Pro Se Law Clinic marks anniversary

Lawyers, judges, and other community leaders will gather on Wednesday, Feb. 6 for the Pro Se Clinic Soiree, a celebration of the first anniversary of the Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic.

Supporters have the opportunity to celebrate, connect and enjoy a cocktail reception at Miller Canfield’s downtown Detroit headquarters beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Pro Se Clinic Soiree, presented by the Oakland County Bar Association and hosted by Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone PLC and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, can be purchased at

The early registration rate of $75 runs through Jan. 23.

The ticket price will increase to $90 starting Jan. 24. All proceeds from this fundraising event benefit the Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic located at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroit.

The clinic began in January 2018 and offers no-cost legal assistance to low-income individuals representing themselves in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.

The clinic is staffed by Detroit Mercy Law and operates with the support of the District Court as well as multiple community partners.

“The Pro Se Clinic provides Detroit Mercy Law students an opportunity for hands-on legal experience while emphasizing the school’s mission of service to others,” said Detroit Mercy Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker. “We are grateful to all our community partners who support the important work of the clinic and our mission to help those in need.”

Since its opening, the clinic has assisted more than 250 pro se plaintiffs and defendants with a variety of federal legal issues, including civil rights, employment discrimination and social security appeals.

As there is not a generally recognized right to court-appointed counsel in federal civil cases, the clinic meets an unmet need of litigants while saving the court time and resources.

Services provided include pre-screening of cases for federal court jurisdiction, assistance clarifying claims and amending the complaint, education of litigants as to the court process and available forms, assistance completing forms, assistance with discovery and motions, advice on substantive and procedural matters, legal research, limited drafting of pleadings and assistance at other stages of the proceedings.