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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Alumni Award

Justice Brian Zahra

Justice Brian K. Zahra was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court on January 14, 2011, by Governor Rick Snyder.  Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, he served 12 years on the Michigan Court of Appeals and 4 years on the Wayne County Circuit Court.

Justice Zahra received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Wayne State University.  To finance his education, he opened and operated a small health and personal care retail store in downtown Detroit, later opening a grocery outlet, also in Detroit, with two partners.  In 1987, he graduated with honors from the University of Detroit School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review.  While in law school, he also served as Articles Editor of the State Bar of Michigan's Corporation and Finance Business Law Journal.  He then served as law clerk to Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for two years before joining the law firm of Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman in 1989.  In 1994, Governor John Engler appointed him to the Wayne County Circuit Court.  He was elected to a six-year term in 1996 and continued to serve on the Circuit Court until December of 1998, when he was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals by Governor Engler.  He was elected to six-year terms on the Court of Appeals in 2000 and 2006.  From December 2005 to January 2007, he served as the Court of Appeals' Chief Judge Pro Tem.

Justice Zahra has taught evidence as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.  He has served on many professional and legislative committees, including the Michigan Civil Jury Instructions Committee, the Circuit Court Appellate Rules Committee, the Domestic Violence Legislation Implementation Task Force, and the advisory committee for the Michigan Judicial Institute Domestic Violence Benchbook.  He has also served on the Michigan Board of Law Examiners, which drafts and grades the examination that law school graduates must pass in order to become licensed attorneys.

Justice Zahra has been active in many civic and charitable organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Kiwanis Club International, Leadership Detroit, the Knights of Columbus, the Novi Youth Hockey Association, the Maltese American Community Club, and the Maltese American Benevolent Society, of which he is a past officer.  He is a former board member and officer of the Catholic Lawyers Society, and he is a member of the Federalist Society, having served as secretary and vice-president of the Michigan chapter.

Justice Zahra frequently attends School of Law events and is quick to respond to requests for his assistance by the administration, faculty, and student organizations.

 

ALUMNI Award Criteria

Spirit of UDM:  Alumni Achievement Award

On April 11, 2014, University of Detroit Mercy hosted the inaugural University-wide celebration, Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Awards.  The new event honored distinguished alumni with an Alumni Achievement Award.  The 2014 award recipient on behalf of the School of Law is Brian K. Zahra ('87), Justice, Michigan Supreme Court.  At the School of Law's Reunion on November 15, 2014, we will recognize Justice Zahra as the recipient of this tremendous honor.

The Spirit of UDM Alumni Achievement Award was established to recognize distinguished graduates, from the University's colleges and schools, who have excelled in their chosen profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in their work, and benefitted the wider community through their support.  Award recipients reflect the University's mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater.

 

This award is what we previously called the Law Alumnus of the Year Award.  Previous recipients of that award are:

1985  Hon. James H. Brickley ('54)

1985  Nathan B. Goodnow ('30)

1985  Frank J. Kelley ('51)

1986  Donald H. Mitzel ('51)

1986  Hon. James L. Ryan ('57)

1987  Hon. Thomas G. Kavanagh ('43)

1988  Hon. George R. Deneweth ('42)

1989  John A. Kruse ('52)

1990  William L. Cahalan ('51)

1991  William D. Gilbride, Sr. ('50)

1992  James A. Courter ('61)

1993  Hon. Michael F. Cavanagh ('66)

1994  Hon. Joseph A. Sullivan ('48)

1995  Hon. Alice R. Resnick ('64)

1996  Hon. Louis F. Simmons, Jr. ('56)

1997  William D. Booth ('62)

1998  Thomas C. Mayer ('55)

1999  Charles R. Rutherford ('57)

2000  Hon. Roman S. Gribbs ('54)

2001  Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr. ('67)

2002  Hon. Peter E. Deegan ('66)

2003  Edmund M. Brady, Jr. ('66)

2004  Hon. Maura D. Corrigan ('73)

2005  L. Brooks Patterson ('67)

2006  Frederick W. Lauck ('69)

2007  Denise Ilitch ('80)

2008  Hon. Patrick J. Duggan ('58)

2009  Lawrence G. Campbell ('69)

2010  Joseph V. Walker ('72)

2011  Robert A. Ficano ('77)

2012  Hon. Michael J. Talbot ('71)

2013  Judiciary Honored

 

The 2014 Spirit of UDM:  Alumni Achievement Award honorees on behalf of the other schools and colleges of the University are:

School of Architecture – Philip Kinsella '58, Architect and Managing Principal, KRJDA, LLC Architects

College of Business Administration – Emil Brolick '69, '72, President & CEO, The Wendy's Company

School of Dentistry – John DiBiaggio, D.D.S. '58, Former President of Tufts University, Michigan State University and University of Connecticut

College of Engineering & Science – William C. Young '64, CEO, Absopure Water Co. and Plastipak Holdings

College of Health Professions – Nancy Susick MSN, RN '86, Senior Vice President, Beaumont Health System and President, Beaumont Hospital, Troy

College of Liberal Arts & Education – Frederick M. Seibert '70, '73, Owner & President, Preece, Inc.

EVENTS


Red Mass - UDM Law Campus

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 12:00 pm

UDM's 103rd Annual Red Mass and Renewal of the Lawyer's Oath of Commitment will be held at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church beginning at 12:00 p.m., followed by a complimentary luncheon in the atrium of the School of Law.  Red Mass is an occasion for judges, lawyers, civic leaders, faculty, staff, and law students of all faiths to pray together at the beginning of the new judicial term, asking God to bless, strengthen, and enlighten us, so that in cooperation and mutual trust we may effectively achieve justice for all.

The Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., Ph.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, will celebrate the Mass.  Hon. Patrick J. Duggan ('58) of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan will lead the Renewal of the Lawyer's Oath of Commitment.

Red Mass Details>>


Reception at the State Bar of MI Annual Meeting in Novi - State Bar of Michigan

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 4:30 pm

Dean Phyllis L. Crocker will host a cocktail reception for UDM Law alumni, State Bar dignitaries, and members of the judiciary at the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Michigan at the Suburban Collection in Novi on Thursday, October 8, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.  She will make remarks at 5:15 p.m.


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 selection of Hon. Anthony J. Fiorella, Jr. as UDM's 2015 Alumni 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 will be posted soon.

NEWS

  • ALUMNUS ALLEN ELZERMAN '03 PERSONIFIES OUR COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

    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)

  • UDM LAW'S FIRST MILLION-DOLLAR SCHOLARSHIP GIFT HONORS UDM ALUMNUS HON. LAWRENCE P. ZATKOFF

    UDM Law is pleased to announce the founding of the Hon. Lawrence Paul Zatkoff Endowed Scholarship, made possible by the Zatkoff family, in memory of the late judge.  This gift is the first million-dollar scholarship the law school has ever received.  The scholarship provides support for a student to extern or intern with a federal court or state supreme court judge.

    Press Release>>

  • NEW CENTER FOR SOLO AND SMALL FIRM PRACTICE WILL PROVIDE TOOLS FOR SUCCESS TO LEGAL ENTREPRENEURS

    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.  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 workshops through a new Center for Solo and Small Firm Practice.

    Press Release>>

  • FORMER CONGRESSMAN BRINGS NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTISE TO UDM LAW

    Former U.S. Congressman Hansen Clarke, who served on the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, will teach National Security Law this term.  The course will address cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy, export controls and economic sanctions, and other contemporary security issues.  National security law has been one of the fastest growing fields of law since the 9/11 attacks, and there is a strong demand for lawyers trained in this area.

  • PROFESSORS BELIAN AND HAND SPEAK OVERSEAS THIS SUMMER

    Professors Julia Belian and Jacqueline Hand are presenting at international conferences this summer. Professor Belian will speak at the Oxford Symposium on History, Human Rights & Law August 10 - 12 at Pembroke College, Oxford University.  Her presentation is titled, "Fundamental Rights or Activist Judges?  A Rhetorical Comparison of Obergefell v. Hodges with Brown v. Board of Education."

    Professor Hand spoke at conferences in Poland and Finland in June.  She participated in a workshop June 15 - 19 on "Phoenix Cities: Urban Recovery and Resilience in the Wake of Conflict, Crisis and Disaster," at the Georgia State Law School Study Space in Warsaw, Poland.  She also presented on "The U.S. Government-to-Government Relation with Indian Tribes and the Possible Insights it Provides for Relations with the Sami People," at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, in Rovaniemi, Finland.

  • PROFESSOR KRISCIUNAS DISCUSSES PROSECUTORS' INVESTIGATION OF POLICE SHOOTING

    Professor Richard Krisciunas discussed the ongoing independent investigation by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office of the shooting death of Terrance Kellom by a federal agent in Detroit.

    Family of Kellom Awaits Probe of Fatal Police Shooting, Detroit Free Press, July 29, 2015 (quoting Professor Richard Krisciunas)