Campaign Giving Opportunities

Your gift to Detroit Mercy Law matters.  Charitable gifts are needed more than ever and make a real difference for our students.

Detroit Mercy Law is focused on increasing scholarships, restoring the Courtyard, and expanding the services we provide through our clinics. Together, these projects will attract and retain the most promising and diverse students, enhance their educational experience, and better serve our communities.


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    Join our Mission of Educating the Complete Lawyer

    Detroit Mercy Law integrates theory, doctrine, and practice throughout the legal education of our students and graduates lawyers who lead with a commitment to the pursuit of justice, service to others, and the highest standards of the legal profession. Our location in the heart of downtown Detroit and our longstanding Jesuit and Sisters of Mercy commitment to the community make us a unique law school.


    Campaign Goals and Initiatives

    The Campaign goal is $2.5 million over three years in support of three projects: $1.5 million to the Courtyard, $1 million to endowed scholarships, and additional funding sought for law clinic program initiatives.


    Hear More About the Campaign

    Learn more about the Detroit Mercy Law Giving Campaign and how you can get involved.


Courtyard Gifts

The Courtyard is the front door to Detroit Mercy Law. Each year, hundreds of community members come through the Courtyard to enter our front doors. They attend lectures and religious events, participate in panel discussions for students and serve as adjuncts, moot court judges and guest lecturers. It is also a frequent entrance to the Ss. Peter and Paul Church.

The renovation will transform the space into a park-like setting where students, faculty, staff and the community – including parishioners of the Ss. Peter and Paul Church – can study, reflect, and connect with each other in the heart of Detroit.
“We are very pleased to be renovating the Courtyard space. We want to infuse a new sense of energy, warmth and pride in the Courtyard. We hope the space will become a location shared with everyone in the community.”
James Tamm ’85, Co-Chair, Campaign Volunteer Steering Committee

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    View the Courtyard Renovation Project

    law gate entrance

    Law court yard

    law courtyard


    Recognition Opportunities

    Donors who make a gift of $25,000 or more in support of the Courtyard will receive public recognition of their gift on campus. Below is a list of available naming opportunities.

    Courtyard Naming Opportunities
    • Naming of the Courtyard                     $750,000
    • Gated Entrance                                        $500,000
    • Landscape/Green Space Gardens       $250,000
    • Featured Courtyard Art                        $150,000
    • Study Break Tables and Chairs           $100,000
    • Conversation Benches                          $50,000
    • Courtyard Display Wall                         $25,000



    Courtyard Donor Recognition

    With each donation we receive, we become all that much closer to our goal. Thank you to all of our Courtyard donors for making a difference through your compassion and generosity.

    • Butzel
    • Michael Cavanaugh '67
    • Class of 1963 - "In memory of the deceased members of the class"
    • Class of 1979
    • Susan and William Gilbride, Jr. '84
    • Patrick J. Hickey '84 and M. Kathleen O'Callaghan Hickey '84
    • Michael J. Kelly '65
    • Kerr Russell and Weber PLC
    • Kitch - Attorneys & Counselors
    • Kathleen '76 and James '73 Mellon
    • Maddin, Hauser, Roth & Heller P.C.
    • The Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation
    • Saad '80 and Lillian Nadhir
    • Steven Sallen 1984
    • James Tamm '85 and Kimberley Harrison
    • The Wisniewski Family

Scholarship Gifts

The cost of educating the complete lawyer is an investment in our students that continues to rise.  The majority of our students—75%— are the first in their families to attend law school, which makes the investments in additional support and services especially important to the success of our student body.

While 44% of our students receive scholarships, the average law school debt of our graduates is $114,000.  Increasing scholarship funds will help attract and retain the most promising and diverse students, and decrease their dependence on loans, which will allow them to follow their passion in practicing law.

You may endow a scholarship of your own or contribute to one of the existing endowed scholarships.

Endow a Scholarship
Endowing a scholarship is a way to honor a person and ensure that funding is available in perpetuity. Endowed scholarship funds may be established with a minimum gift of $25,000 and paid over a three- to five-year timeframe. View other Endowed Scholarships here.
Contribute to an Established Endowed Scholarship
We invite contributions to these established endowed scholarships.

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    Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund

    In March 2019, the Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association launched its inaugural endowed scholarship fund. All 25 members of the Board of Directors made a gift to the new fund, reaching their initial fundraising goal of $100,000 within the first few weeks of the launch. 

    Gregory Thiess '79, chair of the Alumni Association Fundraising Committee, looks forward to increasing this endowed scholarship fund over the next three years and doubling the goal to $200,000 – hoping additional alumni will want to make an impact on students’ lives.



    David Williams II ’82 and Gail Carr Williams ’83 Endowed Scholarship Fund

    Under the leadership of Judge Terrance Keith '84, the Detroit Mercy Law Association of Black Law Alumni was established in 2019 to serve as a voice and mentoring organization for black law alumni and students. One of ABLA’s priorities is to raise $1 million for this endowed scholarship fund for black law students.

    "This is an enduring way to extend and enhance community scholarship. It is truly my sincere hope that many will support the ABLA with contributions to the scholarship with gifts of any size, deepening the legacy for the generations of Detroit Mercy Law black alumni to come."
    Gail Carr Williams '83



    Daniel J. Wright Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund for Child Welfare

    The Daniel J. Wright Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Child Welfare assists students at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Maura D. Corrigan, Law '73, worked with Daniel J. Wright, Law '73, her classmate from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, while serving as the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Chief Justice Corrigan tapped Mr. Wright in 2001 to lead Michigan's effort to upgrade the state's outdated child support payment system by federally-mandated guidelines. Mr. Wright succeeded, saving the state $178 million in what federal officials termed a "miracle." As head of the Supreme Court's Friend of the Court Bureau, and later, as head of the Court's Child Welfare Services division, Mr. Wright continued to work for Michigan's children and families, pioneering "adoption forums" to make it easier for children in foster care to find permanent homes and advocating for legislation that gave children more power in the legal decisions affecting their futures. For his achievements in child support and child welfare reform, Mr. Wright was honored by the state's creation of the Daniel J. Wright Award in 2011 to recognize outstanding advocates for Michigan's children and families.

    "My hope is that students studying law, business or social work might develop their interest in child welfare as a career, inspired by the model of our friend and mentor Dan Wright, a wonderful leader in child welfare in Michigan state courts." 
    Maura D. Corrigan '73 



    Class of 1990 30th Reunion Endowed Scholarship Fund

    Class of 1990 Endowed Scholarship Fund in Honor of the 30th Reunion assists students at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. This scholarship was established in honor of the Law Class of 1990’s 30 year class reunion, and to help raise funds for the Detroit Mercy School of Law Bridge Campaign, by Mark Wisniewski, '90, Vice President of the Class of 1990, and other alumni from the Class of 1990.



    Mary and Bruce Newman Class of 1969 Endowed Scholarship

    The Mary and Bruce Newman Class of 1969 Endowed Scholarship was created in 2019 in memory of Hon. Bruce Newman '69 to serve students who demonstrate financial need or academic merit.  

    "It was the Jesuit philosophy that gave Bruce his strong code of ethics. Because of all the support from the University of Detroit Mercy and the School of Law, Bruce was able to help his family, the underprivileged, and the community throughout his lifetime.”
    Mary T. Newman



    Professor Richard A. Seid Memorial Child Advocacy Endowed Scholarship Fund

    In honor of their father Professor Richard A. Seid, Lenora Seid and Dr. Jerome Seid created the Professor Richard A. Seid Memorial Child Advocacy Scholarship to support students studying child advocacy. Professor Seid was Dean of Detroit Mercy Law from 1976 to 1979.

    “As a deeply committed father himself, our dad believed passionately in the promise of our Constitution and rule of law to assure justice for families and children. We established the Professor Richard A. Seid Memorial Child Advocacy Endowed Scholarship Fund in our dad’s honor to support Detroit Mercy Law students who, like our dad, wish to devote their professional skills and compassion to protect the rights of vulnerable and often voiceless clients. We are very proud of our dad’s legacy of advocacy and grateful to Detroit Mercy Law for enthusiastically helping us maintain its vigor for the law school community, facilitating learning and principled work that he would so fulsomely endorse.”
    Lenora Seid and Dr. Jerome Seid



    David C. Berry Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Intellectual Property Law

    David started his distinguished legal career in Boston, MA where he was a partner at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault. In 2002, he transitioned his career into academia when he became a professor and patent clinic director at Cooley Law School and later at Wayne State Law School. Most recently he was the Director of International Intellectual Property Clinic at University of Detroit Mercy Law School. He was also Of Counsel at Brooks Kushman.

    David is a past Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Intellectual Property Law Section, was Chair of the Steering Committee of the Michigan Patent Bro Bono Project, and was on the board of directors of the Pro Bono Advisory Counsel. He approached his work with pro bono clients as tenaciously as he did all others. In this, and everything else, David believed in the equality of all people and leaves behind a legacy of generosity and kindness.

    "We are honored to establish the David C. Berry Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Intellectual Property Law.  We cannot imagine a better way to pay tribute to David and his dedication to his students."
    Family of David Berry


Clinical Gifts

Contributions to our clinics are investments in our students and community.  Through our clinics, students serve hundreds of clients each year, providing thousands of hours of free legal services to those who otherwise may not have access.  Our clinical program is one of a small number of required clinical programs in the country, which means that all students are guaranteed the opportunity to help a real client prior to graduation.  This service to our students and community requires significant funding.  Expanding the resources available to our clinics will strengthen the practical training our students receive and better serve those in need in our communities.



Request More Information

To learn more about this giving campaign, please reach out to a campaign volunteer or the Director of Development.

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    Campaign Volunteer Steering Committee Members

    We thank the members of our campaign committee who commit to serve in this important capacity. We look forward to a successful campaign together that strengthens Detroit Mercy Law.

    Co-Chair: Meghan Kennedy Riordan '90 
    Principal, Kitch Law Firm 

    Co-Chair: James Tamm '85
    Partner, Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC, Detroit, MI

    Committee Members 

    Maura D. Corrigan '73 
    Former Justice and Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Of Counsel, Butzel Long PC 

    Eugene Gargaro '67  
    Trustee of University of Detroit Mercy, President of Richard & Jane Manoogian Foundation, Taylor, MI 

    William D. Gilbride '84
    Of Counsel, Abbott Nicholson, P.C., Troy, MI

    Matthew Guinta, AIA, '08, University of Detroit Mercy Architecture
    Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church Representative, Detroit, MI

    Desiree Marks '94 -CPA, MBA, JD '14
    Fund-Raising Chair for the ABLA Board Senior Financial Analyst at Financial Assurance, Corporate Region – GM

    Gregory G. Thiess '79
    Member, Northern Michigan Resolutions PLC

    Michelle D. Johnson Tidjani '98
    Sr. V. P., General Counsel and Corp Secretary, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI

    Joseph G. Vernon '05 Dual JD
    Resident Manager, Miller Canfield, Detroit, MI

    Mark Wisniewski '90
    Chairman and CEO, Kitch, Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook PC, Detroit, MI

    Justin Zatkoff '14
    General Counsel, Zatkoff Seals & Packings, Farmington Hills, MI


    Contact the Director of Development

    Julie Hein
    Julie Hein
    Director of Development, School of Law