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UDM Law’s First Million-Dollar Scholarship Gift Honors UDM Alumnus Hon. Lawrence P. Zatkoff

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August 11, 2015

University of Detroit Mercy School of 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, to date.

Hon. Lawrence Paul Zatkoff“This is a transformational gift for the law school that represents a significant long-term commitment to and belief in the excellent education students receive here,” said UDM School of Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker.  “By providing a scholarship for a student to extern or intern with a federal court or state supreme court judge, the Zatkoff scholarship recognizes not only the importance of students gaining practical legal experience while in law school but the extraordinary insights and opportunities a student gains from working with the judiciary,” she said.

Judge Zatkoff graduated from University of Detroit in 1962 and the Detroit College of Law in 1966, while working full time at Chrysler Corporation. He went on to practice law in Detroit and Macomb County. He served briefly as an assistant prosecuting attorney and taught at the Detroit College of Law before beginning his 40-year judicial career.

He began his time on the bench as a Macomb County Circuit Judge and Probate Judge. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed him as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, a position he held for 28 years, first in Detroit and later Port Huron. He served as Chief Judge for seven of those years. He was also an active member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, including a term as the Chairman of the Committee on Judicial Security.

Zatkoff passed away at age 75 in January 2015. The scholarship in his name offers financial support to promising law students at University of Detroit Mercy.

"This extraordinary gift from the Zatkoff family in memory of their uncle, who was an undergraduate alumnus of the University, will financially assist and inspire our School of Law students to follow the distinguished judicial career of Judge Lawrence Paul Zatkoff," said UDM President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. "His life and contributions to the legal profession will be remembered forever as a result of this permanent UDM endowed scholarship."

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be in good academic standings with the School of Law, have completed or be in the process of completing an internship or externship with a federal court judge or state supreme court judge, and submit an essay with the scholarship application exploring the benefits of a post-graduate federal judicial clerkship or state supreme court clerkship.

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