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:
International Law
Inter-governmental Cooperation & Federalism
Legal Education & Legal Skills Training


Professor Warren joined the Detroit Mercy Law Faculty in 2000 and recently earned her Master of Laws from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She teaches Comparative Applied Legal Theory and Analysis and Public International Law.  She is currently an executive member of the AALS Section on Law in the Americas (formerly the Section on North American Cooperation) and is the former section chair. She also is a member of the Legal Writing Institute and former 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’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.  She is currently working on a new textbook, International Law in Context, which brings together her expertise in international law and legal education.

Professor Warren began her administrative work at the School in 2005, when she was named Director and then Assistant Dean (2006-09) of Academic Initiatives. Her chief responsibility in this role was to assist the dean in the implementation of Detroit Mercy Law's curriculum, which includes the innovative Law Firm Program and global and clinical requirements. From 2009 to 2014, she served as Curriculum Director for the Canadian & American Dual J.D. Program with the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and then Interim Assistant Dean of International Programs. 

Before coming to Detroit Mercy Law, Professor Warren completed a federal judicial clerkship and litigated at both the trial and appellate levels specializing in employment, civil rights, and tort-reform cases.

Recent Scholarship & Other Works: 

International Law in Context
Forthcoming casebook to be published by Carolina Academic Press in January 2021

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, 2020).

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 Geo. Wash. Int’l. L. Rev. 231 (2019). 

Sanctuary Lost? 
Exposing the Reality of the 'Sanctuary-City' Debate & Liberal States-Rights' Litigation
, 63:2 Wayne L. Rev. 155 (2018).
SSRN Top Ten Download List for September, October, and 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, and November 2016

Achieving the American Bar Association's Pedagogy Mandate: Empowerment in the Midst of a Perfect Storm, 14:1 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 139 (2014).
SSRN Top Ten Download List for September, October, and November 2014 

Client Interview Training: A Reflection on the “Quantum Shift” in Legal Education, Mich.  B.J., Dec. 2017, at 42. 

Andrew Moore, Cara Cunningham & Margaret Costello, The Globalization of Legal Education, Mich. B.J., Nov. 2013, at 40.

The Methodology of Persuasion:  A Process-Based Approach to Legal Writing,
13 Legal Writing: J. Legal Writing Inst. 159 (2007) (co-authored with Michelle Streicher).

Select Presentations:

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

Law in the 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
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)

Avoiding Graft:  Using Underlying Assumptions & Purposeful Teaching to Promote International Student Learning 
Northwestern University School of Law & John Marshall Law School Global Legal Skills Conference X
Chicago, Illinois (2015) 

Exceeding the ABA’s New Accreditation Requirements to Meet the Needs of Current Students and the Communities They Will Serve (roundtable forum) 
Society of American Law Teachers Teaching Conference
Las Vegas, Nevada (2014) 

Meaningful Legal Education Reform:  A Framework to Improve Teaching Effectiveness in the Midst of a “Perfect Storm” 
University of Kansas School of Law, ALWD Scholars’ Forum
Lawrence, Kansas (2013)

Plenary Speaker--Empowerment Teaching:  The Intersection and Impact of Learning Theories in the Classroom 
Marquette University Law School, ALWD Innovative Teaching Workshop
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2013) (Invited speaker)

Empowerment Teaching & Metacognition:  Putting Modern Learning Theories to Work 
American University College of Law, Capital Area Legal Writing Conference
Washington, D.C. (2013)

Courses Taught:

Comparative Legal Writing and Research (1070)

International Law (3200)