The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law officially dedicated the George J. Asher Law Clinic Center on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception.
The School of Law purchased the historic Detroit Fire Department's Engine 2 last February and fully renovated the facility to serve as the new home for its law clinical programs. Although the building was used for many other purposes after it was sold by DFD, its historic character was preserved through spiral staircases, exterior red fire doors, and a lookout tower.
The facility's opening is in conjunction with two significant milestones this year, the 100th anniversary of the School's founding and the 47th anniversary of its first Urban Law Clinic. The two-story facility will provide more than 6,000 square feet of space for the School's 10 legal aid clinics in downtown Detroit. Last year, more than 1,450 clients for whom legal services were otherwise unavailable were represented in the 10 clinics: Urban Clinic, Immigration, Mortgage Foreclosure, Veterans/Project SALUTE, Veterans Appellate, Criminal Trial, Criminal Appellate, Youth Justice, and Mediation Clinic.
The new facility is conveniently located on 585 Larned Street, a half block from UDM's Riverfront Campus, which houses the School's principal facility, Dowling Hall. Funding for the purchase of the property, as well as the extensive renovation of the building, came from a principal gift made by UDM alumnus Anthony A. Asher, '61, '65, managing partner of the law firm of Sullivan, Ward, Asher, & Patton, P.C., based in Southfield, Michigan. Anthony Asher made the gift in memory of his brother, George J. Asher, who was a student at the School of Law when he passed away.
Additional support for the purchase and renovation of the building came from the heirs of Walter Buhl Ford III, who were the immediate past owners of the building, and the McGregor Fund.
"Service is one of the pillars of University of Detroit Mercy's mission, and for 47 years UDM's School of Law clinics have made a significant impact on the lives of many individuals in this community and across the country," said UDM President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. "And, as a result of this new facility, more pro bono legal services will be able to be provided through the clinics due to the generosity of donors, many of whom are dedicated UDM alumni," he added.
"The entire School of Law community is thrilled that we finally have an excellent facility to house one of the oldest and best clinical programs in the country," said UDM Law Dean Lloyd A. Semple. "We are grateful to Anthony Asher, the children of Walter Buhl Ford III, the McGregor Fund, and others for providing the resources to undertake this wonderful project."
At the Dec. 11 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the George J. Asher Law Clinic Center, from left: UDM Student Bar Association President Daniel Gordon, School of Law Dean Lloyd Semple, Center benefactor Anthony A. Asher, UDM President Antoine Garibaldi, Chair of the UDM Board of Trustees John D. Lewis '74 and UDM Law student Michael Glynne.
In the News
Denise P. Hickey, Asst. Dean, School of Law
Gary D. Lichtman, Director, Media Relations