UDM Law announces tuition freeze for 2015-16

UDM Law announces tuition freeze for 2015-16

  • UDM Board of Trustees approves tuition freeze for all current and incoming Law students
  • Press Release
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MCELROY LECTURE ON LAW AND RELIGION

MCELROY LECTURE ON LAW AND RELIGION

Nelson Tebbe will present the annual McElroy Lecture on March 4 at 5:00 pm. See Events Below

HANDS-ON LEARNING FROM DAY ONE

HANDS-ON LEARNING FROM DAY ONE

  • * 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.

DEDICATED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

DEDICATED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • * 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

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • * 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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Ever youthful Law professors share their interest in juvenile justice

Husband and wife attorneys, Bill Ladd and Jennifer Pilette recently were honored with the Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award at UDM School of Law.

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Jennifer Pilette has devoted her law career to helping youngsters -- and shares that expertise as an adjunct professor at Wayne Law, Cooley Law, and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where she and her husband, attorney Bill Ladd, recently were honored with the 2012 UDM Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award.

"I was drawn to juvenile law because I wanted to serve an indigent community and few are more indigent than children," she says. "There's a great need for committed and effective counsel for indigent children and adults. By teaching law school I hope I can convey this to another generation of young lawyers."

Pilette first got interested in the law as a student at Detroit's Cass Tech in the 1970s. As part of a class assignment, she observed a court case in the Wayne County Circuit Court - and set her sights on law school as early as her junior year of high school.

"Even as a high school student I knew I wanted to do that -- to be a lawyer for people who had little to no voice in the community," she says.

After graduating in 1976, Phi Beta Kappa, in Classical Civilization and History from Wayne State University, she earned her JD from Wayne Law three years later. She spent several years with Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services and then the Juvenile Defender Office, practicing various aspects of poverty law.

While waiting for her bar results in 1979, she clerked for the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office in Detroit and knew she had found her passion in criminal defense. She later became a senior staff attorney and worked there for almost 15 years.

"I enjoyed every day of my work at SADO," she says. "It was and remains an office of committed individuals dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of indigent criminal defendants. Had I not been appointed to the juvenile referee bench in 1999 I'm sure I would have remained in that position for more years without regret."

Presiding over cases in the juvenile section of the family division of the Wayne County Circuit Court is a very "grassroots" judging experience, she says.

"The juvenile court deals with the most basic issues in people's lives - can they care for their children and themselves? The issues range from poverty to substance abuse to mental illness. The delinquency aspects deal with the needs of children in the school and their supervision in the home and the community. Many times there are no good answers to these problems - it's both challenging and rewarding to assist members of the community on these levels.

"I find it equally fulfilling to assist law students in finding a career path that hopefully involves assisting those less fortunate than themselves," Pilette says.

Pilette has served as a member of the Court Improvement Committee's Education Committee; and was appointed by the Michigan State Court Administrative Office to serve on its Advisory Committee on the Lawyer/Guardian ad Litem Protocol and on the Attorney Training Task Force for lawyers practicing in the area of abuse and neglect.

She also is a contributing editor for Benchbooks published by the Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI) and has been a faculty member for MJI's annual referee training program. A frequent speaker and trainer on behalf of the court, she has an extensive history of training attorneys nationally and locally.

A local, statewide and national speaker in the area of juvenile neglect and delinquency law, Pilette has served on the Wayne County ACLU Board, is the two-term past chair of the Children's Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and currently serves on the federal Court Improvement Program Statewide Task Force of the Michigan Supreme Court.

A life-long resident of Detroit until 2004, Pilette and her husband now call Ann Arbor home. The couple met when she was a law clerk at SADO and remained friends but it was not until Pilette was appointed to the Juvenile Court that the two dated and married. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading, art, travel, gardening, and spending time with family, which includes four children, ages 27 to 39, from her first marriage and 10 grandchildren.

Attorney Bill Ladd landed in a career in juvenile law quite by chance -- but finding it to be interesting and rewarding, he has been a strong and outspoken voice for youngsters ever since.

"I found the kids I represented to be both entertaining and charming -- sometimes not at the same time!" he says. "Representing kids has always been interesting to me and they are clearly one of our most disenfranchised groups. I've always felt that representing the interests of kids is the best way to get adult institutions to be more sensitive to the least powerful."

Ladd guides the next generation of attorneys to take up the torch, by teaching as an adjunct professor at Cooley Law School and at his alma mater, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where he teams with Professor Deb Paruch in the UDM Juvenile Appellate Practice Clinic, launched last fall. Students represent children in appeals from decisions of the Juvenile Division of the Wayne County Family Court in cases involving parental rights terminations and juvenile delinquency.

"Having the opportunity to teach law school gives me the chance to interact with young aspiring lawyers and to give them a more practice-based and real-world view of the practice of law," Ladd says. "I hope it gives them a dose of realism and context for what they are doing in law school and how working with kids can be a rewarding career choice."

Ladd, who has also taught at Wayne Law, received the UDM Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award in April, sharing the honor with his wife and fellow UDM adjunct professor, Juvenile Court referee Jennifer Pilette.

Ladd earned a bachelor's degree in history from Swarthmore College -- an interest fueled by his favorite aunt who was a high school history teacher - and his JD from the University of Detroit.

"Law seemed to follow logically from both my interest in history and my interests in social justice," he says.

His first job was as a research attorney with the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office in Detroit, representing indigent defendants.

"I learned how to analyze legal issues and to write legal briefs," he says. "SADO was and is one of the best places in the country to learn how to be an effective and zealous advocate of the disenfranchised. At the same time it was also a very supportive place to work."

He then moved to the Juvenile Defender Office -- later named the Juvenile Division of the Legal Aid and Defender Association (LADA) -- where he learned to be an effective advocate for abused and neglected youngsters and delinquent children, sometimes in federal courts but primarily in the Wayne County Circuit Court, Family Division, Juvenile Section.

"I had the luxury of continuing to do appellate work where it was appropriate in representing my clients," he says. "For much of my time at LADA I was fortunate to work in an organization that was committed to representing children in an aggressive yet caring manner and in supporting me as an attorney."

He was a member of the Wayne County AWOL Task Force, developing alternative strategies for neglected court wards that leave their placements; and was a member of the Wayne County Workgroup on the Representation of Children. He was appointed by the Michigan State Court Administrator's Office to serve on its Advisory Group on Evaluation of the Representation of Children in Child Protective Proceedings, and Advisory Committee on the Lawyer/Guardian ad Litem Protocol.

For the past two years, Ladd has been an appellate and juvenile trial attorney with the Michigan Children's Law Center in Southgate. A nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation that teams with social workers, doctors, psychologists, school personnel and other professionals, MCLC provides legal services to children in trial and appellate courts, advocates for the safety and wellbeing of children in the courts and through other programs and services, and represents children who have been neglected or abused or charged with delinquent behavior.

Ladd, appellate counsel in several notable Michigan appellate cases including, In re Ricks, In re EP, In re AMB, recently argued In re Mays in the Michigan Supreme Court. He is a frequent author and lecturer, and co-author of the chapter on juvenile delinquency in "Michigan Family Law" (6th ed) from the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

A past president of the Children's Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and recipient of their 2003 "Child Advocate of the Year" award, Ladd has also been nationally honored by the non-profit organization, Children's Rights and is a "next friend" in the ongoing federal class action, Snyder v Duane B.

"I received the award as a result of my efforts to represent my clients as their next friend in the federal lawsuit brought against Michigan's child welfare system," he says. "I had made efforts to represent the interests of my individual clients who were named plaintiffs in the federal suit and I had also provided general input to the lawyers at Children's Rights regarding more general aspects of the system here in Michigan."

Ladd received Child Welfare Law Certification through the National Association of Counsel for Children, which launched the certification program to recognize the importance of this specialized area of the law.

"The process of preparing for the certification test gave me a chance to broaden my knowledge of this area of the law and to gain some national recognition for specializing in this area of the law for so long," he says.

http://www.legalnews.com/detroit/1326203/

EVENTS


March 4, 2015 - McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion - UDM Law Campus

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 5:00 pm

Our annual McElroy Lecture provides a forum for prominent thinkers and leaders to address fundamental issues of law, religion, and society.  It seeks to educate students, legal professionals, and the public on a variety of questions related to moral philosophy, freedom of conscience, the interaction of legal and religious institutions, and the role of religion in public life.  Its goal is to encourage discussion of these issues in our community and deepen our understanding of them.  This year's lecturer is Professor Nelson Tebbe of Brooklyn Law School.  His topic is "Religion and Social Coherentism: A Progressive Theory of Religious Freedom."  The lecture will be held on Wednesday, March 4, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Room 226 of the School of Law, followed by a complimentary reception in the atrium. Complimentary parking will be available in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI parking garage nearby at 611 Congress Street. Additional details may be found in the Event Flyer.

2015 McElroy Lecture Press Release

Register for Lecture Online


March 14, 2015 - Prospective Student Open House - UDM Law Campus

Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 9:15 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.  

NEWS

  • DUAL JD STUDENT CHRISTOPHER MACAULAY TAKES TOP HONORS IN NIAGARA INTERNATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION

    Dual JD student Christopher Macaulay competed in the 2015 Niagara International Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., as a member of the University of Windsor team.  The team placed first overall in the competition, Christopher won Fourth Best Advocate, and the team won awards for Best Team Applicant Argument Runner-Up and Best Team Applicant Memorial (tied for first place).  The problem dealt with immigration, human rights, and Great Lakes environmental law issues.

  • PROFESSOR BROUGHTON TO PRESENT AT SYMPOSIUM ON THE DEATH PENALTY DEBATE IN THE UNITED STATES

    Professor J. Richard Broughton will present at a symposium hosted by the Journal of Public Law and Policy at Hamline University School of Law in Saint Paul, MN, on March 27 entitled, “The Death Penalty Debate in America:  Effectiveness, Fairness, Constitutionality, and Other Considerations.”  This symposium will gather scholars, policy makers, activists, and community members to discuss capital punishment in America both at the state and federal level.  Professor Broughton will discuss various constitutional and policy arguments in favor of capital punishment.

  • UDM SCHOOL OF LAW ANNOUNCES TUITION FREEZE FOR 2015 – 16

    UDM Law will freeze tuition for all current and incoming students for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. "At UDM Law, we are committed to the success of each student," said UDM School of Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker. "Our hope is that freezing tuition at current levels will relieve some of the financial burden on our students."

    Eyad Fakhoury, a third-year law student and President of the Student Bar Association, commented on the School's announcement: "A tuition freeze is a step in the right direction and is very important to UDM Law students because it alleviates one of our many concerns and stresses of law school. It is essential for our students to plan ahead with budgets, and this tuition freeze makes our legal education more affordable and predictable. This freeze shows UDM Law's focus on the lowest cost, highest value education."

    Press Release

  • PROFESSOR BROUGHTON COMMENTS IN LAW360 ON ALABAMA CHIEF JUSTICE'S STAND AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

    On February 9, Professor J. Richard Broughton commented in Law360, a national legal news service, on Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore's decision to order local probate judges to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to stay the unions.

    Ala. Chief Justice Risking Seat With Same-Sex Marriage Stand, Feb. 9, 2015, Law360

  • UDM Law Warming Center Clinic on Tenant Rights

    Thirteen UDM first-year law students assisted attorneys from Legal Aid and Defender Association, Neighborhood Legal Services, and Detroit Center for Family Advocacy at a Clinic UDM Law hosted at Ss. Peter & Paul Jesuit Warming Center on January 15.  The students and attorneys provided information and individual consultations to 35 guests on housing related matters.  Additionally, Sydney Booth ('14), a participant in UDM's Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program, introduced her newly formed law firm, Rushing Law, and conducted a short presentation on Criminal Expungement.  

    >>

  • PROFESSOR DUBIN COMMENTS ON HIGH PROFILE CASES IN THE NEWS

    Professor Larry Dubin recently commented in The Detroit News on two high profile federal cases.  First, he discussed the DeBoer case, which challenges Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on January 16 that it would accept the case.  Professor Dubin stated in part, "Public opinion has shifted greatly, making this an issue that needs to be resolved due to the conflicting federal law that now exists."

    On January 23 and 25, Professor Dubin discussed the Kazan case, in which a Muslim woman filed suit against the City of Dearborn Heights and its police department, alleging that her constitutional rights were violated when she was forced to remove her hijab when she was booked by a male officer for a traffic violation.  Professor Dubin noted that the case involves conflicting rights:  "Ms. Kazan is entitled under the First Amendment protection of her religious beliefs including the wearing of a hijab, which may cover part of her face.  However, the police have the right to process a person who is being arrested."

    Justices to rule on same-sex marriage, Jan. 16, 2015, The Detroit News (quoting Prof. Lawrence Dubin)

    Woman sues Dearborn Heights for forced hijab removal, Jan. 23, 2015, The Detroit News (quoting Prof. Lawrence Dubin)

    Meet the Women Suing a Michigan Police Department and Standing Up Against Islamophobia, Jan. 25, 2015, Mic Network (quoting Prof. Lawrence Dubin)