014) Goodman, Eden, et al
    • William D. Booth '62, Plunket Cooney, P.C.
    • Hon. Julian A. Cook, Jr., (1930-2017), U.S. District Judge (Inn Chapter XI Co-Founder & Inn Past President)
    • Hon. Patrick J. Duggan '58, (1933-2020), U.S. District Judge   (Inn Past President)
    • David F. Dumouchel '72, Butzel Long
    • Frank D. Eaman, Eaman & Gabbara, PLLC
    • John A. Kruse '52, (1926-2022) Harvey Kruse, P.C.
    • Hon. Steven D. Pepe, Retired U.S. Magistrate Judge
    • William M. Saxton, (1927-2019), Butzel Long (Inn Chapter XI Co-Founder)

    Law School Administrators (ex officio Masters)


    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 2024
    • Arooj Anjum '17, Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook
    • Meriam Choulagh '16, Harvy Kruse
    • Nina Gavrilovic '16 (Secretary) , Dykema
    Term Ending May 2025
    • Jailah Emerson '20, Varnum LLP
    • Lenore Saco '20, Sommers Schwartz
    • Robert Jerome White, EDMI
    • Nicole C. Joseph-Windecker '18, Foley, Baron, Metzger and Juip, PLLC
    Term Ending May 2026
    • Elyse Culberson '17, Jackson Lewis P.C.
    • Jacob Derrick '21, Meyers Law, PLLS
    • Patrick Fortuna '16, DeBates Law, P.C.
    • Drew Ruby '18, Raitt Law, PLLC


    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.

    Pupils for 2023-2024

More Information About Inn of Court

Open All | Close All


    Contact the Inn of Court

    Nick Schroeck

    Nicholas J. Schroeck
    Interim Dean, School of Law and Associate Professor of Law

American Inns of Court logo