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
  • Apply Now

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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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


April 1, 2015: Walk-in Wednesday - UDM Law Campus

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Join us for Walk-in Wednesdays. The Admissions Office extends its office hours for students who are interested in learning more about the UDM Law advantage, the application process, and law school in general. No appointment is necessary.


Application and Personal Statement Webinar - Online Webinar

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 6:00 pm

Learn what the UDM Law Admissions Committee is looking for in an application for admission, including the personal statement.

Participants will receive a link to the webinar in their confirmation email.


June 18, 2015: Prospective Student Open House - UDM Law Campus

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 5:00 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.  

NEWS

  • AMER ZAHR JOINS ADJUNCT FACULTY TO TEACH COURSE ON ARAB AMERICANS AND THE LAW

    New adjunct professor Amer Zahr is a keen observer of cultural and political issues with an interesting professional background as an attorney and comedian.  His course will study the journey of Arab-Americans through the legal system, beginning with Arab immigration to the United States in the 19th century to the present.

    Amer Zahr named adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit-Mercy Law School, March 3, 2015, The Arab American News

  • UDM LAW PARTNERS WITH THE JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE/USA TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES FACED BY CHILD MIGRANTS AND THEIR FAMILIES ENTERING THE U.S.

    Detroit Mercy Law has joined with many other Jesuit law schools to forge a partnership with the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA to address the challenges faced by child migrants and their families when they enter the United States.  Law school deans and Immigration Clinic professors met for the first time in January to collaborate on this initiative rooted in the Catholic tradition of welcoming the stranger.  Through this partnership, law students will help advance the legal, social, and cultural protection of migrants and others seeking refuge in the U.S.

    Press Release, Legal, Social, and Cultural Protection of Child Migrants, March 14, 2015

  • UDM LAW ALUMNUS SUZANNE WILHELM NAMED NEW DEAN OF COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE HUETHER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS IN ALBANY

    UDM Law alumnus Suzanne Wilhelm has been named the new Dean of the College of Saint Rose Huether School of Business in Albany, New York, effective July 1, 2015.  Dr. Wilhelm comes to Saint Rose from Fort Lewis College in Colorado, where she has served as Associate Dean and Professor of Law in the School of Business Administration.  In her new capacity, Dr. Wilhelm will oversee the College's business programs leading to bachelor's degrees in business administration, accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, marketing, management and human resource management and master's degrees in business administration and accounting.

    College of Saint Rose Press Release

  • CHARITY DEAN (3L) AND JEFF MATIS ('94) SELECTED AS MICHIGAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM FELLOWS

    UDM Law 3L evening student Charity Dean and alumnus Jeffery Matis ('94) have been selected as Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellows.  The prestigious MPLP was founded in 1992 to expand training opportunities for people of all political backgrounds at every level of public service.

    Ms. Dean is currently the Community Relations Manager for the Detroit Land Bank Authority, and, among her many activities, she is Vice President of the Black Law Students Association.  Mr. Matis is an attorney with Garan Lucow Miller, PC, based in the Troy office.  He was a Councilman for the City of Rochester (November 2007 - January 2011), and he has served as Vice Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners since January 2011.

    Press Release - Michigan Political Leadership Program Welcomes Class of 2015

  • PROFESSOR LACOMBE COMMENTS ON IMMIGRATION REFORMS FOR HIGHLY-SKILLED FOREIGN WORKERS AND THEIR SPOUSES

    The Department of Homeland Security announced recently that it would allow 180,000 spouses of highly-skilled foreign employees to also apply for employment authorizations. After this year, it is estimated that approximately 55,000 spouses annually can do the same.

    According to UDM Law Adjunct Professor Alexandra LaCombe, "The next non-political step in immigration reform to benefit our nation is to quickly reduce the wait time for highly-skilled foreign workers who are employed here, but can’t get permanent residence for sometimes more than 10 years. . . .  Processing permanent status applications faster will make the U.S. more attractive to the workers we want and need to retain, rather than force them to keep eyes on other countries that may offer better options." 

    Professor LaCombe is a managing partner and attorney at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy in Troy and teaches Immigration Law in UDM's innovative Law Firm Program.

    Reducing wait time for STEM workers’ Green Cards is next step in immigration reform, March 4, 2015, Daily Tribune  (by UDM Law Adjunct Professor Alexandra LaCombe)

  • MI STATE BAR FOUNDATION GRANT PROVIDES FOR EXPANSION OF UDM LAW SOLO & SMALL FIRM INCUBATOR PROGRAM TO ADD SERVICES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

    The Michigan State Bar Foundation has awarded University of Detroit Mercy School of Law a $10,000 grant to expand its Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program to include services to senior citizens in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.  The incubator program is designed to provide a supportive environment for select new law graduates who are committed to beginning a solo or small firm practice serving low and moderate-income individuals.  Through this expansion, the incubator attorneys will begin providing free services to seniors, including educating them on their legal rights, self-help assistance with legal matters, and appropriate referral sources.  The incubator program was established in October of 2014 with one of only seven catalyst grants awarded to law establishments across the country from the American Bar Association.