Cara Cunningham Warren

Cara Cunningham Warren

Associate Professor of Law

Cunningham Warren, Cara
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 329
Phone: 313-596-0261
Cunningham Warren, Cara
Areas of Expertise:
Constitutional Law
International Law
Inter-Governmental Cooperation & Federalism
Legal Education & Legal Skills Training


  • LL.M. University of Toronto Faculty of Law ’17
  • J.D. University of Detroit Mercy School of Law ’96
  • B.A. Michigan State University ’93


Cara Cunningham Warren’s scholarship focuses on sovereignty/balance of power and cooperation questions at the international and domestic levels. As of August 2018, she was ranked in the top 10% of all authors on SSRN in terms of total downloads. Professor Warren completed a federal judicial clerkship with the Honorable Virginia M. Morgan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She then litigated at both the trial and appellate levels specializing in employment, civil rights, and tort-reform cases. 

Professor Warren joined the Detroit Mercy Law faculty in 2000. She teaches in the Canadian and American Dual JD program and has served in a variety of administrative roles, including Assistant Dean of Academic Initiatives and Interim Assistant Dean of International Programs. Professor Warren is currently an executive member of the AALS Section on Law in the Americas and is the former Section chair. She also is co-chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research's Programs Committee. In addition, she is an active member of the Legal Writing Institute and was co-chair of its Global Legal Writing Skills Committee, which was awarded during her tenure the Global Legal Skills Award for Outstanding Programming in Support of Global Legal Skills Education. 

Professor Warren loves history. She and her husband spent their honeymoon at the Library of Congress researching a family member's service as a Union soldier in the American Civil War. 


    Courses Taught

    Comparative Legal Writing and Research (1070)

    International Law (3200)


    Selected Publications

    International Law in Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2022)

    Cultivating the International Criminal Court’s Legitimacy and Use of Constructivism to Prepare for Head-of-State Aggression Prosecutions, in The Past, Present, and Future of the International Criminal Court (International Nuremberg Principles Academy 2021). 

    ‘Outing’ Otherization: A Means to Enable Cooperation in a Post-Truth Era, 58:3 Washburn L. J. 609 (2019). 

     Prosecuting the Crime of Aggression as a Complement: A Framework to Promote the ICC’s Legitimacy in the Context of Head-of-State Prosecutions, 51:2 Geo. Wash. Int’l. L. Rev. 231 (2019). 

    Sanctuary Lost?  Exposing the Reality of the “Sanctuary-City” Debate and Liberal States-Rights’ Litigation 63:2 Wayne L. Rev. 155 (2018). SSRN Top Ten Download List for September, October & November 2017 

    An American Reset—Safe Water & a Workable Model of Federalism 27 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol’y F. 51 (2016). SSRN Top Ten Download List for September, October & November 2016 


    Selected Presentations

    Cultural Competency as a Core Lawyering “Skill” Developing an Inclusive and Culturally Proficient Community Using ‘Communities of Practice’  University of Michigan Law School, Association of Legal Writing Directors Annual Conference Ann Arbor, Michigan (2021) 

    American Federalism & The Pandemic: Saving Our Saving Grace  Constitution Day Panel, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Detroit, Michigan (2020) 

    Pedagogy Hallmarks in a 21st Century Casebook  Institute for Law Teaching & Learning Writers’ Workshop  Topeka, Kansas (2019) 

    Cooperation in a Post-Truth Era Washburn University School of Law, Washburn Law Journal Symposium  Topeka, Kansas (2018) 

    Cultural Competency as a Core Lawyering “Skill”  Marquette University Law School, Legal Writing Institute’s Biennial Conference Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2018) 

    Head-of-State Prosecutions in the International Criminal Court: A Framework to Promote International Justice University of Richmond School of Law, Mid-Atlantic Junior Faculty Forum Richmond, Virginia (2018) 

    Sanctuary Lost?  Evaluating the Consequences of Liberal States’ Rights Legal Writing Institute Writers’ Workshop Washington, D.C. (2017) 

    What U.S. Law Professors Should Know About Legal Research in Canada and Mexico –  It's Not Just NAFTA Anymore Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference San Francisco, California (2017)  

    An American Reset:  Safe Water & a Workable Model of Federalism Washburn University School of Law, Junior Legal Writing Scholars Workshop Topeka, Kansas (2016)