Past Events

Detroit Mercy Law hosts numerous educational and social events throughout the year for prospective and current students, alumni and friends, legal scholars, and community members. We invite you to view our past events below.

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    State of the Law School

    The Current Events in the Law Series kicked off with the State of the Law School that took place on Friday, September 24, 2021 followed by the Constitution Day program. New Dean, Jelani Jefferson Exum discussed the current happenings at the Law School and the vision moving forward.

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    Constitution Day Program

    The 2021 Constitution Day program titled “Understanding the Law of Reproductive Rights in the U.S. Today” featured panelists Ederlina Co, Associate Professor of Law from the University of the Pacific, Catherine Archibald, Associate Professor of Law from University of Detroit School of Law and Merissa Kovach from the Michigan ACLU. The program was moderated by J. Richard Broughton, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs & Professor of Law at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

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    Post-Inauguration Town Hall

    The Post-Inauguration Town Hall took place January 21, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom. A conversation with Professor Richard Broughton, Professor Nick Schroeck, and Professor Leslie Scott about the inauguration and the possible priorities of the new Biden Administration.

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    Violence and Disorder at the Nation’s Capitol: The Legal Issues

    Violence and Disorder at the Nation’s Capitol: The Legal Issues took place on January 14, 2021. Professor Richard Broughton and Professor Jelani Jefferson Exum discussed impeachment along with the 25th Amendment and 14th Amendment, the pending and future criminal prosecutions and sentencing prospects, potential uses of the President's pardon power, and scope of the right to protest.

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    Bending the Arc Toward Justice

    University of Detroit Mercy School of Law hosted Bending the Arc Toward Justice on Jan. 30, 2021, an event to kickoff Black History Month that included a portrait unveiling of Henry H. Tarrant ’22, the first known African American graduate of Detroit Mercy Law; remarks by Godfrey J. Dillard, a civil rights trailblazer and one of the lawyers who represented the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) in their lawsuit against the university in the early 1980s; the launch of the new Henry H. Tarrant Award for Black Student Excellence; and an introduction of the Association of Black Law Alumni (ABLA), led by Judge Terrance A. Keith ’84, and ABLA’s new scholarship for African American students, the David Williams II and Gail Carr Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund.

    Bending the Arc Toward Justice Photo Gallery

    Bending the Arc Toward Justice - Tarrant Photo

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    Commencement Ceremony

    To view current and past Commencement Ceremonies, Baccalaureate Mass' and Hooding Ceremonies, visit our Graduation Events page.

    The 2020-2021 Virtual Commencement Ceremony took place on Friday, May 14.

    Watch the Class of 2021 Virtual Commencement.

    Commencement 2021 Video

    The 2020-2021 Virtual Baccalaureate Mass took place on Thursday, May 13
    Watch the 2021 virtual Baccalaureate.

    The 2020-2021 On-Campus Hooding Ceremony took place on Friday, May 14 
    Watch the 2021 Hooding Ceremony

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    McElroy Lecture on Law & Religion

    The McElroy Lecture on Law & Religion provides a forum for prominent thinkers to address fundamental issues of law and religion. This is an annual event that Detroit Mercy Law presents every year.

    2020

    The Ironies of Religious Liberties Litigation, presented by Professor Cathleen Kaveny of Boston College Law School, examined the legal victories of religious believers and how they are premised on our own rights instead of what we owe others with different beliefs.

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    Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture on Social Justice

    The Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture on Social Justice is an annual event that Detroit Mercy Law presents every year. The lecture provides prominent leaders in the legal profession a forum to address issues on law and policy related to social justice. It is made possible through a grant from the Dewitt C. Holbrook Memorial Trust.

    2022

    On Monday, April 25, 2022, The 4th annual was presented by The Honorable Rowan D. Wilson. The lecture series provides prominent leaders in the legal profession a forum to address issues on law and policy related to social justice. This year’s lecture titled “Outside In: Perspectives on Criminal Law and Procedure from a Former Outsider” is presented by The Honorable Rowan D. Wilson, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, State of New York. Judge Wilson will share insight to various aspects and issues of criminal law and procedure while deciding on such cases from the bench.

    About the Speaker

    The Honorable Rowan D. Wilson, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, was born in Pomona, California, and grew up in Berkeley, California. He received his A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1981, and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1984. He was admitted to the bar of the State of California in 1985, and the bar of the State of New York in 1987. From 1984 to 1986, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable James R. Browning, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, California. In 1986, he joined the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City as an associate, and was elected to partnership there in 1991, in which position he continued until February 2017. His practice encompassed a wide variety of matters, including antitrust, intellectual property, securities and common-law fraud, contract, labor and employment, civil rights and first amendment issues. On January 15, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Judge Wilson to serve as an Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, and the New York State Senate confirmed his nomination on February 6, 2017. While in private practice, Judge Wilson served on the boards of several charitable and not-for-profit organizations and handled numerous pro bono matters.

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    Patrick A. Keenan Appellate Advocacy Tournament

    The Patrick A. Keenan Appellate Advocacy Tournament is held annually in honor of the late Patrick A. Keenan, a beloved Detroit Mercy Law professor who taught at the School for over 30 years. Keenan’s wife, Marge, and other Keenan family members attended the final round of this year’s competition.

    2020

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    Red Mass

    Our annual Red Mass dates back to 1877, when Detroit College, as the University was then known, began its first year with a mass at Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church to ask the blessing of the Holy Spirit on the coming year’s work. The School of Law continued the tradition when it opened in 1912, again hosting the Red Mass on behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit at Saints Peter and Paul through the present. Today, the Red Mass is attended by judges, lawyers, civic leaders, faculty, and law students of all faiths, asking God to bless, strengthen, and enlighten us, so that in cooperation and mutual trust we may effectively achieve justice.

    2021


    2020

    Red Mass Photo Gallery

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    Law Review Symposium

    Visit the Law Review Symposium page to view past symposiums.

    2022: Governing Bodies: Bodily Autonomy and the Law

    On March 4, 2022, Detroit Mercy Law Review presented the 106th Symposium on Governing Bodies: Bodily Autonomy and the Law. Bodily autonomy has been regulated or banned on many levels throughout our history, ranging from slavery to the right to an abortion, assisted suicide, transgender rights, and even issues surrounding the present COVID-19 pandemic. While these laws and regulations have led to controversy and protest, it remains unclear where exactly the line should be drawn limiting government power over our bodies, or if there should be a line at all.