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University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

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University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Parent school University of Detroit Mercy
Established 1912
School type Private non-profit
Dean Lloyd A. Semple
Location Detroit, MI, US
Faculty (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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University of Detroit Mercy School of Law is located in Detroit, MI

The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law is the law school of the University of Detroit Mercy and is located in Downtown Detroit, Michigan across from the Renaissance Center. Founded in 1912, UDM Law is a private Roman-Catholic law school and has been ABA-accredited since 1933.[1] The Law School has an annual enrollment of about 550 students and currently has 56 faculty members (34 full-time, 22 part-time and visiting).[2]

UDM Law offers both full-time and part-time programs, both leading to the J.D. degree, as well as a number of dual degrees, such as the J.D./M.B.A. and Dual J.D. programs.[3] In 2009, the Law School admitted about 45 percent of its 1,707 full-time applicants and about 40 percent of its 219 part-time applicants.[4] The Law School's 2009 entering class had a median LSAT of 150 and a median GPA of 3.15 for full-time students and a median LSAT of 147 and a median GPA of 3.17 for part-time students.[5] Currently, UDM Law is ranked as a fourth-tier law school by the U.S. News & World Report.[6]


UDM Law was founded as the University of Detroit Law School in 1912 (the University of Detroit merged with Mercy College of Detroit in 1990 to become the University of Detroit Mercy). It is the oldest and most prestigious private law school in Michigan, and it shares the Jesuit and Mercy tradition of value oriented education.[7] The historic Renaissance-style campus is located between East Jefferson Avenue and East Larned Street just north of I-375 and is within a short walking distance to the Renaissance Center and numerous state and federal government buildings, including the Third Judicial Circuit Court (Wayne County) and the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan among others.

UDM Law has been growing in prominence over the years, maintaining a solid reputation among legal professionals around the Detroit Metro area and in many circles around the country as well.

As of 2010, the current campus building is undergoing major renovations that will add to the law school's prestige and help it to attract a larger number of students from across the nation.

Academics, Publications, and Moot Court

UDM Law maintains a core first-year curriculum that is very similar to most law schools in the United States, consisting of Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, Applied Legal Theory and Analysis (ALTA), and Analytical Tools. Other required courses include Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Federal Income Taxation, and Professional Responsibility.[8]

The Law School's main academic publication is the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, having contributed to the legal scholarship of the state of Michigan and the nation since 1931. Within the last ten years, UDM Law Review articles have been cited in the opinions of the United States Supreme Court, United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, and many state supreme courts (including Michigan).[9]

Moot Court at UDM Law is taken very seriously by both the students and faculty. The School of Law hosts both an internal trial and appellate moot court competition annually known as the G. Mennen Williams Moot Court Competition. The school's Moot Court Team competes nationally and has had much success both at the regional and national level. Below is a list of recent awards the Law School's Moot Court Team has won:[10]

  • 2010: Jessup Super-Regional Semifinalist & 4th-place Best Brief
  • 2010: Gibbons Quarterfinalists
  • 2010/2009: NYCBA Regional Quarterfinalists
  • 2009: Quarterfinalists - The Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition – Intellectual Property
  • 2009: National Champions - National Invitational Appellate Moot Court Competition
  • 2009: Jessup Super-Regional - Finalists, 2nd Place Best Brief, World Round Qualifiers (1st time UDM history)
  • 2008: Champions - Chicago Bar Assoc. Moot Court Competition
  • 2008: National Champions and Runner-Up National Champions - McGee Civil Rights National Moot Court Competition

Notable Alumni

Graduates of UDM Law include over half of Michigan state prosecutors as well as sitting judges on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. The School of Law has also graduated over 120 current judges on various district, municipal and probate courts in Michigan. Alumni have also held major elective offices in the state and local governments of Michigan, including three former mayors of the City of Detroit, two former Michigan Attorney Generals, and a host of other executive positions.[11]

Notable judges from UDM Law:

  • James L. Ryan (Class of 57')- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Thomas A. Carlson (Class of 75')- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Patrick J. Duggan (Class of 58')- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Barbara K. Hackett (Class of 50')- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Paul J. Komives (Class of 58')- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Mona K. Majzoub (Class of 76')- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Paul Maloney (Class of 75')- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • Maura D. Corrigan (Class of 73')- Michigan Supreme Court (retired 2011)
  • Michael F. Cavanagh (Class of 66')- Michigan Supreme Court
  • Brian K. Zahra (Class of 87')- Michigan Supreme Court
  • Alice Robie Resnick (Class of 64')- Ohio Supreme Court (resigned 2007)

See also