Law school's community outreach efforts grew significantly

Wayne State University Law School significantly expanded its community events and partnerships and other community outreach efforts during the 2014-15 academic year.

Among the accomplishments for 2014-15, Wayne Law:

• Presented 45 events open to public, an increase of 80 percent over the 25 events presented in 2013-14.

• Welcomed 4,100 people to those public events, an increase of 447 percent over the 750 who attended events in 2013-14.

• Formed or continued 109 community partnerships, an increase of 51 percent over the 72 partnerships in 2013-14.

• Provided faculty and staff attendance and support to 110 community events, an increase of 16 percent over the 95 events in 2013-14.

• Brought back 30 alumni to Wayne Law for programs to provide guidance and advice to law students, an increase of 150 percent over the 12 alumni participating in 2013-14.

In addition, students in Wayne Law’s eight law clinics for 2014-15 served 225 clients, providing more than $1.3 million worth of pro-bono legal services. The law school also placed 28 students in externships in the community to earn academic credit while gaining practical professional experience.

Other significant outreach efforts in 2014-15 included:

• Launching the Detroit Equity Action Lab at the law school’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights through a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The equity lab brings together nonprofit organizations to address issues of structural racism in Detroit.

• Expanding the pilot program Advocates for Warriors. The expanded program brings together alumni and students to ensure Michigan’s military community in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties has access to legal services and support.

• Founding the Levin Center at Wayne Law, named in honor of Carl Levin, Michigan’s longest-serving U.S. senator. The center will educate future attorneys, business leaders, legislators and public servants on bipartisan, effective techniques to oversee public and private sector activities and offer useful recommendations for reform.

“At Wayne Law, we recognize the very critical role our law school plays in the revitalization of Detroit and Michigan,” Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson said. “We encourage our students to use their legal education as a tool for service, and we are proud of the numerous ways in which our students, faculty, staff and alumni have helped to expand our community outreach efforts this academic year.”