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New UDM Law Clinic Center to benefit students and clients

December 12 2012 | no comments

The building on Larned in downtown Detroit was designed as a firehouse back in 1914.  On December 11 it officially became the new home of the University of Detroit Mercy Law Clinics.

Lloyd Semple, Dean of the UDM Law School told us, “We have purchased this historic firehouse and we’ve completely renovated it so our clinical programs that serve the under-served, and the needy in the city of Detroit can move to space that’s appropriate for them.”

Law students at UDM are required to take one of ten clinics before they graduate.  The clinics range from juvenile justice to immigration.  The students also get real life law experience by providing free legal advice to clients who need, but cannot afford, a lawyer.

Michael Bryce is Director of the Clinical Program.  He says the students are, “Effective in helping clients resolve their issues and get good results.”

Mark Osborne has been a client for about a year.  He received an eviction notice and was trying to represent himself in court when he heard about the mortgage foreclosure clinic.  The clinic took his case and found that the bank had jumped the gun with the eviction notice and had made other mistakes in the foreclosure process.

Mark says, as a layman he would not have recognized the problems, “I’m not versed in the law and with the help of Professor Sung and the students at U of  D, that’s the only way I’m able to stay in my home.”

Since opening in 1964, the Law Clinics have helped many clients like Mark solve their legal problems.  In fact, they serve more than 1000 clients a year.  The new facility will give them the opportunity to serve clients better.

Lillian Lewis is looking forward to the future too.  She just learned that she won her Social Security Disability case with the help of the students and professors at the law clinic.  She says, “When you get the diagnosis of cancer, that’s devastating enough.  When you lose income because of not being able to work, it’s really hard.”

Her claim was denied at first and she wasn’t sure where she would turn if the ruling wasn’t reversed.  But the clinic students went to work on her behalf.

“I felt like they were focused on my case,” she told us, “and they showed a lot of concern and they said they were going to win this for me and they did.”

Click here to read more about the clinics.  Or call 313 596-0262 if you need legal assistance and cannot afford an attorney.

 

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