Deborah  Paruch

Professor of Law

Paruch, Deborah
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 227
Phone: (313) 596-0204
Paruch, Deborah
Areas of Expertise:
Child Custody (Foster Children)
Juvenile Justice


  • J.D., summa cum laude, University of Detroit '92
  • M.B.A. University of Detroit '77
  • B.A. University of Detroit '74


Professor Deborah Paruch is a Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.  She received her B.A. in Psychology, an M.B.A., and a J.D. (summa cum laude), from the University of Detroit. Prior to law school, Professor Paruch practiced as a C.P.A. in Michigan for Ernst and Young, and as the manager of the tax department for a small C.P.A. firm in Texas.  She also spent 5 years on the faculty of the School of Business Administration at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan where she taught financial accounting and tax in the undergraduate and M.B.A. programs.

Following graduation from law school, Professor Paruch practiced at the Dykema Gossett Law Firm and was the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Detroit. Immediately prior to accepting the full-time position at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Professor Paruch held a prestigious Community Builder Fellowship position with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Professor Paruch became a member of the full-time faculty at Detroit Mercy Law in 2000.  She teaches Applied Legal Theory and Analysis, Evidence, Children and the Law, and a Seminar in Family Law.  She has authored several articles and presented nationally on topics concerning Family Law, Children and the Law, Evidence and Legal Writing. 

Professor Paruch is a member of the Michigan Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Legal Writing Institute. She currently serves on the Children’s Law Council and the Legislative Committee of the Children's Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association.

Professor Paruch is a past Chairperson of the Board of Directors of South Oakland Shelter, a Michigan non-profit organization devoted to serving homeless individuals and families.  She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Spero Housing Group (a subsidiary of South Oakland Shelter) which has recently been awarded a $13.5 million dollar tax credit grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to develop Coolidge Place, a 64 unit affordable housing project in the City of Oak Park, Michigan.

Recent Publications:

Testimonial Statements, Reliability, and the Sole or Decisive Evidence Rule: A Comparative Look at the Right of Confrontation in the United States, Canada, and Europe,  67 Cath. U. L. Rev.. 105 (2018).

Non-offending Parents, Children and the Fourteenth Amendment in Child Protection Proceedings:  A Critique of In re Sanders – One Court’s Arbitrary Destruction of the One Parent Doctrine, 84 U.M.K.C. L. Rev. 97 (2015).

Silencing the Victims in Child Sexual Abuse Prosecutions: The Confrontation Clause and Children's Hearsay Statements Before and After Michigan v. Bryant, 28 Tuoro L. Rev. 85 (2012).

From Trusted Confidant to Witness for the Prosecution: The Case Against the Recognition of a Dangerous-Patient Exception to the Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege, 9 U. N.H.L.Rev. 327 (2011)

The Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege in the Family Court: An Exemplar of Disharmony Between Social Policy Goals, Professional Ethics, and the Current State of the Law, 29 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 499 (2009).

The Orphaning of Underprivileged Children: America's Failed Child Welfare Law & Policy, 8 J. L. & Fam. Stud. 119 (2006).