Social Justice

At Detroit Mercy Law, you will join a community committed to social justice.

Social-Justice-Video

Detroit Mercy Law, inspired by the Jesuit and Mercy traditions, educates lawyers who are committed to the pursuit of justice, service to others, and the highest standards of the legal profession.

You help people throughout your law school experience—starting in your first year.  Each year, our students provided 35,000+ hours of pro bono legal services to residents of Detroit and the surrounding communities.

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    Mini-Clinics for First-Year Students

    As part of our commitment to providing service learning experiences for students from day one, we offer mini-clinics for first-year students.  Our mini-clinics, rooted in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions of caring for those with the least resources and greatest need, help our students develop legal, leadership, and community service skills.  In mini-clinics, first-year students are trained and supervised by attorneys in the legal community and help clients with a variety of matters.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MINI-CLINICS

    “We helped Detroit residents who were struggling to navigate the judicial system.  It was rewarding to use what we learned in the classroom and help people in the community.” 

    Bridget Underhill

     

    Bridget Underhill '20

     

    “Helping people is really what practicing law is all about, and the mini-clinics helped me understand how important pro bono work is for the community.”

    Sydney Fontanilla

     

    Sydney Fontanilla '22

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    Community Outreach

    The Detroit Mercy Law community comes together and gives back through service opportunities.  We assist with criminal expungements, build community gardens, organize beautification projects, distribute blankets to homeless veterans, help during crisis, and partner with the Pope Francis Center adjacent to the law school.

    “Detroit Mercy Law offers endless opportunities that remind me of why I want to be an attorney. When I reach out a helping hand to my community, it reminds me that the core of my passion is to help others regain their strength.” 

    Randa Asfar

     

    Randa Asfar '20

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    Clinics for Upper-Level Students

    At Detroit Mercy Law, all students are guaranteed a clinical experience.  Our clinical program, founded in 1965, it is among the first clinical programs in the nation.  We offer twelve clinics for our upper-level students to gain hands-on lawyering skills while advocating for real clients who otherwise may not have access to legal services.  While we are proud that our clinical program is recognized nationally, we are even prouder of the important work our students do through the clinics.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CLINICAL PROGRAMS

     "My clinical experience was the perfect reminder of why I wanted to go to law school in the first place, to help others in need." 

    Najah Allaham 

    Najah Allaham '20

     

    "Participating in a clinic is life changing. You get the opportunity to make a real difference."

    Lorena Victoria Bejan

     

    Lorena Vicky '19

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    Social Justice in the Classroom

    Detroit Mercy Law is dedicated to providing every student with the support needed to be successful. Our accessible faculty members provide an intellectually-demanding course of study and are readily available to answer questions and serve as mentors.


    “I get to bring a different type of real-world experience. A lot of [other adjuncts] are in firms, but there are so many lawyers who work in public service, so, as an adjunct, I get to bring that additional perspective to the classroom.”

    Charity Dean
    Charity Dean '15, Director, Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity, City of Detroit
     

     
    Beyond her practice, Jennifer Dukarski brings her background as an engineer directly to students in the classroom as an adjunct professor, teaching Emerging Mobility Technology. “I’ve been impressed by the passion for the topic and the thoughtfulness of the students in the concepts of integrating mobility into our communities without abandoning the most vulnerable stakeholders,” she commented. “Serving as an adjunct has inspired me and challenged me to make sure I’m keeping social justice on my radar in my practice.”

    Jennifer Dukarski

    Jennifer Dukarski '10, Adjunct Professor, Detroit Mercy Law

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    Student Organizations for Social Justice

    Student organizations at Detroit Mercy Law provide students with the opportunity to work together to advance social justice and give back to the community.

    • American Constitution Society (ACS)
    • Arab American Law Student Association
    • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
    • Environmental Law Society
    • Hispanic & Latino/a Law Students Association (HiLLSA)
    • Immigration Law Association
    • Lawyers Lending Hands
    • OutLaws
    • South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA)
    • Women’s Law Caucus
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    Externships

    Detroit Mercy Law supports students who want to work for public interest groups through the externship program.  Students receive support securing placements and earn academic credit for their work. Students may also be eligible to receive financial support for completing a public service externship through the work-study program.

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    Voice for Justice Fellowships

    Detroit Mercy Law supports students making a difference through the Voice for Justice Fellowship, which had funded more than 100 law students to serve locally and throughout the world.

    Local

    • ACLU, Detroit
    • Chaldean Federation of America, West Bloomfield
    • Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, Detroit 
    • Freedom House, Detroit
    • Michigan Children’s Law Center, Southgate
    • Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Lansing
    • Michigan Poverty Law Program & Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Ypsilanti
    • Misdemeanor Defenders Office, Detroit
    • Salvation Army William J. Booth Legal Clinic, Detroit
    • State Appellate Defender Office, Detroit
    • Sugar Law Center, Detroit

     

    "I am committed to a career in Public Interest Law because it is still necessary. It is necessary for people to help those that are suffering and to challenge the unjust laws and policies that discriminate against and jeopardize the future of vulnerable groups. I will always fight for and protect those subjected to unequal treatment."

    Abrial Neely

     

    Abrial Neely '23, Neighborhood Defender Service, Detroit

     


    Around the World

    • African Women’s Lawyer’s Association, Ghana
    • American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, Washington, D.C.
    • Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Washington, D.C.
    • Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, Immigration and Refugee Division, Toronto Ontario
    • International Justice Mission, Bangalore, India
    • Public Defender Service, Washington, D.C.
    • Unitarian Universalist Office, United Nations
    • International Refugee Assistance Program, Amman, Jordan

     

    "As a Voice for Justice Fellow, I interned with Women’s Legal Aid Clinic in Kigali, Rwanda, called Haguruka-NGO.  I am proud of my school and our commitment 'to the pursuit of justice, service to others, and the highest standards of the legal profession'. Fully embracing the cliché of making a difference, I wanted to do just that on behalf of my school."

    Katya Rowley

     

    Katya Rowley '22 Dual JD, Haguruka-NGO, Rwanda

Statements from members of our community about our commitment to fighting for social justice

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    Former Dean Phyllis L. Crocker joins Law Deans in joint statement on 2020 Election and Events at the Capitol

    January 12, 2021
    Law Deans Joint Statement on the 2020 Election and Events at the Capitol

    We are deans of a diverse range of law schools across the country. We do not use our positions to advance our individual views. But we do have an obligation to support the rule of law and preserve the integrity of the legal profession. On rare occasions, despite our differing situations and views, that obligation requires us to speak as one to defend the fundamental commitments of our profession. This is such a moment.

    The violent attack on the Capitol was an assault on our democracy and the rule of law. The effort to disrupt the certification of a free and fair election was a betrayal of the core values that undergird our Constitution. Lives were lost, the seat of our democracy was desecrated, and our country was shamed.

    Many lawyers and judges worked honestly and in good faith, often in the face of considerable political pressure, to ensure the 2020 election was free and fair. However, we recognize with dismay and sorrow that some lawyers challenged the outcome of the election with claims that they did not support with facts or evidence. This betrayed the values of our profession. Our profession demands that when lawyers pursue legal action, they must bring claims in good faith, grounded in facts and evidence, and demonstrate respect for the legal system. Only then can lawyers fulfill their responsibilities as lawyers and public citizens to promote public confidence in the rule of law and the justice system — duties that extend to all professional activities, whether lawyers are representing a client or not. The rule of law is as much a touchstone of our profession as it is of our Constitution.

    As law deans, our mission is to train the next generation of leaders to uphold the core values of our profession and sustain the rule of law. This should be a moment of reflection for legal educators and members of the legal profession. A sustained effort will be necessary to repair and preserve our precious democratic institutions. As legal educators and lawyers ourselves, we must redouble our efforts to restore faith in the rule of law and the ideals of the legal profession. We have enormous faith in the law’s enduring values and in our students, who will soon lead this profession. We call upon all members of the legal profession to join us in the vital work ahead.

    Signed,     

    Alicia Ouellette, President and Dean, Albany Law School

    Robert Dinerstein, Acting Dean and Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law

    Jace C. Gatewood, Dean and CEO, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

    Melanie Leslie, Dean and Samuel Belkin Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

    Vincent Rougeau, Dean and Professor, Boston College Law School

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean and Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law

    Michael T. Cahill, President, Joseph Crea Dean & Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

    Sean M. Scott, President and Dean, California Western School of Law

    J. Rich Leonard, Dean, Campbell Law School

    Reynaldo Anaya Valencia, Dean and Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

    Matt Parlow, Dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

    Anita K. Krug, Dean and Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

    Charles H. Rose III, Dean and Professor of Law, Claude W. Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University

    Lee Fisher, Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University

    Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

    Jens David Ohlin, Interim Dean & Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

    Joshua P. Fershée, Dean and Professor of Law, Creighton University School of Law

    Henry C. Strickland, Dean, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University

    Mary Lu Bilek, Dean and Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law

    Rodney A. Smolla, Dean & Professor of Law, Delaware Law School, Widener University

    Jennifer Rosato Perea, Dean and Professor, DePaul University College of Law

    Jerry L. Anderson, Dean and Richard M. and Anita Calkins Distinguished Professor of Law, Drake University Law School

    Kerry Abrams, James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean and Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

    April M. Barton, Dean and Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law

    Leticia M. Diaz, Dean and Professor of Law, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Barry University

    Horace Anderson, Dean and Professor of Law, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University

    Luke Bierman, Dean and Professor of Law, Elon University School of Law

    Mary Anne Bobinski, Dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

    Deidré A. Keller, Dean and Professor of Law, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law

    C. Peter Goplerud, Dean and Professor of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law

    Antony Page, Dean & FIU Foundation Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law

    Erin O’Hara O'Connor, Dean and McKenzie Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law

    Matthew Diller, Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

    William M. Treanor, Dean & Executive Vice President, Georgetown Law

    Leslie E. Wolf, Interim Dean and Distinguished University Professor, Georgia State University College of Law

    Eric C. Christiansen, Dean of the Law School (Interim, 2020-21), Professor of Law, Golden Gate University, School of Law

    Jacob Rooksby, Dean and Professor of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law

    John F. Manning, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

    Danielle Holley-Walker, Dean and Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law

    Austen Parrish, Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

    Karen E. Bravo, Dean and Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law 

    Gordon Smith, Dean and Woodruff J. Deem Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University

    Jennifer J. Johnson, Dean and Erskine Wood Sr. Professor of Law, Lewis and Clark Law School

    Matthew R. Lyon, Vice President & Dean, Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law

    Colin Crawford, Dean and Professor of Law, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville

    Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Louisiana State University Law Center

    Michael Waterstone, Dean and Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

    Michael J. Kaufman, Dean and Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

    Madeleine M. Landrieu, Dean and Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

    Gail Prudenti, Dean, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

    Cathy Cox, Dean and Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law

    Lincoln L. Davies, Dean & Frank R. Strong Chair in Law, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

    Melanie B. Jacobs, Interim Dean & Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law

    Patricia Bennett, Dean & Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law

    Anthony Niedwiecki, President and Dean, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

    Scott P. Brown, President and Dean, New England Law/Boston

    Anthony W. Crowell, Dean and President, New York Law School

    Trevor Morrison, Dean and Eric M. and Laurie B. Roth Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

    James Hackney, Dean and Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

    Cassandra L. Hill, Dean and Professor of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law

    James Speta, Interim Dean, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

    José Roberto (Beto) Juárez, Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law

    Jim Roth, Dean and Professor of Law, Oklahoma City University School of Law

    Danielle M. Conway, Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law

    Hari M. Osofsky, Dean, Penn State Law and Penn State School of International Affairs Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor of International Affairs, and Professor of Geography

    Paul L. Caron, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law, Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law

    Fernando Moreno Orama, Dean, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

    Jennifer Gerarda Brown, Dean and Professor of Law, Quinnipiac University School of Law

    Gregory W. Bowman, Dean & Professor of Law, Roger Williams University School of Law

    David Lopez, Co-Dean & Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School

    Kimberly M. Mutcherson, Co-Dean & Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School

    Elizabeth Kronk Warner, Dean, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah

    William P. Johnson, Dean and Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law

    Judith Daar, Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Dean and Professor of Law, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University

    Douglas J. Sylvester, Dean and Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

    Anna M. Han, Interim Dean, Santa Clara University School of Law

    Camille M. Davidson, Dean and Professor of Law, School of Law, Southern Illinois University

    Martin H. Brinkley, Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor, School of Law, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Annette E. Clark, Dean and Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law

    Kathleen M. Boozang, Dean and Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law

    Jennifer M. Collins, Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law

    John Pierre, Chancellor, Southern University Law Center

    Susan Westerberg Prager, President and Dean, Southwestern Law School

    Michael A. Simons, Dean and John V. Brennan Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law

    Jenny S. Martinez, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law & Dean, Stanford Law School

    Michèle Alexandre, Dean and Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law

    Andrew Perlman, Dean & Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School

    Craig M. Boise, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law

    Gregory N. Mandel, Dean & Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law, Temple University, Beasley School of Law

    Dayna Bowen Matthew, Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School

    Christopher J. (C.J.) Peters, Dean and C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Professor of Law, The University of Akron School of Law

    Mark E. Brandon, Dean and Thomas E. McMillan Professor of Law, The University of Alabama School of Law

    Katharine Traylor Schaffzin, Dean & Professor of Law, The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

    Sergio Pareja, Dean, The University of New Mexico School of Law

    Benjamin Barros, Dean and Professor of Law, The University of Toledo College of Law

    Lyn Suzanne Entzeroth, Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair, The University of Tulsa College of Law

    Daniel M. Filler, Dean and Professor of Law, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Drexel University

    Elena B. Langan, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center

    David D. Meyer, Dean and Mitchell Franklin Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School

    Theresa Beiner, Dean & Nadine Baum Distinguished Professor of Law, UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law

    Kevin R. Johnson, Dean, UC Davis School of Law

    Jennifer L. Mnookin, Dean and Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

    Darby Dickerson, Dean and Professor of Law, UIC John Marshall Law School, The University of Illinois at Chicago

    Barbara Glesner Fines, Dean & Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law, UMKC School of Law

    Aviva Abramovsky, Dean and Professor of Law, University at Buffalo School of Law, The State University of New York

    Marc L. Miller, Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

    Margaret Sova McCabe, Dean & Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School of Law

    Ronald Weich, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law

    David L. Faigman, Chancellor & Dean and John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law

    Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

    L. Song Richardson, Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Irivine School of Law

    Thomas J. Miles, Dean and Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Law School

    Verna L. Williams, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law

    S. James Anaya, Dean and University Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Law School

    Eboni S. Nelson, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law

    Andrew Strauss, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law

    Bruce P. Smith, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

    Phyllis L. Crocker, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

    Laura Ann Rosenbury, Dean and Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law

    Peter B. Rutledge, Dean, University of Georgia School of Law

    Camille A. Nelson, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law

    Leonard M. Baynes, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center

    Jerrold Long, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Idaho College of Law

    Vikram David Amar, Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

    Stephen W. Mazza, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law

    Mary J. Davis, Dean and Ashland-Spears Distinguished Research Professor of Law, University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law

    Donald B. Tobin, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

    Eric J. Mitnick, Dean & Professor of Law, University of Massachusetts School of Law

    Anthony E. Varona, Dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

    Mark D. West, Dean and Nippon Life Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School

    Garry W. Jenkins, Dean & William S. Pattee Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School

    Susan H. Duncan, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Mississippi

    Lyrissa Lidsky, Dean & Judge C.A. Leedy Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law

    Richard Moberly, Dean and Richard C. & Catherine S. Schmoker Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law

    Daniel W. Hamilton, Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law

    Megan Carpenter, Dean and Professor of Law, University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law

    Michael S. McGinniss, Dean and Professor of Law, University of North Dakota School of Law

    Katheleen R. Guzman, Interim Dean and Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Law

    Marcilynn A. Burke, Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, University of Oregon School of Law

    Theodore W. Ruger, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

    Amy J. Wildermuth, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

    Vivian I. Neptune, Dean, University of Puerto Rico School of Law

    Wendy C. Perdue, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law

    Robert Schapiro, Dean and Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law

    Susan H. Freiwald, Dean and Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law

    William C. Hubbard, Dean and Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law

    Neil Fulton, Dean, University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law

    Andrew T. Guzman, Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law, and Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Southern California Gould School of Law

    Robert K. Vischer, Dean and Mengler Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law

    Douglas Blaze, Interim Dean and Art Stolnitz and E.O. Overton Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law

    Renée McDonald Hutchins, Dean & Rauh Chair of Public Interest Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law

    Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean and Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

    Risa Goluboff, Dean and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law and Professor of History, University of Virginia School of Law

    Mario L. Barnes, Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law

    Daniel P. Tokaji, Fred W. & Vi Miller Dean and Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

    Klint Alexander, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Wyoming College of law

    Chris Guthrie, Dean, Vanderbilt Law School

    Thomas McHenry, President and Dean, Vermont Law School

    Mark C. Alexander, Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

    Jane H Aiken, Dean and Professor of Law, Wake Forest Law School

    Carla D. Pratt, Dean and Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law

    Brant J. Hellwig, Dean and Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law

    Nancy Staudt, Dean and Howard & Caroline Cayne Distinguished Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law

    Richard A. Bierschbach, Dean and Professor of Law, Wayne State University Law School

    James McGrath, Dean and President, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

    Sudha Setty, Dean and Professor of Law, Western New England University School of Law

    Allen K. Easley, Dean & Professor of Law, Western State College of Law at Westcliff University

    Brian Gallini, Dean & Professor of Law, Willamette University College of Law

    Benjamin Spencer, Dean & Chancellor Professor, William & Mary Law School

    John E. Taylor, Interim Dean and Jackson Kelly Professor of Law, WVU College of Law

    Heather K. Gerken, Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, Yale Law School

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    Fighting for Justice: A Statement from former Dean Phyllis L. Crocker

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    A letter in solidarity from the Detroit Mercy Law Diversity Committee on the attack in Georgia

    The most recent acts of violence against the Asian American Community have forced us, yet again, to witness the impact of white supremacy and domestic terrorism on Communities of Color. The tragic hate crime in the Metro Atlanta area deprived us of the lives of Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Yong Ae Yue. The murders of eight people, most of whom were Asian women, reflect an increase in xenophobic and misogynistic violence against the Asian American Community in recent months. We acknowledge that although there has been a 150% uptick in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the past year, the xenophobic, misogynistic, and perpetual foreigner ideologies that underlie this violence predate the pandemic and are emblematic of the larger structural inequities that have plagued this country for centuries. Unfortunately, law enforcement’s remarks that the suspect’s acts were potentially the result of a “really bad day,” as opposed to evidence of a hate crime, reflect deeply embedded institutional biases that serve to erase and devalue the lives of People of Color, result in the disparate treatment of persons by law enforcement in this country, and reverberate throughout our other institutions as well. We must make a concerted and intentional effort to identify and root out dangerous ideologies and systemic biases to progress as a unified nation.  

    Here, at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, we denounce all forms of discriminatory violence and stand in solidarity with the Asian American Community. We also reaffirm our commitment to working towards an America dedicated to justice, one in which people do not have to live in fear of violence or persecution.

    During these tragic times, it is important for us to not only speak out against these acts of violence, but to uplift members of the Asian American Community. The plight of Asian Americans is intrinsically bound to that of other Communities of Color. Detroit’s own Grace Lee Boggs was the embodiment of intersectional allyship. It is through her activism that we saw significant gains in labor and civil rights for all Detroiters. We can all learn from her teaching and try to build upon her work.

    We’ve attached resources to help guide us.

    Learn:

    Donate:

    Erin Archerd, Associate Professor of Law

    Catherine Archibald, Associate Professor of Law

    Julia Belian, Professor of Law

    Richard Broughton, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Law

    Fatmeh Cheaib, Student Member of the Diversity Committee

    Phyllis L Crocker, Dean and Professor of Law

    Cara Cunningham Warren, Associate Professor of Law

    Melissa Eckhause, Visiting Assistant Professor

    Jordan Hall, Director of Student Affairs, Campus Equity and Inclusion

    Jacqueline Hand, Professor of Law

    Troy Harris, Professor of Law

    Grace Henning, Communications Specialist

    Jelani Jefferson Exum, Philip J. McElroy Professor of Law

    Megan Jennings, Associate Dean for Student Affairs

    Shamaila Khan, Assistant Dean and Registrar

    Cristina Lockwood, Associate Professor of Law

    Tanya Lundberg, Assistant Dean, Career Services & Outreach

    Karen McDonald Henning, Associate Professor of Law

    Patrick Meyer, Associate Professor of Law & Law Library Director

    Alex Meyers, Assistant Director of Admissions & Diversity

    Andrew Moore, Professor of Law

    Deborah Paruch, Professor of Law

    Michelle Richards, Associate Professor of Law

    Daniel Rosenbaum, Visiting Assistant Professor

    Jessica Rouser, Assistant Director of Law Financial Aid

    Leslie Scott, Assistant Professor of Law

    Connor Salanger, Assistant Director of Career Services

    Elizabeth Sherowski, Visiting Assistant Professor

    Nicholas J. Schroeck, Associate Dean of Experiential Education

    Julie St John, Assistant Professor of Comparative Legal Writing and Research

    Alexander Vernon, Professor of Law, Director of the Immigration Law Clinic

    Stephen Wilks, Associate Professor of Law

    Stephanie Winbigler, Director of Admissions

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    Statement from Faculty, Administration, and Staff

    Statement of University of Detroit Mercy School of Law     

     “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” —  Desmond Tutu    

    We, as faculty, administrators, and staff of University of Detroit Mercy Law School,  recognize that the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor that have recently come to light are a part of our painful history of racial oppression from the start of slavery 400 years ago through to the present day. Specifically, we recognize:   

    • That we all have a responsibility to address the intolerable institutional racism that infects our country;    

    • That the institutional racism infecting our society at every level must be addressed;   

    • That this institutional racism is rooted in the sin of slavery;   

    • That our legal system, including Jim Crow Laws, redlining, our criminal laws, and our justice system as a whole, has reinforced racism and oppressed Black individuals throughout our history;   

    • That the devastating impact of Covid-19 on our Black and Brown communities in Southeast Michigan is directly linked to this history of racism and oppression; and   

    • That silence and inaction in the face of this institutional racism and the brutalities inflicted on Black individuals in our country cannot be tolerated.   

    We recognize that the impact of this systemic racism and brutality is not only felt outside of our Law School but is a reality that our students bring into the classroom and our Law School every day. We are therefore committed to taking steps to ensure an inclusive learning experience for all our students that recognizes this reality. Specifically, we commit to:   

    • Finding ways to incorporate into our courses an understanding of racial justice and the role race has played in our legal system;   

    • Engaging in training about cultural competency so that we can effectively teach all of our students;   

    • Investigating all aspects of our program of legal education –  including admissions, financial aid, bar success, career placement, curriculum, and alumni relations –  to determine where institutional racism has an impact and to taking steps to eradicate that impact;     

    • Prioritizing the hiring of persons of color;   

    • Prioritizing the recruitment of students of color; and    

    • Providing space for students to share their experiences and concerns about our learning environment, and actively listening to those concerns.   

    As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We all have a role to play in dismantling the system of racial oppression that has infected our society and we commit to taking affirmative steps towards its eradication both within our own walls and in the world beyond. By signing below, we pledge our support for these efforts.  

    Erin Archerd, Associate Professor of Law

    Catherine Archibald, Associate Professor of Law

    Julia Belian, Professor of Law

    Richard Broughton, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Law

    Fatmeh Cheaib, Student Member of the Diversity Committee

    Margaret A. Costello, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Veterans Law Clinic

    Phyllis L Crocker, Dean and Professor of Law

    Cara Cunningham Warren, Associate Professor of Law

    Lawrence A. Dubin, Emeritus Professor of Law

    Melissa Eckhause, Visiting Assistant Professor

    April L. Ellison, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund

    Megan Featherstone, Associate Registrar  

    Sarah Garrison, Director of Bar Preparation

    Jordan Hall, Director of Student Affairs, Campus Equity and Inclusion

    Jacqueline Hand, Professor of Law

    Troy Harris, Professor of Law

    Kate Harrison, Director of Career Services and Outreach   

    Charisse L. Heath, Assistant Dean of Academic Success and Bar Preparation

    Grace Henning, Communications Specialist

    Jennifer Hostetler, Reference and Government Documents Librarian

    Jelani Jefferson Exum, Philip J. McElroy Professor of Law

    Megan Jennings, Associate Dean for Student Affairs

    Sunny Kerschenheiter, Events Coordinator   

    Shamaila Khan, Assistant Dean and Registrar

    Kimberly Koscielniak Head of Public Services

    Cristina Lockwood, Associate Professor of Law

    Christina Loebach, Director of the Canadian & American Dual JD Program  

    Tanya Lundberg, Assistant Dean, Career Services & Outreach

    Karen McDonald Henning, Associate Professor of Law

    Gary Maveal, Emeritus Professor of Law

    Patrick Meyer, Associate Professor of Law & Law Library Director

    Alex Meyers, Assistant Director of Admissions & Diversity

    Andrew Moore, Professor of Law

    Deborah Paruch, Professor of Law

    Michelle Richards, Associate Professor of Law

    Daniel Rosenbaum, Visiting Assistant Professor

    Jessica Rouser, Assistant Director of Law Financial Aid

    Jennifer Rumschlag, Associate Dean, Enrollment Management   

    Leslie Scott, Assistant Professor of Law

    Connor Salanger, Assistant Director of Career Services

    Elizabeth Sherowski, Visiting Assistant Professor

    Nicholas J. Schroeck, Associate Dean of Experiential Education

    Rebecca Simkins Nowak, Director, Clinical Operations and Outreach

    Julie St John, Assistant Professor of Comparative Legal Writing and Research

    Barbara Stockwell-Buslepp, Admission Specialist   

    Alexander Vernon, Professor of Law, Director of the Immigration Law Clinic

    Stephen Wilks, Associate Professor of Law

    Stephanie Winbigler, Director of Admissions

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    Statements issued by student groups