Daily Briefs, September 14

Dickinson Wright to host Urban Debate League Tournament
Dickinson Wright is proud to host the Detroit Urban Debate League (Detroit-UDL) Tournament on Sept. 15. Ten to 12 high schools from the Detroit area will debate a space exploration resolution that they have spent months researching. Debaters spend an average of 10-15 hours a week studying argumentation techniques, philosophy, current events, economics, foreign and U.S. policies. 

The Detroit Urban Debate League strives to improve public education and the lives of Detroit youth through rigorous and sustainable academic debate programming.

“When the DUDL asked if we would host the tournament, we jumped at the chance,” said Katheryne Zelenock, Dickinson Wright Member, “as a former debater and debate coach, I understand the academic and social benefit of debate. This is also a great way for Dickinson Wright to continue its commitment to Detroit, and to support a great educational activity for a diverse group of high school students, many of whom are interested I a career in law.”

The 60 debaters participating in tournament will get a special treat.  Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer will address the students at dinner. He is excited to speak at these potential future colleagues.

“The skills students learn in the Detroit Urban Debate League are precisely the tools needed for a career in law,” said Archer, Dickinson Wright Chairman Emeritus.

“The ability to think critically, conduct research, remain calm under pressure, and work well as a team are all the hallmarks of great attorneys. The DUDL may play a  part in diversifying the legal profession in Detroit.”

The Tournament will be held at the Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office at 500 Woodward Ave., Suite 4000 on Sept. 15 from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. The firm invites other attorneys and law firms to attend the debates and get involved in this worthwhile organization.

Peter Cunningham to direct Michigan Campaign for Justice
The Michigan Campaign for Justice has announced that Peter Cunningham will serve as the organization’s new executive director. Prior to joining the Campaign, Peter served as the chief of staff for former Michigan Speaker of the House Andy Dillon.

“We are excited that Peter has joined the team and the important effort to reform public defense in Michigan,” said Tanya Greene, Acting Chair of the Campaign for Justice Board of Directors. “His background and skills will be a great service as the Campaign works with the Snyder Administration and the Legislature to build momentum for reform.”

Cunningham worked for the Michigan House of Representatives for seven years before joining the Campaign for Justice. He began working for the House as a Research Analyst and was promoted to Policy Director by former Democratic Leader Dianne Byrum. He went on to work for four years in the office of former House Speaker Andy Dillon, first serving as the Legislative Director and then as the Chief of Staff.