Joining forces: Cooley Law School professor Florise Neville-Ewell teams up with former student to teach housing literacy to youth in Detroit

Cooley Law Professor Florise Neville-Ewell (center, left) and Triumph Church First Lady Robin Kinloch (center, right) are pictured with students in the 10CORE Law Society’s “Call It My House” program.

By Julie Freer
Legal News

Cooley Law School Professor Florise Neville-Ewell has a long history of helping educate people about real estate law, within and outside of the law school classroom.

An alumna of Yale Law School and former general counsel for the Detroit Housing Commission, Neville-Ewell has made it her life's mission to make the American dream of home ownership accessible to all.

An important part of that mission, Neville-Ewell said, is expanding “housing” literacy to reach adults and youth through the Ten Commandments of Real Estate Law Society (10CORE Law Society).

Neville-Ewell serves as President and CEO of the 10CORE Law Society, and the organization’s latest collaboration involves a partnership with Triumph Church and her former Cooley law student, Robin Kinloch.

This spring, 10CORE offered its “Call It My House” 40-hour Program again, but this time at Triumph Church’s Detroit Campus. Sponsored by Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree, the curriculum empowers Wayne County youth and young adults, ages 16-24, with financial/housing knowledge now so they will become homeowners and real estate investors in the future.

"We felt it was important to support this program because so much of what we deal with is lack of knowledge – taxpayers dealing with their tax issues and foreclosure prevention," said Sabree, of his work in the Wayne County Treasurer's Office. "I think the knowledge that the program will provide young people is critical."

Laying the foundation for outreach

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis that impacted the U.S. housing market between 2007-10, Neville-Ewell had been writing and speaking for the NAACP and AARP, among other organizations, trying to help people save their homes. Concurrently, her law students expressed a desire to help.

"They came to me and said, 'Professor, people are losing houses in our communities, and we would like to be involved. We also want to do something,’" said Neville-Ewell.

With their professor's guidance, in 2010, the students founded the 10CORE Law Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programming for adults in diverse communities within Michigan, and later Georgia, Florida, and Maryland. In partnership with bar associations, including the American Bar Association and other organizations, students tailored content for their audiences – including veterans, seniors, and more.

In 2018, 10CORE expanded its audience to include youth living in the Inkster Public Housing Projects. Its original “Buy Your First House Camp” was designed for youth ages 12-18.

"That initiative was triggered from a symposium 10CORE coordinated to celebrate (the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) HUD’s 50th anniversary” said Neville-Ewell. "We invited academics from across the country to speak at the event called 'HUD’s Past, Present, and Future.' I spoke under the future umbrella."

She presented data that the 10CORE board of directors had been reviewing: "The data showed that the American dream of homeownership was not available to everyone and more needed to be done ... As a result, 10CORE decided that our focus needed to expand beyond adults. With HUD’s invitation, 10CORE offered the Program at the Inkster Public Housing projects. Then, through Superintendent Dr. Derrick R. Coleman, a visionary educator, 10CORE was also able to offer it at River Rouge High School."

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to programming. But in late 2023, Neville-Ewell, with 10CORE board members virtually present, went to HUD in Washington, D.C. to talk to policy administrators about housing literacy programs for youth and young adults.

"Historically, HUD certified counselors have done an excellent job teaching first-time home buyers, but those courses are specifically designed for adults," said Neville-Ewell. "Through the ‘Call It My House’ Program, 10CORE is creating a new ‘housing’ literacy curriculum to empower juniors and seniors in high school so they can start preparing earlier.

"Since we want to see more progress in the next 50 years, 10CORE is expanding the country’s housing policy to not only include adults, but to also recognize the significance of empowering our youth, so that they have an opportunity to begin to formulate the dream," said Neville-Ewell. "10CORE recognizes that you cannot dream about something you have never seen. That is why 10CORE is creating the ‘kitchen table’ for all of our youth.”

Collaborating with Triumph Church and First Lady Robin Kinloch

When Triumph Church First Lady Robin Kinloch was approached by her former professor about hosting a housing literacy program for youth, she and her husband, the Rev. Solomon Kinloch, were happy to partner on the project.

"She sent over the information, and we talked about it," said Kinloch, who added that some of the statistics about the barriers to homeownership, specifically for people of color, were sobering.

According to a report by the McKinsey Institute, released in February of 2024, it could take more than 300 years for the gap between Black and white homeownership to close.

Inspired to act, the Kinlochs approached the board at Triumph Church, seeking to not only host the program, but also to tag on an additional incentive of $50 per session. Each of the 30 students will receive $500 in seed money along with other incentives and awards, culminating with a mock home closing at the conclusion of the program.

"I remember being a law student and you would have ideas and Professor Ewell was always the person saying, 'Let's do it!'" said Kinloch. "I feel her passion, I know she's committed to this, and yet again I see her example of not being comfortable accepting the status quo...There's great work to be done and we're grateful at Triumph Church to be a part of moving the needle forward."

When Triumph Church opened registration for the course, demand was high.

"That's one of the reasons I feel this program is so essential – because knowledge is something that can't be taken away. This is something they will have forever," said Kinloch.

Along with other real estate professionals, Neville-Ewell taught the Saturday sessions, which were designed to get the students – called 'Student CEOs’ – thinking proactively about their futures and introduced to the intricacies of the real estate process, documents, and law.

Each Student CEO begins with a profession and income and walks through life's milestones as they prepare to purchase their first “mock” homes. They also take a bus tour with realtors to see different neighborhoods and think about how much house they can afford.

"One of the things I really like about the program is, in this early stage of deciding, even before home ownership, they start thinking - what is it you feel passionate about?" said Kinloch. "What is the right career path for you, and what are some alternatives? They really begin to think like entrepreneurs and CEOs, making those adult decisions on the front end. It does so much more than just offer information regarding the pathway to home ownership."

There is no assigned homework, but one of the most fulfilling aspects is when the concept of empowering the students with knowledge takes root, and they begin to seek it out on their own.

Neville-Ewell recalled how, after reading excerpts from a book series, students wanted to take the books home and read more.

"You want to see them move that chess piece on their own and get to the place where they decide – ‘Wow, I need this.' That is the point. We are trying to give them those tools," said Neville-Ewell.

‘We don't want to do this in small bites’

The goal is to expand programming to high schools and community colleges across the country. Additionally, Neville-Ewell seeks to create a legacy for this work to continue.

"My law students are my academic children and as I see it – I ran track, and I was on relay teams – and what I'm trying to do is pass the baton back," said Neville-Ewell, who envisions former students and other lawyers across the country teaching future classes. "If we don't do it, who will? Through Triumph’s ministries and this program in particular, First Lady Kinloch is answering this question and I am beyond thrilled. I am ecstatic and grateful.”

The program also includes law students who donate their time and sit in small groups with Student CEOs, helping them understand substantive material and work on group projects.

"We've got this beautiful synergy going and we are in the process of sharing it with other law schools," said Neville-Ewell. "We don't want to do this in small bites."

Next steps are to take the program to the Detroit Public Schools, and other high schools and community colleges within Michigan, then beyond. But to do that, 10CORE needs funding.

"10CORE appreciates all of its sponsors and can always use more," said Neville-Ewell. “This 'new normal' can strengthen our state and states across the country. What better way to bring a family and community together, and to change a family’s economic trajectory, than by helping their young people to dream, then prosper. It really is that simple."  

To donate or for more information about becoming part of the 10CORE Faculty, visit or email

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available