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Julia Belian

Associate Professor of Law

Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 333
Phone: (313) 596-0225
Areas of Expertise:
Age Discrimination (Law)
Elderly Guardianship
Elderly Health Care
Elderly Income Planning
Real Property / Estates and Trusts
Rights of the Elderly
Right to Die
Social Security


  • J.D. Emory University '96
  • M.Div. Yale University '93
  • B.A. Southwestern University '80


Associate Professor Julia Belian, although less than a century old herself, finds deep satisfaction in learning and teaching the ancient roots and contemporary twists of Property Law and Estates & Trusts, which are also her primary areas of scholarship.  Before joining Detroit Mercy Law in the fall of 2008, Belian served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2006-2008, where she was given the Tiera Farrow Faculty Award by the Association of Women Law Students and was also named Most Outstanding Professor by the Graduating Class of 2008.  From 2002 to 2006, Belian was on the faculty at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska.  

Belian’s higher education began in her native Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy cum laude in 1980 from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.  She worked  as an editor at a mid-sized daily newspaper for nearly ten years before earning a Master of Divinity degree at Yale University in 1993 and her J.D., with distinction, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996.  At Emory, Belian served as Editor-in-Chief of the Emory International Law Review, received the Clark Boardman Callaghan Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Law School, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.  She has practiced in both Minnesota (Faegre & Benson, LLP) and California (Morrison & Foerster, LLP), with most of her experience in the fields of estate planning and exempt organization law.

Selected Publications:

Law on the Front Lines: Pushing the Boundaries of "Marriage," St. John's Law School, J. Civil Rights & Ec. Dev. (Fall 2012).

Saving Us From Ourselves:  Reforming the Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty, review of Melanie B. Leslie, The Wisdom of Crowds? Groupthink and Nonprofit Governance, on Jotwell: Trusts & Estates, available at (March 30, 2010).

State Implementation of the Optional Provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act, 9 MARQUETTE ELDER’S ADVISOR 63 (2007).

Simon Ockley, in Eighteenth-Century British Historians,336 DICTIONARY OF LITERARY BIOGRAPHY (E.J. Jenkins, ed., Gale Press 2007).

ELDER LAW: READINGS, CASES, AND MATERIALS (3d ed., Lexis-Nexis 2007).  With A. Kimberley Dayton and Molly Wood.

ELDER LAW: STATUTES AND REGULATIONS (3d ed., Lexis-Nexis 2007).  With Dayton and Wood.


Property (1120)

Estates & Trusts (2130)

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