Great Things Newsletter

Law school renovations uplift Riverfront Campus

law renovates riverfront campus

UDM Law Student Services Center.

The UDM School of Law opens many doors to justice—by preparing students for law careers, helping the community at its six pro-bono clinics (seven in the fall), and by instilling the practice of ethics in law. Within its own doors, a major transformation is occurring.

With the completion of the law library renovation and its new bathrooms, additional upgrades are now under way. The third phase of renovation at the historic Dowling Hall began in May. The academic building will be closed during the summer for construction and the law library will remain open. Work during the summer includes:

  • A new Student Service Center will be constructed inside the Larned entrance. A former classroom will be reconfigured and remodeled to provide student support services in a centralized location. This new area will house Admissions, the Registrar, Financial Aid, the Dual JD Program and Student Services.
  • This consolidation will open space for four additional classrooms in former administrative areas on the second and third floors. These include two 16-seat rooms (for classes, seminars and meetings), a 38-seat classroom and a 60-seat classroom. Each will have a smart podium, white board and advanced audio-visual technology.
  • A second-floor classroom (Room 226) will be converted into a multi-purpose classroom with tiered seating in a U-shape area for 100 students. The front of the room will have a smart podium outfitted with new audio-visual technology. The room will be used as a trial practice court room with the addition of flexible seating and judges’ bench. The biggest challenge will be removing support pillars for an unobstructed view.
  • The first-floor hallway will be restored to its original splendor with elegant light fixtures, wall panels, a cove ceiling and new tile floors. The upper two hallways will be brighter with paint, new tile flooring and upgraded lighting.
  • Infrastructure improvements will include renovated restrooms, a new elevator and HVAC system enhancements.
  • A new centralized area will be created on the east side of the first floor with an expanded corridor that links rooms for student groups, such as the bar association, with the bookstore (moved from the lower level), the newly renovated cafeteria, and the lofty atrium.

“Our law students are delighted to use the new classrooms, cafeteria, offices and gathering spaces that have already been renovated,” says School of Law Dean Lloyd Semple. “Being close to downtown Detroit with courtrooms and law offices is a big draw for students and faculty. They are able to learn and study in a vibrant area and can draw upon the resources that are readily available in the city.”

The building’s high ceilings, open spaces and classic charm create a special place for learning in an elegant and functional setting. Fund raising is a vital part of these renovations. To support this phase of construction or learn more, please contact Assistant Dean for Development Ginger Hrtanek at 313-596-0274 or