Commencement 2017

Commencement 2017

Friday, May 12. For more information please read the FAQ.

STUDY INTERNATIONALLY

STUDY INTERNATIONALLY

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

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 ensures every student the opportunity to represent a client.
  • A unique law firm program that allows students to engage in simulated cases and transactions in specific practice areas.

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

EXPAND YOUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Downtown Detroit location provides proximity to courts and employers
  • Strong Alumni Network dedicated to supporting Detroit Mercy Law graduates
  • Ability to pursue a concentration in Immigration Law or Family Law

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

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Basic Mexican Legal Research

Structure:

Mexico is composed of thirty one "free and sovereign [sic] States" and a federal district that encompasses Mexico City (Avalos, 2000, pp. 4-5). As in the United States, the Mexican federal government consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches (Avalos, 2000, pp. 7-9), although "[t]he legislative branch of the federal government is comprised of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies" (Avalos, 2000, p. 8) instead of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Mexico's judicial system is overseen by the Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nation (Avalos, 2000, p. 9). Similar to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Suprema Corte has "final appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts" (Avalos, 2000, p. 9). At the federal level, Mexico has both circuit and district courts (Avalos, 2000, p. 9). Mexico also has a Tax Court, Labor Court, and Military Court (Avalos, 2000, p. 10).

Under a savings clause in the 1917 Constitution, each of the thirty one states retains the power to enact its own constitution and laws, provided the laws adopted do not contradict the federal Constitution (Zamora, 2004, p.102). But the apparent analogy to the United States government and federalism falls short; Mexican federalism is generally a highly coordinated autonomy with the federal government maintaining de facto ultimate control (Zamora, 2004, p. 103).

Law:

An even more significant difference between the U.S. legal system (Louisiana notwithstanding) and Mexico is that "Mexico is a civil law country" (Olah, 2005, p. 597). But it differs from other civil law countries in that its "roots [] go back to 16th century Spanish law and to Pre-Columbian indigenous law" (Avalos, 2000, p. 1). When the conquistadores conquered Mexico, they imposed a Spanish rule of law, but retained indigenous "laws and legal institutions" that did not conflict with their own legal system (Avalos, 2000,p. 1). Spain also created new laws specific to Mexico (Avalos, 2000, p. 1). Today, however, all Mexican law is derived from the Constitution enacted in 1917, the Constitucion Politica de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Avalos, 2000, p. 3-4).

As a civil law country, Mexico also places a great emphasis on its legislatively created law. Legislative law encompasses statutes (leyes or estatudos) and codes (codigos), and, in some instances, executive branch decrees (Zamora, 2004, p. 81). Statutes consist of regulatory laws and ordinary laws, with regulatory laws controlling in case of conflict (Zamora, 2004, p. 81). Codes are "unitary work[s] that integrate[] all norms of a district branch of law in a systematic, comprehensive, organized, and logical manner" (Zamora, 2004, p. 81). Codes are "definitive and self-sufficient bodies of law" (Zamora, 2004, p. 81). It is assumed that legislative law will be adequate to resolve most issues that arise; therefore, statutes and codes tend to be detailed and lengthy (Avalos, 2000, p. 12).

In Mexico, codes are drafted by legal scholars. Because codes in civil law countries are developed by legal scholars, "the 'authorities' of the civil law tradition were, and continue to be legal scholars, and not judges and lawyers" (Avalos, 2000, p. 12). Accordingly, in countries like Mexico, judges and lawyers look to treatises written by prominent scholars, called doctrina, for authority, just as judges and lawyers in this country look to case law (Avalos, 2000, p. 12). Editorial Porrua publishes a series of "doctrinal treatises by the most prominent legal scholars of Mexico" (Avalos, 2000, p. 15).

Amparo suits (or jucio de amparo) are the most important type of cases heard by federal courts (Avalos, 2000, p. 10). Amparo is unique to the Mexican legal system; there is no equivalent action elsewhere (Avalos, 2000, p. 10). Essentially it is a compellation of multiple common law actions, including the writ of habeas corpus, injunction, error, mandamus, and certiorari (Avalos, 2000, p. 10).

The doctrine of stare decisis does not exist, at least in its United States' form. In Mexico, only the legislature can create new law (Avalos, 2000, p. 12-13). The Suprema Corte and federal courts can, however, "establish formally binding precedent called 'jurisprudencia'...by having five consecutive and consistent decisions on a point of law" (Avalos, 2000, p. 13). Jurisprudencia binds the courts that established it, and lower courts. If a treatise refers to jurisprudencia, it is referring to case law, not the study of law (Avalos, 2000, p. 13).

Researching Mexican Law:

Research on Mexican law begins with a code, or possibly a statute (Avalos, 2000, p. 14). Codes are published by private publishers, primarily Ediciones Andrade and Editorial Porrua (Avalos, 2000, p. 14). And some codes have been translated into English (Avalos, 2000, p.15). Once the proper code is located, scholars must locate the applicable doctrina, or interpretation of the law - the more renowned scholars are published by Editorial Porrua (Avalos, 2000, p. 16). Journals are also a good source for doctrina (Avalos, 2000, p. 16).

Once a researcher has identified the proper codes and doctrine, he or she should search for Suprema Corte jurisprudencia and tesis sobresalientes, important, but not binding decisions (Avalos, 2000, p. 16). Suprema Corte decisions are published in the Semanario Judicial de la Federacion, which is divided into series called Epocas (Avalos, 2000, p. 16-17). "The first four Epocas (1871-1910) are called 'juriprudencia historica'[, and have] no binding force [because] the current Constitution was not [yet adopted]" (Avalos, 2000, p. 17). The Semanario is difficult to use. Therefore, private publishers started publishing decisions "in more accessible formats" (Avalos, 2000, p. 17). Still, many Mexican trained lawyers skip researching jurisprudencia altogether because of its difficulty (Avalos, 2000, p. 18).

Bibliography

  • Avalos, F. (2000). The Mexican Legal System, 2nd Ed. Rothman: Littleton, CO. [KGF150 .A95 2000]
  • Olah, F. (2005-2006). Mexican Civil Code Annotated - Bilingual Edition (book review), Miami Inter-American Law Review, 37, pp. 597-610.
  • Zamora, S., et al. (2004). Mexican Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [KGF327 .Z36 2004]

Other Library Resources

  • Henry S. Dahl, Dahl's law dictionary = Diccionario juridico (Hein, 1992) [K52.S6 D33 1992]
  • John Henry Merryman and Rogelio Perez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America (3rd ed., Stanford University Press, 2007) [K585 .M47 2007]
  • Jorge A. Vargas, Mexican legal dictionary and desk reference (Thompson/West, 2003) [KGF102 .V37 2003]
  • The Federal Civil Code of Mexico (translated by J. Vargas, Thompson/West, 2005) [KGF404.32 .A52 2005]
  • Mexican commercial code annotated (translated by J. Vargas, Thompson/West, 2005) [KGF1054.31889 .V37 2005]
  • Mexican law : a treatise for legal practitioners and international investors (translated by J. Vargas, Thompson/West, 1998), vols. 1-4 [ KGF333.B86 M486 1998]

EVENTS


Book Awards Ceremony & Reception - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Detroit Mercy Law will host its annual Book Awards ceremony on February 28, 2017 at 5:00pm at Ss. Peter & Paul Jesuit Church, followed by a celebratory reception in the atrium. Business attire is required.

The Book Awards celebrate outstanding academic and service achievement. Detroit Mercy Law presents the Book Awards to students who have ranked first in a law school course in the preceding year or who have provided exceptional service to the school. Students on the Dean’s Honor List are also acknowledged.  


McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Our annual McElroy Lecture provides a forum for prominent thinkers and leaders to address fundamental issues of law and religion. This year's lecturer is Intisar A. Rabb, a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. Dr. Rabb also holds an appointment as a Professor of History at Harvard University and as the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The title of Dr. Rabb's Lecture is, "Qāḍī Justice: Islamic Law as Procedure."

The lecture will be held on March 2, 2017, from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in room 226, followed by a complimentary reception in the atrium.

Register Online for McElroy Lecture>>

Event Details>>


Law Review Symposium - Room 226

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 8:30 am

The Law Review will host its annual symposium on March 3, 2017. The symposium will feature legal professionals and scholars from across the country to discuss the American Bar Association's implementation of Standards 314 and 315, which deal with formative assessments in law school classrooms.

For more information click HERE.


Detroit Mercy Law Aspiring Attorneys Workshop (By Invitation Only) - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Friday, March 10, 2017 - 9:00 am

Detroit Mercy Law will host its 1st  Annual Aspiring Attorneys Workshop on Friday, March 10th, 9:00 am - 12:30pm. This program is aimed at introducing high school junior and seniors from select schools in the Detroit Public Schools Community District to the law school and hopefully spark an interest in pursuing a legal career.

 

Students will participate in a mock law school class taught by one of our professors, engage in activities aimed at exploring different areas of the law and career options, tour the law school, and participate in a college readiness workshop. Lunch will be provided.

 

For more information, please contact Eric McCloud, mcclouer@udmercy.edu, (313)-596-0264.

 

This event is sponsored by the Law School Admission Council as part of DiscoverLaw.org Months.


Prof. Patrick A. Keenan Memorial Appellate Advocacy Tournament - Atrium

Friday, March 10, 2017 - 4:00 pm

The Professor Patrick A. Keenan Memorial Appellate Advocacy Tournament for Detroit Mercy Law upperclass students will be held on campus in March. Professor Keenan served on the Detroit Mercy Law faculty from 1976 until he passed away in 2006. He taught numerous courses, including constitutional law, evidence, criminal law, trial practice, torts, and professional responsibility. From humble beginnings as a storefront lawyer, he was always passionate about the law and taught his students the importance of fair representation for people from all walks of life.

The preliminary rounds will be held on March 10 and March 11 and the final round will be on March 15. Alumni are needed to judge the preliminary rounds and may RSVP to the Moot Court Board of Advocates. Questions may be directed to Professor Gary Maveal.


March 11, 2017: Prospective Student Open House - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Saturday, March 11, 2017 - 9:00 am

Find out why men and women have been choosing Detroit Mercy Law for over 100 years for their legal education.  Learn how Detroit Mercy 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.  

To register, email cemccarthy@udmercy.edu with your name L number and number of guests.


Erin Go Law Networking Reception - Atrium

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 5:00 pm

The Board of Directors of the University of Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association invites judges, attorneys, and Detroit Mercy law students to attend its career networking reception, "Erin Go Law," on Thursday, March 16, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the atrium of the School of Law. 

Register Online>>         More Information>>


A Day in the Life of a Detroit Mercy Law Student - Detroit Mercy Law Campus

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 10:00 am

We invite you to experience "A Day in the Life of a Detroit Mercy Law Student" on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

You will meet members of the Detroit Mercy Law faculty, administration and current student and will sit in on a real class. Lunch or dinner will be provided and optional Law School Tours are also available. 

Email Caitlin McCarthy at cemccarthy@udmercy.edu to RSVP. Please include your full name, which section you'll be attending and rank the class preference (of the ones listed within the time slot you chose). 

RSVP by March 15th and you will be notified of your assigned class by March 17th.

Day Section A: 10:00 AM - 1:50 PM

Class options:

  • Estates and Trusts
  • Criminal Law
  • Canadian & US Business Organizations (students interested in Dual JD Program)

 

Day Section B: 12:30 PM - 3:25 PM

Class options:

  • Contracts
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • US Constitutional Law (students interested in Dual JD Program)

 

Evening Section: 4:30 AM - 7:20 PM

Class options: 

  • Contracts
  • Professional Responsibility

BLSA Vegas Night - Pi Banquet Hall

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm

The Detroit Mercy Law Black Law Students Association is hosting its 12th annual Vegas Night on Saturday, March 25, from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. at Pi Banquet Hall in Southfield. Questions regarding the event may be directed to BLSA's President, Alex Green IV.

Event Brochure>>     Event Invitation>>

Sponsorship Form>>     Purchase Tickets>>

NEWS

  • Adjunct Professor Dennis Clark Displays Passion for Giving Back

    Legal News featured Adjunct Professor Dennis Clark and the volunteer work he does in the Detroit community. Clark is a lifelong volunteer at a variety of organizations including City Connect Detroit, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing solutions to problems facing local youth and their families, where he serves as board chair.

    Read the full article here

  • State Bar of Michigan A Lawyer Helps Features Article on Judge Michelle Rick

    The State Bar of Michigan A Lawyer Helps featured an article on Judge Michelle Rick (professor of our Access to Justice course) and her activities as District 7 Director for the National Association of Women Judges.

    The Face of Justice program is a pilot program NAWJ created with the State Bar and Lansing Schools.  The intention of the program is to encourage young women and minorities to see themselves as a face of justice. 

    Read the full article here

  • Professor Alex Vernon Featured on the Cover of Detroit Legal News

    Alex Vernon WED 5942Professor Alex Vernon, Director of our Immigration Law Clinic, was featured on the cover of Thursday’s Detroit Legal News about his work to aid immigrants affected by the recent executive order.


    Read the full article here

  • Dual JD 2L Featured in the Legal News

    Dual JD Program 2L Nashara Peart was featured in the Legal News. “Given the recent change in American government and the extensive media coverage on the results of the change in power, I find it exciting to be studying law at this moment in history”.  Read the full feature here

  • Professor Beydoun and Alum Abed Ayoub were Panelists for a "Teach-In"

    Professor Khaled Beydoun and alumnus Abed Ayoub ('05) of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee were panelists for a "teach-in" hosted by the Harvard Arab Students Association Wednesday. They shared legal advice with Harvard's international students potentially impacted by President Trump's recent travel ban. 

    Read the article here

  • Lunch with a Lawyer Program

    Alumnae Florence Schoenherr-Warnez ('57) and Dana M. Warnez ('96) met with law students yesterday as part of our Lunch with a Lawyer Program. The mother/daughter duo had a strong impact on all of us who attended. They practice together at Schoenherr Cahill & Warnez PC in Center Line.

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