• * A legal writing program that starts in the first year and continues through the upper level courses.
  • * A clinical program that entitles every student to the opportunity to represent a live client.
  • * A unique law firm program that allows students to engage in simulated cases and transactions in specific practice areas.



  • * Committed to developing lawyers who serve the public good
  • * Committed to serving the Detroit community
  • * Founded on Jesuit and Mercy principles of service and the success of each individual

Study Internationally

Study Internationally

  • * Dual degree program with the University of Windsor
  • * Extensive international law and comparative law courses
  • * Established relationship with Universite d"Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand, France



  • * Downtown Detroit Location provides proximity to courts and employers
  • * Strong Alumni Network dedicated to supporting UDM graduates
  • * ability to pursue a concentration in Immigration Law

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University of Detroit Mercy Law Review

A Historical Perspective

            The University of Detroit Mercy Law Review has enjoyed a rich, vibrant history over nearly the past century. Established merely four years after the inception of the University of Detroit’s Law Department, the Law Review’s initial focus was to provide helpful information to legal practitioners throughout Michigan. This objective has been both refined and broadened over the past century, but the underlying essence—to help practitioners solve contemporary legal problems in the community—remains unchanged. Today, the Law Review is committed to exposing important issues in Michigan as well as in the United States, and is devoted to finding practical solutions to these problems.

            The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (at the time known as University of Detroit Law Department) was established in 1912, and in 1916 the Monthly Law Review was instituted.[i] The early issues of the Monthly Law Review featured written reports of Michigan Circuit Court opinions.[ii] These reports were known as the Michigan Circuit Court Reports.  At that time, Michigan Reports was virtually the only source of Michigan law that was widely available to the legal community. Consequently, the Monthly Law Review provided an essential service to practicing attorneys in Michigan.[iii] Over the next few years, the Monthly Law Review was modified slightly and publications were released on a bi-monthly basis. As a result, the journal was conveniently renamed the Bi-monthly Law Review.[iv]

            In 1931, the organization once again changed its name to the University of Detroit Law Journal.[v] However, in 1933, the Law Journal was forced to suspend its publication due to the financial havoc created by the Great Depression.[vi] It was not until six years later, in 1939, that it resumed publication.[vii] The Law Journal built a strong reputation over the next eight years, and in 1947, the United States Supreme Court asked to be placed on the list of regular subscribers and requested copies of all back issues of the Law Journal.[viii] This subscription secured the Law Journal’s status as a leading legal periodical in the United States and added to its ever-growing list of subscribers—which at that time included virtually all leading law schools, the Michigan Supreme Court, a plethora of federal courts, and even some foreign law schools.[ix]

            The Law Journal once again gained notoriety in 1966 when it was renamed the Journal of Urban Law.[x] This change was prompted by a general feeling among legal educators that contemporary law programs did not adequately prepare students for the increased role that the law played in contemporary society.[xi] In response, the University implemented a series of changes designed to help prepare students for their professional careers by rendering vital services to the urban community. These changes included an alteration in the curriculum to focus on urban law, the establishment of an urban law clinic to enable students to gain legal experience in assisting the poor in the community, and as previously mentioned, the renaming of the University’s Law Review to the Journal of Urban Law.[xii] The Journal of Urban Law was to be devoted to “exploring the myriad problems that cities must contend with today and in the future.”[xiii] The editor’s aim was to “investigate, expose, propose, and thereby improve” the conditions of urban cities across the country.[xiv] This novel concept for a law journal attracted a great deal of attention, both intra-state and nationally, and numerous prominent politicians wrote letters supporting this concept:

                        I am pleased to be informed of your efforts to form the Journal of Urban Law. A publication such as this will serve a most important purpose in dealing with the complexities of modern urban life.
                                The University of Detroit School of Law is to be commended for seeking to develop a format for discussion of these legal issues. I wish you well with this project.

Robert F. Kennedy,

United States Senate [xv]


                                My congratulations on this very ambitious and needed venture.
                                The burgeoning growth of urban problems has brought increasing demands upon this area of the legal profession. I’m certain the Journal of Urban Law will contribute greatly upon the more orderly attack upon the vital urban issues that confront us all.

 George Romney

Governor, Michigan [xvi]


                            I am pleased at the prospect of a law journal devoted entirely to the problems of the city. There is no such publication today. It is rare to find articles relating to the legal aspects of the problems of metropolitan areas. A journal concerned with this subject will a pressing need.
                                I congratulate you and your associates on your initiative. I am sure the Journal of Urban Law will be a respected and widely read publication

Gerald R. Ford

Congressman, Michigan [xvii]


            The Law Journal was renamed in 1985 to University of Detroit Law Review, and finally again in 1991 to the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review when the University of Detroit merged with the Mercy College of Detroit. Nonetheless, the members remain committed to addressing the pressing issues that the City of Detroit is faced with, and proposing practical solutions to these issues. Through its publications, the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review strives to meaningfully contribute to the revitalization of the City of Detroit and advance legal discourse throughout the country.  The Law Review therefore presents its subscribers with a wide array of topics reaching beyond the traditional field of law into matters of great importance for the community as a whole.

[i] Law Review of the Law Department of the University of Detroit, Why Every Lawyer Should Receive the Monthly Law Review, 1 U. Det. Monthly L. Rev. viii (1916).

[ii] Id.

[iii] See Why Every Lawyer Should Receive the Monthly Law Review, supra note 1, at viii (Circuit Court opinions, though invaluable to attorneys in 1916, were practically unavailable. “These [Circuit Court] opinions are not preserved, often are lost, and are inaccessible except through the Monthly Law Review.”).

[iv] Herman J. Muller, The University of Detroit 1877–1977: A Centennial History 141 (1977).

[v] Id.

[vi] Id. at 266.

[vii] Id.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Id.

[x] Id. at 305.

[xi] Id.

[xii] Id.

[xiii] L.B.P. Editor, Introduction, 44 J. Urb. L. 1 (1966–67).

[xiv] Muller, supra note 4, at 305.

[xv] L.B.P. Editor, supra note 13, at 5.

[xvi] Id. at 6.

[xvii] Id. at 5.


Meet the Judges Reception - Atrium

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 5:00 pm

Meet judges of the federal and state courts during a casual reception in the UDM Law atrium and café on Thursday, October 15.  The schedule for the evening  is:  registration from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.; welcome remarks 6:00 - 6:10 p.m.; group photo 6:10 - 6:15 p.m.; network and meet the judges 6:15 - 7:30 p.m. UDM Law is co-sponsoring this event with the Catholic Lawyers Society of Detroit; Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers; and the Polish American Lawyers Society.
Meet the Judges Invitation>>
RSVP for Reception>>

Law Review Symposium on the Great Lakes - Room 226

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 9:30 am

The UDM Law Review will host a symposium entitled, "The Public Trust Doctrine:  An Ancient Tool for Protecting the Great Lakes from New Hazards," on Friday, October 16, from 9:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. in room 226.  Topics include, "A Proper Framework for the Public Trust Doctrine and the Great Lakes," and "Trails and Microplastics:  New Developments."  The symposium is complimentary but advance registration is required.

Law Review Symposium Invitation>>

Reunion for All Law Alumni - UDM Law Campus

Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 7:00 pm

The School of Law's annual Reunion will be held on Saturday, October 24, from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. at the School's Riverfront Campus.  As part of the festivities, we will celebrate the the 50th anniversary of our clinical program; selection of Hon. Anthony J. Fiorella, Jr. as UDM's 2015 Alumni Award recipient and Richard T. Krisciunas as the 2015 Time and Talent Award recipient; and the special anniversaries of the classes of 1965, 1990, and 2005.  The Reunion is for all School of Law alumni.  Additional details may be found on the Reunion website.


November 14, 2015: Prospective Student Open House - UDM Law Campus

Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 9:00 am

Find out why men and women have been choosing UDM Law for over 100 years for their legal education.  Learn how UDM Law not only teaches you the law, but teaches you how to be a lawyer.  Through your education here, you will become a lawyer who makes a difference in your workplace and your community.  

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the campus and speak with admissions representatives, faculty, and current students.  

January 7, 2016: Prospective Student Open House - UDM Law Campus

Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 5:30 pm

Find out why men and women have been choosing UDM Law for over 100 years for their legal education.  Learn how UDM Law not only teaches you the law, but teaches you how to be a lawyer.  Through your education here, you will become a lawyer who makes a difference in your workplace and your community.  

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the campus and speak with admissions representatives, faculty, and current students.  


  • Professor Richard Broughton discusses gun control on WDET radio

    UDM Law Professor Richard Broughton was interviewed by Detroit Free Press editor Stephen Henderson on October 6 on WDET 101.9-FM's "Detroit Today." The subject was "How We Balance Freedom and Safety in a Pro-Gun Society;"  LISTEN TO SHOW>>


    The legal community came together to celebrate UDM Law's 103rd annual Red Mass on September 29.  Judges, attorneys, civic leaders, faculty, and law students of all faiths filled Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church to pray together at the beginning of the new judicial term. View Red Mass Photos>>  Read More>>



    Professor Alex Vernon represented the Immigration Law Clinic in participating in "Become a Citizen Day" hosted by the Chaldean Community Foundation and the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit on Saturday, September 19, in Sterling Heights. Attorneys and volunteers from these organizations and other firms assisted permanent residents in applying for citizenship. This was part of a nation-wide effort coordinated by organizations including the American Immigration Lawyers Association.



    Four UDM Law students will compete in the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan's 16th Annual National Trial Advocacy Competition in Lansing on October 9-11, 2015. The prosecution team will be led by Scott Ruark and Nina Paolini-Lotarski, and the defense team members are Hannah Treppa and Patrina Bergamo.



    UDM Law will offer new programming this fall to meet the needs of its entrepreneurial-minded students and graduates interested in developing their own law practices. Eight different free workshops have been scheduled for September 23 to November 18 at the School of Law campus, exploring the practical implications of developing a solo or small firm practice, and some will also be available for online viewing. The School was awarded a $30,000 grant from the DeWitt C. Holbrook Memorial Fund to fund and expand its Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program to add these workshops through a new Center for Solo and Small Firm Practice.

    Register for Workshops>>

    Press Release>>


    In the Fall 2015 issue of Conversations, a semi-annual magazine published by the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education, alumnus Allen Elzerman '03 praises UDM Law's commitment to social and criminal justice.  In his article, "On Loan to the Poor," Elzerman discusses how he personifies that commitment through his work as a public defender and how his sense of fulfillment is more important than financial gain.

    On Loan to the Poor, Conversations magazine, Issue 48 - Fall 2015 (written by Allen Elzerman '03)