COVID-19 Updates

Detroit Mercy Law continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation. 

We are working to respond to a unique set of circumstances in a way that prioritizes health and safety, meets our mission of educating the complete lawyer, and fully supports our current and future students, alumni, and friends. 

Our building is open in a limited capacity for current students, faculty and staff, and invited visitors. 

In order to keep the amount of people in our building below capacity and keep everyone safe, drop in visitors are not allowed in the building at this time.  

If you have questions about accessing the building, please contact Jeff Johnson, Assistant Dean Administrative and Student Services at (313) 596-0206 or johnsoje1@udmercy.edu 

On this page: Coming to Campus | Future Students| Current Students

Coming to Campus

Although our Fall 2020 programs are being delivered online, our campus will be open! We are happy to welcome Detroit Mercy Law students to the law school for quiet study during the Fall semester. We appreciate that the move to online coursework has been challenging, and that some students will benefit from having a quiet space with reliable Internet access as they participate in their courses 

As always, your health and safety are our top priority. Please review the information below, as well as the Titans Together Campus Safety Guide prior to your first trip to campus. Students are expected to comply with all protocols articulated therein, and are likewise expected to comply with any health and safety instructions that are given by staff or faculty while on campus. Failure to follow these protocols can result in a student being excluded from using the law school as a study space.  

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    Riverfront Campus and Library Hours

    Effective August 24th, our hours will be as follows:  

    Riverfront Campus Hours   

    Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.  

    Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

    Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

    Sunday: Closed  

    Library Hours   

    Monday & Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:50 p.m.  

    Tuesday & Wednesday: Noon – 7:50 p.m.  

    Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.  

    Saturday & Sunday: Closed 

    We will monitor building usage and make adjustments, as appropriate, on a monthly basis. Please note that our entire campus (including the Library) will be closed on Sunday. 

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    Before You Come to Campus

    Reserving a study space  

    For the Fall semester, prior to arriving on campus, students may reserve study space in the law school using the LibCal reservation system. This process serves several purposes:  

    • It will allow students to view and reserve available study space prior to their arrival to campus, and will ensure that a student does not arrive at campus only to find that no space is available.  
    • It allows the school to track building usage so that we adjust building hours to best serve the needs of students.  
    • It provides up-to-date and accurate information that could be shared with contact tracers, if the need arises.  

    The LibCal app will be available on our Remote Library Access LibGuide by August 24th.  

    Required Daily Screening Assessment  

    Before arriving on campus, a daily self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms must be completed. The daily self-assessment requires answers to the following questions:  

    • Do you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher?   
    • Do you have atypical cough?   
    • Do you have atypical shortness of breath?  
    • Have you been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days?  
    • Have you traveled internationally or domestically outside the state of Michigan in the last 14 days?  

    Please click on and open www.udmercy.edu/covidapp for daily pre-screening questions. Complete the questionnaire, and you will receive a convenient confirmation or denial email. Along with your face-covering, this dated email must be shown to the public safety officer at the Larned Lot entrance.   
     
    Please remember that your honesty in answering these screening questions helps to keep our community safe. Please also note that providing answers that are false or misleading could result in a finding of a violation of the law school’s Community Standards Code.  

    If you respond YES to any of the previous screening questions, you will be excluded from the law school campus for the following durations:  

    Seventy-two hours: If there is evidence of no fever for three days without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in other symptoms. In other words, you must be fever-free and symptom-free for at least three days before returning to campus.  

    Fourteen days: If an individual has been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. (The first day counted is the day of diagnosis recognition.)  

    Fourteen days: If an individual has completed international or domestic travel. Domestic travel includes any travel outside the State of Michigan. 

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    When You Arrive

    For the Fall semester, the Larned Street parking lot is available to students, staff, and faculty. Students will not be charged for a parking pass during the Fall semester.  However, in order to help us ensure that the parking lot it being used by members of the Detroit Mercy Law community, we ask that you continue to display your Detroit Mercy parking hang tag in your car.  

    When you enter the lot, you will be expected to show the public safety officer in the booth the entrance confirmation email you received from the daily screening assessment app and your face covering. 

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    Safe Practices

    Upon entering the Law School, you should be aware that:  

    • Water fountains have been turned off, but bottle filling stations are still in use. Be prepared to bring water, purchase from the vending machine, or find the bottle fillers located on campus.  
    • Plexiglas, sanitizing stations, directional signs, new room capacities, and guides have been installed. Please take notice and follow these signs.  
    • We have also increased the amount of external air flowing through the HVAC system on campus. Further, our Custodial staff are performing daily high-level sanitizing and disinfecting, focusing on high touch surfaces. 
    • Staircases are single direction, with signs to indicate whether it is an up-or-down staircase.  
    • Elevators have a single person capacity  
    • Restrooms have a reduced capacity, as noted on the signs outside the restroom.  
    • Communal appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers are not in use.  

    Once inside our building(s), everyone is expected to comply with these health and safety practices:  

    • Wear a face covering. If you have misplaced your mask, please proceed to Student Services, where one will be provided.   
    • Keep 6 feet of distance between the next person. It's not rude, but respectful to others.  
    • Wash your hands with warm soapy water before/after you eat, after touching anything, after you sneeze/cough, etc.  
    • Wipe down work spaces before and after individual use. Disinfecting wipes are available in shared spaces and available through Student Services.  
    • Observe capacities posted outside of classroom spaces, elevators, and restrooms. 
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    Campus Spaces

    Classrooms: Will be open for quiet study and reliable Internet access. As noted above, students are asked to reserve study space in classrooms prior to arriving on campus.  

    Atrium: Will be open; however, no seating will be available.  

    Cafeteria: Our cafeteria is closed for construction of a new restaurant that will open in a few months.  

    Clinic Building: Similar to our classes, clinics are operating online. Given this, other than clinical faculty and staff, access to this building is by appointment only. Please contact our Clinic staff at: (313) 596-0262  

    Library. Upon entering the Library, please note the following:  

    • Entrance to the second and third floors of the Library are via the stairwell.  
    • Students must exit via the elevator and not the stairwell. If you need to use the elevator to access the second and third floors, let us know at the Circulation Desk. Only one student may be in the elevator at any time.   
    • The basement will remain closed.  
    • Seating on the second and third floors is located around the perimeter as well as in the four study rooms on each floor. Do not move the seating as it is properly socially distanced.   
    • Students are expected to reserve their seat through the LibCal app, which will be available on our Remote Library Access LibGuide by August 24th.   
    • The book stacks are off limits. Students are to contact a librarian to retrieve books from the stacks.   
    • Students may view books in the Reserve collection (at the Circulation Desk) only after putting on gloves supplied by the Library.   
    • The Library accepts walk-ins for transactions at the Circulation Desk. There will be seating in the Circulation Desk area to accommodate walk-ins. 

    If you have any questions regarding the Library, please ask one of our librarians at: lawlibrary@udmercy.edu 

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    Meetings

    Faculty-Student Meetings will be held online with office hours provided by your professor.  

    Administrator-Student Meetings will be held via phone or online conferencing.  

    Student Group Meetings will be held using online conferencing platforms. 

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    Other Questions?

    If you have any questions, please contact Assistant Dean for Student Services, Mr. Jeffrey Johnson, at: (313) 596-0206 or johnsoje1@udmercy.edu 

Future Students

In-person visits are suspended.  Although we are eager for our building to reopen, as we are quite proud of our impressive building in the heart of downtown Detroit, Detroit Mercy Law is a community of people more than a building.  We will continue to be available to our future students and are committed to connecting them with our community. 

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Current Students

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    Student Services

    Faculty and the student services team continue to be available to support you.

    Contact Dean Broughton

    Contact Dean Jennings 

    Contact Director Hall 

    Contact Faculty 

    Contact Administration

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    Fall 2020 Term

    As the data and the guidance from public health officials was reviewed, and this guidance was applied to Detroit Mercy Law, it was decided that Fall Term 2020 courses will be online. 

    Online Pedagogy & Technology

    We recognize that online instruction is fundamentally different from in-person instruction.  However, the best online courses are those that are designed to be taught in the online environment, using course design and instruction methods that take into account the particulars of online learning.  Our faculty has committed to expanding their expertise in online instruction, and are taking courses in online pedagogy and course design this summer so that they can redesign their courses for an online environment. 

    The law school is also investing in technology to support online learning.  The majority of fall term courses will be hosted on Blackboard, integrating with Zoom for the portions of the class which include live lectures or other interactions.  Our COVID-19 Emergency Fund (see below) continues to be available to students, and can be used to access additional technology resources. Please contact Ms. Jessica Rouser, Assistant Director Law Financial Aid, if you have any questions about the Student Emergency Relief Fund. 

    Access to the Law School

    While instruction will be online, we are committed to making the building accessible to students, provided that such access is consistent with state and local guidance. More information will become available as we grow closer to the beginning of the Fall Term.

    Changes to the Fall Term Academic Calendar

    We have adjusted the fall term academic calendar to allow students to return home before the forecasted increase in flu and COVID-19 activity in December. Fall semester classes will begin August 24 and the last day of classes will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 25. So that students can more fully evaluate their courses and make determinations about whether a particular course is a good fit for them, we have extended the add/drop period to three weeks, allowing students to add or drop a class up until September 14.  Students will be eligible for a 100% refund during this extended add/drop period and will not receive a “W” on their transcripts for any dropped courses. 

    Student Programming and Support

    Our administrative offices, including career services, academic success, and student affairs are working to provide a robust program of events and workshops for students throughout the fall term.  Our financial aid and registrar’s offices will continue to provide the individualized care and attention for which they are known.  Our law library, in addition to preparing to open for student study, is available to assist students throughout the summer and fall terms. 

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    Winter 2021 Term

    As we move into the Fall term, our faculty and administration is looking ahead to Winter 2021.  At this point, we have not made a decision about whether we will hold classes in the building or online.  We expect to make this decision by mid-October.  However, the faculty has voted to make two changes to the Winter term academic calendar that we can share with you now:    

    • The start of the Winter term has been moved back by one week, so that the first day of Winter term classes will be on Tuesday, January 19 (the day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday).  
    • The mid-winter break that was scheduled for the week of February 14 through February 21 has been canceled to accommodate the later start date.  

    These changes have been made to allow for a two-week period following the holiday break in which students and faculty can ensure that they are symptom free.   

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    Detroit Mercy Law COVID-19 Student Emergency Funding

    In response to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law has created a COVID-19 Law Student Emergency Fund to provide emergency financial support to currently enrolled degree-seeking students who are unable to meet essential expenses due to a temporary or unexpected hardship.

    Access Lex Institute Logo with tagline

    The COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund is made possible through the generous donations of Detroit Mercy Law faculty, staff, alumni, and donors including AccessLex Institute,

     

    Student Relief Award Criteria

    COVID-19 Emergency Funding is available for law students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses due to temporary hardship related to a COVID-19 unforeseen emergency situation. The maximum amount awarded will not exceed $1,500. We will make decisions regarding disbursement on a case-by-case basis. Awards are not considered loans and do not require repayment. Some funds may be considered income and are therefore subject to federal taxes.

    Expenses Generally Covered

    Examples include (but are not limited to):

    • Emergency housing expenses caused by the recent loss of income due to COVID-19
    • Rent to prevent eviction
    • Emergency temporary lodging if you find yourself homeless or in an unsafe situation
    • Essential utilities (e.g. electric, gas, water)
    • Funds necessary to ensure access to academic needs related to switching to online learning (e.g. laptop, Internet)
    • Disability-related evaluation expenses for reasonable academic accommodations
    • Temporary food insecurity
    • Emergency medical treatment/medication/prescriptions when you do not have the ability to pay and the costs cannot be covered by insurance
    • Financial needs arising from an unexpected emergency, accident, or other unexpected critical incidents
    • Emergency travel home for illness or bereavement in your immediate family
    • Emergency child care
    • Other financial needs arising from individual and special circumstances

    Expenses Generally Not Covered

    Examples include (but are not limited to):

    • Tuition and student fees
    • Health insurance
    • Continuous fixed expenses (e.g. rent, essential utilities)
    • Non-essential utilities (cable)
    • Costs of entertainment, recreation, or non-emergency travel
    • Legal counsel and fees
    • Parking tickets
    • Expenses due to a lack of financial planning or overspending
    • Outstanding debt to the university or otherwise (i.e. credit cards, fees past due, etc.)

    Applying for Emergency Funding

    Currently enrolled students at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law must:

    1. Speak with Jessica Rouser, rouserjm@udmercy.edu, prior to applying for the funds, and
    2. Submit the COVID-19 Student Emergency Assistance Form. You may be asked to provide supporting documentation to verify your needs.

    The Law Student Emergency Fund team (composed of Jessica Rouser, Assistant Director, Financial Aid, School of Law and Jordan Hall, Director, Student Affairs, Campus Equity & Inclusion, School of Law) will be as generous as possible with funds. Please make your request as specific and realistic as possible so that we may assist as many students as we can, based on the availability of funds.   

    Emergency funding through the School of Law is reserved for students who have exhausted all other available options. Prior to granting funding, the Student Affairs Office will work with the Office of Financial Aid to determine that any funds granted do not impact loans, scholarships, or grants the student is receiving.

    Distribution of Emergency Funding

    The Law Student Emergency Fund team will make decisions on a rolling basis.  Disbursements will be made by direct deposit or check through the University Accounts Department every two weeks. 

    The University encourages all students to sign up for Direct Deposit to allow for faster receipt of funds.

    Steps to sign up for Direct Deposit:

    • Log into your My Portal account
    • Select Student Profile
    • Direct Deposit 
    • Type in routing and account number
    • Check either savings or checking, and submit.

    Update Home Address for Paper Checks:

    • Log into your My Portal account
    • Select Student Profile
    • Personal Information
    • Update Addresses and Phone Numbers