Great Things Newsletter

Law School students start fall semester in style

UDM Law students are enjoying an uplifting environment as they study, learn and meet with others in historic Dowling Hall, which completed a multi-phase renovation this summer.

Law Student Service Center

The new Student Service Center provides a variety of services to students in an accessible, centralized location.

Law Stairway Renovated

The restored main stairway receives heavy usage by students.

Law Hall Renovation

Renovated hallways received new wainscoting, paint and light fixtures.

The work entailed classroom renovations, a Students Services Center, redesigned administrative offices and a student organization space and lounge, as well as many infrastructure improvements.

The building’s interior facelift included hallway wainscoting, restored woodwork on the main stairway and a new cove ceiling on the first floor, as well as new flooring, paint and light fixtures on all three levels. As part of the classroom renovations, Room 226 was converted into a multi-purpose classroom that contains a judge’s bench, seating for 100 students and visitors, and a smart podium with advanced audio-visual technology. Mock trial proceedings will be conducted there.

The new Student Service Center inside the Larned entrance brings together offices for Admissions, the Registrar, Financial Aid, the Dual J.D. Program and Student Services. On the second floor, the dean’s suite anchors another consolidated office area. Reconfiguring the administrative offices created four additional classrooms. During an earlier phase of the renovation, the cafeteria, bookstore and student group offices were combined on the first floor.

These renovations, which were made possible with generous donor support, will provide students more convenient access to services and a more conducive learning environment for their studies.

Next phase: clinic renovations

As one of only a few law schools in the country with an integrated clinical program, UDM School of Law clinics serve a dual need: experience for law students and service to the community. There are eight legal clinics, which cover immigration law, urban law, mediation, veterans law, veterans appellate, state appellate defender’s office, criminal trial law, and mortgage foreclosure. A ninth clinic for youth offenders is opening in spring 2012. (A Mobile Law Office also provides client services through a van at local community sites.)

Students in the Urban Law Clinic represent indigent senior clients in a variety of legal matters, including drafting wills and powers of attorney, working on consumer issues, filing disability claims with Social Security and advising clients on health care legalities.

With a growing need for services, it is critical to provide ample, professional space for these clinics, which are currently housed in the former rectory of Saints Peter and Paul Church, adjacent to Dowling Hall. The University plans to renovate space for these growing clinical programs, keeping them close to Dowling Hall.

A foundation grant and private gifts have been secured to start the project, yet additional gifts are needed from law school alumni and supporters, corporate supporters and foundations to complete the clinic renovations.

For more information on the clinic renovations, please contact Ginger Hrtanek, assistant dean for Development, School of Law at 313-596-0274 or hrtaneva@udmercy.edu.