Attorneys to speak on 'Women in the Law'

“Women in the Law” will be the topic of next Alumni Speaker Series event Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Wayne State University Law School.

Two panelists and a moderator, all Wayne Law alumnae, will participate. The discussion will be from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in Lecture Hall 2242 of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at the law school, 471 W. Palmer St.

The event is free, and lunch will be provided. To register, email Brianna Fritz at or 313-577-2750. Parking will be available for $7 (credit and debit cards only) in Structure No. 1 across West Palmer Street from the law school.

Participants will be:

• Marjory Winkelman Epstein, class of 1974, vice president of Vesco Oil Corp. and chair of its Board of Directors. The company, which distributes more than 5,000 automotive and industrial lubricant products, has about 200 employees and seven locations in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Vesco, Epstein was in private practice. She is a founding member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and taught at the Criminal Justice Institute in Detroit. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Epstein was a founding member and general counsel to the Birmingham Community Women’s Center and staff attorney for the Gateway Crisis Center in Madison Heights, as well as for the Women’s Survival Center in Pontiac. She also volunteered legal services to Common Ground in Birmingham. She serves on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League and the Pasteur Elementary School Alumni Foundation.

• Joumana Kayrouz, class of 1997, owner of the Michigan Center for Personal Injury and the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz PLLC. She is the only woman attorney to own a major personal-injury law firm in the state, and she has recovered tens of millions of dollars for clients. She began her legal career with Philo Atkinson. She was born in Lebanon, came to the United States at age 22 and eventually earned a master’s degree in ethics from Yale University before attending law school. She is the national president of Auxilia, the premier Lebanese charitable organization; an honorary advisor to the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee; and an executive board member of the Michigan Association for Justice. She hosts an Arabic language radio program from 12:30 to 1 p.m. each Friday on WNKZ-AM 690 offering legal advice. In 2013, she launched the Joumana Kayrouz & Daughters charity to provide health and medical assistance to people in need in Lebanon.

• Moderator – retired Justice Marilyn Kelly, class of 1971, distinguished jurist in residence at Wayne Law since 2013, who served for 16 years on the Michigan Supreme Court. She also serves on the law school’s Board of Visitors executive committee. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and master’s degree from Middlebury College. She’s received numerous honors, including, in 2010, the WSU Distinguished Alumni Award. Kelly began her legal career as an associate attorney with Dykema Gossett and later became a partner with Dudley, Patterson, Maxwell, Smith, & Kelly in Bloomfield Hills. She also had her own law firm before her election to the state Court of Appeals in 1988. She was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1996 and retained her seat until her final term expired Jan. 1, 2013. She was chief justice from 2009 to 2011. She has served a host of professional associations, including as a panel member of the State Attorney Discipline Board and as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association. In 2003, she became a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Association Foundation, which provides grants for civil legal aid to the poor. She has been president of the Women’s Bar Association and of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and has been a member of the Family Law Council for the State Bar.

Wayne Law’s Alumni Speaker Series is part of the law school’s efforts to link alumni with students and build professional connections.