NEWS ARCHIVE

  • Top Intern: Manpreet Gill ’15 Selected for Highly Competitive U.S. Immigration Court Position

    Manpreet ("Moni") Gill '15 recently secured a position as a legal intern at the U.S. Immigration Court in Detroit. The position is a year-long commitment and the selection process is extremely competitive. As a legal intern, Ms. Gill will assist the Immigration Court with research and writing of opinions. It is a highly-prized placement, because it allows students to gain excellent writing skills and also to see the inner workings of a very busy court.

  • UDM Law School Receives $15,000 Project Grant

    University of Detroit Mercy School of Law is one of seven law establishments around the country to receive a $15,000 project grant from The American Bar Association. Grants are given through the Legal Access Job Corps initiative established by ABA President James R. Silkenat and are available to bar associations, courts, law schools or other groups that propose to employ new lawyers in innovative ways to address the legal needs of poor or moderate-income individuals.

  • Arts & Scraps Service Day

    The Community Service Committee held its June Service Day at Arts & Scraps Warehouse in Detroit. Volunteers performed various tasks including packaging sand, cutting fabric into strips for headbands, cut vinyl for art projects and helped the staff load the ScrapMobile.

  • Phyllis L. Crocker Named University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Dean

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    DETROIT, Mich. – February 4, 2014 – The University of Detroit Mercy announces the appointment of Phyllis L. Crocker as the Dean of the School of Law, effective July 1, 2014.

  • UDM Law Service Day with Belle Isle Conservatory

    Hardworking UDM Law staff and students teamed up to volunteer with the Belle Isle Conservatory on May 13, in the second of a series of service projects by the School's Community Service Committee.

  • 2014 Book Awards

    On Wednesday, April 23, UDM Law held its annual Book Awards ceremony. Students who achieved the highest grade in a particular class or provided exceptional service to the UDM Law community received a book and certificate to commemorate their accomplishments. This year's book, The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America, was written by Sarah Barringer Gordon. Prof. Gordon was UDM Law's 2014 McElroy Lecturer. After the Book Awards ceremony, students celebrated with their family and friends at a reception in the atrium.

  • UDM LAW ALUMNI ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT MARK WISNIEWSKI HONORED BY DE LA SALLE

    De La Salle Collegiate High School honors UDM Law Alumni Association President Mark Wisniewski ('90) at its annual Christian Brothers' Dinner on May 1.

  • Neighborhood Clean Up 2014

    UDM Law School's Community Service Committee held its kickoff service project—Neighborhood Cleanup Day on April 24 (photo gallery). More than 30 students, faculty, administrators and staff gathered to beautify the Law School's surrounding neighborhood.

  • UDM LAW RANKED AS A TOP SCHOOL FOR CLINICS BY THE NATIONAL JURIST MAGAZINE

    UDM Law placed #18 in a ranking conducted by The National Jurist magazine of all law schools in the United States offering clinical opportunities for students, as reported in the magazine's sister publication, preLaw. PreLaw Article

  • JILLIAN BERNDT FEATURED AS STUDENT LEADER IN ABA MAGAZINE

    UDM Law 3L Jillian Berndt is featured in the December issue of the American Bar Association Law Student Division's Student Lawyer magazine in the cover story, "Leadership Starts from the Heart." Jillian is praised for her dedication to leadership roles in meaningful extracurricular activities that will give her an edge in a competitive job market. Student Lawyer Article

  • UDM's Clinical Facility named one of the twelve most outstanding projects of 2013 by the Construction Association of Michigan Magazine.

    Read More

  • The Reunion Gala on Nov 9th was a big success.

    Click HERE for pictures of the event.

  • UDM Law Sponsors Veterans Stand Down Macomb

    UDM School of Law's Project SALUTE partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Macomb Community College to sponsor Veterans Stand Down Macomb.

  • Veterans Service Project

    On September 11, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law partnered with the Michigan Veterans Foundation (MVF) and the Ford Volunteer Corps to create a Warrior Garden at MVF in Detroit to feed homeless veterans.

  • UDM Law interim dean sees opportunity on school's doorstep

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  • Markeisha Miner - 2013 "Women in the Law."

    UDM Law is proud to announce that the Assistant Dean of Career Services and Outreach, Markeisha Miner, has been named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a member of the Class of 2013 "Women in the Law." Members of the class are high-achieving women lawyers in Michigan and this is a celebration of their accomplishments.

  • UDM Law Supports Students during July Bar Exam

    UDM Law administrators and professors supported students and alumni throughout their July Bar Exam preparations, from mentoring, to hosting Q & A sessions, right on down to serving them lunch on test days.

  • TROY HARRIS NAMED INTERIM DEAN OF UDM LAW

    University of Detroit Mercy announces that Professor Troy L. Harris, JD, PhD, will serve as Interim Dean for the School of Law effective August 1, 2013.

  • What's The Point of Republicans Supporting Immigration Reform? Competition

    Immigration reform in America is a numbers game. From the estimates of undocumented immigrants in the country to the number of votes needed to pass a bill in each chamber of Congress, to the amount of money the government stands to collect, the numbers matter.

    Read More

  • UDM Law Serves Local Vets

    In recognition of UDM's Jesuit mission of serving others, the Law School's Social Committee sponsored a community service event on June 24th to serve our nation's veterans. Students, faculty and staff gave up their personal time to come together on a hot and sunny summer day to cook and serve lunch to local homeless veterans at the Michigan Veterans Foundation.

    The Michigan Veterans Foundation (MVF) is a non-profit agency whose main project is the Detroit Veterans Center (DVC), a veteran-initiated effort that opened its doors in 1989. As a transitional housing facility and resource center, the DVC provides an opportunity for homeless veterans to learn the skills and gain the confidence needed to break the cycle of homelessness and return to independent living.

  • Metrish v. Lancaster - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

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  • Michigan has stake in U.S. immigration debate with 150,000 undocumented residents

    View the full article Here

  • American Constitution Society Presentation on Infamous Highers Brothers Wrongful Conviction Case

    The Michigan Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society presented a powerful program on wrongful convictions to UDM Law students.

    Thomas Highers, who with his brother, Raymond, spent 25 years in prison for a murder they did not commit, appeared with his attorney, Valerie Newman, to tell the story of their case.  The brothers were released last summer when a Wayne County Circuit Court judge granted them a new trial due to overwhelming evidence of their innocence and mistaken witness identifications.

  • SYMPOSIUM DRAWS A CAPACITY CROWD OF GUESTS AND MEDIA TO LEARN HOW IMMIGRATION ENHANCES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    Relevant, timely, unique, insightful, visionary. This is some of the reaction to UDM's recent Law Review symposium entitled, Global Michigan: Immigration and Economic Growth, which featured Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) as the keynote speaker. U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) also provided his singular perspective as the son of an immigrant, and leading policymakers and distinguished academics drawn from across the U.S. and Canada discussed how Detroit and Michigan could best use immigration as a tool of economic development. 

    Read More about the Symposium

  • UDM IS PROUD OF ITS MOOT COURT NATIONAL TEAMS

    February was a busy month for the upperclass students who are members of the Moot Court Board of Advocates and who are participating in national moot court competitions. The students and their faculty coaches spend a great deal of time preparing for these national competitions.

  • Career Ladder

    The Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Wayne Region held a career panel discussion at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Jan. 30.

    Read More from The Detroit Legal News

  • Immigration reform: Will 'amnesty' produce more illegal immigration?

    Supporters of immigration reform that includes of a path to citizenship say that the US is not as attractive a destination as it once was for illegal immigration.

    Read More from The Christian Science Monitor

  • Effective immigration policy helps U.S. keep global edge, UDM Law professor believes

    Prior to law school, Aimee Guthat had no idea there was such a thing as "immigration law," despite hearing references to green cards and immigration papers.

  • UDM's legal-aid space honors activist, union negotiator George Asher

    Read More from The Detroit Free Press

  • Detroit Mercy law students get unique new digs for clinic training

    Read More from The National Law Journal.

  • Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Clinic PREVENTS VICTIMS OF LAND CONTRACT SCAM FROM FORECLOSURE

    UDM LAW CLINIC SUCCESSFULLY SETS ASIDE ORDER TO TERMINATE LAND CONTRACT INTERESTS FOR EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION AND TO QUIET TITLE

    DETROIT, Mich. – December 17, 2012 – University of Detroit Mercy School of Law's Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Clinic successfully argued a motion today in Wayne County Circuit Court to prevent 70 Wayne County individuals and their families from foreclosure and wrongful eviction.

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Clinic Aids Many Wayne County Homeowners and Their Families

    University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Clinic is set to argue a motion to set aside an order effectively stripping over 70 Wayne County homeowners of ownership interests, leaving them faced with wrongful eviction from their homes. A large number of the affected homeowners are expected to be present for the motion hearing scheduled for Monday, December 17, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at the Wayne County Circuit Court, Rm. #1901.

  • UDM Law Clinics get a New Home

    Click Here to see the video.

  • Law Clinic Center reflects UDM, namesake's legacy

    Read More from Legal News Oakland

    Dec 5, 2012

  • UDM law readies to dedicate new clinic

    Read More from Legal News

    By Steve Thorpe

    Dec 7, 2012

  • UDM Law School clinic hopes to expand reach with new location

    Read More from The Detroit News

    By Candice Williams

    Dec 9, 2012

  • Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament

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    The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Moot Court Board of Advocates held the tenth annual Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament on November 16 – 20, 2012. This internal competition for UDM Law students is named in honor of Ernie Goodman, a celebrated Detroit civil rights attorney.

  • Barbara L McQuade

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    United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade kicked-off the revival meeting of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Federal Bar Association Chapter on November 15, 2012. A large crowd of approximately 75 students came eager to hear about her career and federal practice. Ms. McQuade was introduced by Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Michael Riordan, a 1990 graduate of UDM Law and former President of the FBA. Judge Riordan is also Vice President of the UDM Law Alumni Association.

  • National Moot Court Competition

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    On November 10-11, 2012, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law had the privilege of hosting a regional round for the 63rd annual New York City Bar Association National Moot Court Competition.  

  • Trick or Treat

    UDM Law’s hallowed halls were filled with superheroes, princesses, even a skunk for an evening of trick-or-treating and a Halloween party.  Two student groups, Law Students with Children and Phi Alpha Delta, worked with other student groups and UDM Law’s faculty and administration to offer this fun event to students’ children. 

  • Dean's Advisory Board Meets To Discuss Curriculum

    Sixty esteemed law practitioners from across the country regularly review the School’s curriculum, suggesting areas for improvement or change, giving insight for Law Firm Program courses, and providing new information on the skills that law firms are seeking in markets across the country.  To learn more about the Dean’s Advisory Board, please click here. For pictures of the meeting click here.

  • Blanket Drive 2012

    Help support our homeless veterans. Your generous contribution of $20 or more will supply a homeless veteran with a waterproof blanket and personal care kit. All donations are appreciated and any amount is accepted.

  • CONFERENCE HELPS ATTORNEYS HELP VETERANS

    UDM Law's Project SALUTE hosted its first annual Veterans' Legal Assistance Conference on Thursday, October 25. This half-day conference provided information to volunteer attorneys assisting veterans through Project SALUTE as well as any attorney interested in learning more about issues facing our veterans. For pictures of the event, please click here.

  • Centennial Time Capsule Buried

    In recognition of the UDM Law centennial, the UDM Law community recently came together in a celebration of past accomplishments and a reaffirmation of commitment to serving the community for another 100 years. 

    timecapsuleOn October 1, 2012, the School’s 100th birthday, a stainless steel time capsule was interred on the UDM Law grounds.  The time capsule is intended for exhumation in 50 years. The time capsule contains artifacts that are intended to provide future generations with an in-depth perspective on life in 2012, not only at UDM Law but also in a broader context of regional and international perspectives.

    The time capsule contents were contributed by many individuals and several school departments. Carefully packaged into the watertight container were samples of UDM Law publications along with photos of students and the school, interspersed with newspapers, local restaurant menus, a dollar bill, and an incandescent light bulb. The final item was an “Open Me First” envelope with a letter to our future friends.

    At the time capsule interment ceremony, Dean Semple spoke about the significance of the centennial  and led the group in a toast to our continued success. After the time capsule was lowered into the ground, everyone present had the opportunity to drop a shovel full of dirt on top of the container and then enjoy refreshments while savoring the experience of being a participant in something for the ages.

  • Project SALUTE Veterans Stand Down Macomb

    In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety to Stand Down. At these secure base camp areas, troops were able to get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Today, Stand Down refers to a community-based intervention program designed to provide veterans, and their survivors, with a single point of access to multiple agencies. On September 20, Veterans Stand Down Macomb will bring together a broad range of services including medical, legal and mental health assistance, job counseling, housing referrals and much more. Flyer >>

  • Local Immigrant Sheds Tears Of Joy Over Change In Deportations

    Tears flowed when Caroline Vang Polly of Sterling Heights heard the news today that President Obama would halt deportations of people like her: young, law-abiding, educated, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16.

  • Commencement Photos

    Graduates, you can find the 2012 Commencement ceremony photos here, and the Baccalaureate Mass photos here.

  • 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.

  • Sold! on a good cause

    The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law hosted its 10th Annual Voice for Justice Auction on Saturday, April 14, at the Detroit Golf Club. The theme for this year’s auction was “Celebrating a Decade of Service to the Community” complete with live and silent auctions, cocktails, a strolling supper, desserts, and live entertainment.

  • Urban Farming Symposium

    DETROIT, Mich. – The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law is co-sponsoring with the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan the Second Annual Urban Farming Symposium on Friday, May 18, 2012, from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the School’s Riverfront Campus located at 651 East Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit. 

Effective immigration policy helps U.S. keep global edge, UDM Law professor believes

Prior to law school, Aimee Guthat had no idea there was such a thing as "immigration law," despite hearing references to green cards and immigration papers.

"It didn't seem to be a big deal - how wrong I was," she says. "After surviving first year of law school, I accepted a student law clerk position with a local attorney that practiced immigration law. I thought it would be an interesting way to spend a year and get some exposure to administrative law. Now, more than 15 years later, I'm still practicing immigration law and can't imagine working in any other field."

A senior attorney with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy in Troy, Guthat has taught Immigration Law as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy Law School since 2007, and is involved in the university's innovative Law Firm Program.

"I love to learn and I love the law - and I'm very enthusiastic and passionate about what I do," she says. "The idea of sharing my knowledge and experience with law students seemed like a no-brainer to me. All they had to do was ask and I was in. Also, these students are smart. They challenge me at every turn - which is very invigorating."

The curriculum at UDM Law is specifically designed to give students critical tools for the development of professional legal skills that would normally be gained during the first year of practice, through required participation in clinical programs and the Law Firm Program. The Immigration Clinic, which gives students the opportunity to represent immigrants in a variety of non-employment based matters, is highly regarded in the field and "provides such an important community service to the immigrant as well as unique experience to the student," according to Guthat.

"When UDM added an employment-based immigration law module to the Law Firm Program, I was very excited and honored to be asked to participate."

In the immigration law module, students work through a simulation of how actual cases are processed - how communications are initiated by a client, the information presented, working through the legal analysis to identify issues and develop a strategy and presenting that strategy to the client, and finally working up the actual case.

"In effect, students are seeing just how an employment-based immigration practice works on an everyday basis, the types of issues that arise, and how to effectively deal with these issues and meet client needs," Guthat explains. "It's essentially an inside look, which other students don't get. There's a significant competitive advantage."

When entering the field of immigration law, possession of some level of practical, educational experience is critical to a successful practice.

"The issue of U.S. immigration stirs a great deal of passion in people, whether their view is pro- or anti-immigration," Guthat notes. "Further, this issue is one that's very politicized and immigration-related policies and laws are very much driven by the economy, especially in the employment-based arena. The ability to successfully interpret immigration policy, which tends to change with each administration, is gained only through experience."

The key to the U.S. maintaining its footprint and position as a leader in the global economy, she says, is to have workable immigration laws that allow companies to hire and maintain the best talent, regardless of citizenship or country of origin.

"It's no longer enough to be good at home - we have to be good everywhere. In order for the U.S. to maintain its global edge, we need to be able to retain exceptional talent here - the thinkers, the innovators, the researchers - many of whom are foreign nationals."

According to Guthat, employment-based immigration will continue to be a target among politicians and law makers at both the state and federal level, which will make entry into this field from the ground more challenging than ever.
"A new lawyer must have determination and the desire to make a difference, even if only on a small scale.  Immigration law is a very rewarding area of practice, as your actions have a real impact on not only the potential growth
and success of a U.S. enterprise, but also on the lives of many immigrants seeking better opportunity."

The extensive and complicated set of immigration laws are governed not only by the Department of Homeland Security and its sub agencies - in particular Citizenship & Immigration Services, Customs & Border Protection, and Immigration & Customs Enforcement - but also by the Department of State and the Department of Labor.

"Each agency and sub agency has its own agenda, which may or may not be consistent with the existing rules of another agency involved in the immigration process," Guthat explains. "Immigration laws frequently change - and not just on an insignificant level."

About every decade there is a major overhaul of the immigration code with significant changes dramatically affecting individuals as well as global companies with operations in the U.S.

"The last major piece of employment-based immigration legislation was enacted in 2000, so we are due for reform. However, since then, there have been policy memos and directives from the agencies, which in some cases certainly affect the legal analysis and requirements for certain benefits," she says. "You have to constantly study and keep your finger on the pulse of the economy, political posturing, and agency changes.  Immigration law is very
dynamic, which keeps it very interesting."

Guthat, who received her bachelor's degree in political science and Spanish from Western Michigan University, and her J.D. from the Michigan State University College of Law, joined Fragomen in 2000. She primarily focuses on employment-based immigration and corporate compliance, with clients ranging from small and mid-size companies to large multinational organizations in a variety of industries, including management of major OEMs and product and technology suppliers in the automotive industry.

Guthat enjoys the cultural interaction with people from countries around the world, and learning about customs and behaviors based on different religious beliefs, ethnicity, and traditions.

"I find this to be very enriching as well as helpful in understanding the thought process behind how people approach different situations."

With different approaches between U.S. and foreign entities to very common issues, such as policy development or strategic planning - especially if the foreign company is the controlling entity - clients often look to Guthat for guidance on how to communicate effectively with non-U.S. colleagues.

"There's no question we live in a global economy and the key to a strong U.S. presence in the global marketplace is the ability of U.S. companies to remain competitive," she says. "Collaboration with other corporate figures and colleagues outside of the U.S. is essential, and requires a refined level of sensitivity and understanding of the nuances between our cultures."

Above all, immigration law is about human beings, she notes.

"We live in a great country, with unparalleled freedom and liberty. Many around the world are not so lucky. It's our job to help those looking for a better life for their families to navigate through the very rough waters of legal immigration."

In many cases the legal path to immigration is a very long process, so change in policy and procedure mid-stream is a real risk that may impact eligibility for a particular immigration benefit. Guthat tries to give people hope, and hopes they will see the legal way is the right way.

"Current immigration rules are not very forgiving of violations, and as a result a short-term gain can often negatively impact future life plans, from career development and progression to family separation and loss of residence in the U.S.," she notes.

A favorite case involved a cardiothoracic surgeon with a major university hospital, with a sub specialization in pediatric cardiac surgery, and creator of an innovative, less invasive surgical procedure for treatment of a congenital heart defect in infants and pediatrics patients.

"It's an incredible development for our littlest and most vulnerable patients - and came at the hands of an immigrant," Guthat explains. "The Immigration Service agreed that our client should be granted permanent residence on the basis of his extraordinary achievements and ability in medicine. This person is someone that is truly an asset to the U.S. medical field, and has since gone on to develop cutting edge patient care programs to improve on safety and recovery at two of the leading university hospitals in the country."

Guthat and her husband Peter, both natives of Grosse Pointe, live in Grosse Pointe Farms with sons Joseph, 5, and 8-month-old Matthew. An avid reader, she enjoys skiing, spending time at Pier Park, and serving as chief "land crew" for her husband's sailing adventures.

"This is a very important job, as I'm required to make sure the extra luggage not allowed on board during the race makes it to the finish before the boat. This is especially fun when the finish line is somewhere tropical."

 

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News