Academic Catalog

Law School

Dean: Richard Bierschbach

Wayne State University Law School, founded in 1927, is located in the heart of Detroit's historic cultural center, offering a unique urban experience. Detroit's vibrant legal market including government offices, state and federal courts, multinational corporations, unions and major law firms provides students with a wide range of opportunities for employment and externships. Our students are bright, mature, conscientious and altruistic. They come from unique backgrounds and professions, some having previously served as doctors, musicians, actors, engineers and law enforcement officers before pursuing the law. Wayne Law also offers a network of more than 11,000 living alumni, including established leaders of the legal community, practicing throughout the nation and in more than a dozen foreign countries. Our expert faculty's nationally and internationally recognized scholarship adds depth to our students' understanding of legal theory, doctrine and practice. Wayne Law students, faculty and alumni are deeply engaged in the community and profession.

Accreditation & National Recognition

Wayne State University Law School is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The Law School has a chapter of the Order of the Coif, the national honorary society dedicated to the highest standards of legal scholarship.

Setting & Facilities

The Law School is a flagship unit of Wayne State University, a major metropolitan research university located in the heart of Midtown, about four miles from downtown Detroit. Within blocks of the Law School are the Detroit Public Library, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Science Center and other cultural attractions. The city of Detroit shares an international border with Canada and offers access to Michigan's largest concentration of law firms and state and federal courts.

The Law School complex includes four buildings - Classroom Building, Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Law Building and Arthur Neef Law Library with lounges, gathering areas and meeting rooms. The three-floor Arthur Neef Law Library offers print and digital resources, a computer lab, 14 study rooms and wireless access. Special collections cover antitrust law, international law, Jewish law and Michigan law.


The Law School offers academic programs leading to the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), and Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.). The J.D. is a graduate degree requiring a baccalaureate degree as a prerequisite. The LL.M. is a graduate degree offered by the Law School in the fields of and corporate and finance law, labor and employment law, and taxation which requires the J.D. or its equivalent as a prerequisite. The M.S.L. is a graduate degree requiring a baccalaureate degree as a prerequisite to help business professionals expand their knowledge of legal principles and the U.S. legal system. The Law School also participates in joint degree programs with other Schools and Colleges within the University.

Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law is a regional hub for civil rights teaching, research and advocacy, training and inspiring the next generation of civil rights leaders in honor of the legacy of Judge Damon J. Keith. At the center, stakeholders gather to analyze policy, law students teach a civil rights curriculum to high school students and leaders dive into the issues of the day, such as tax foreclosures, water shutoffs and police-community relations. The center welcomes the public for lectures by civil rights icons, supports community-based organizations and publishes scholarship about how the law and social justice impact one another. The center offers the nation's first and only repository dedicated to African-American legal history, along with a traveling exhibit about the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

In summer 2014, WSU was awarded a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the Detroit Equity Action Lab at the Keith Center. Through this initiative, 60 leaders working in the many dimensions of racial equity, including arts and media, community development, education, environment, food security, health care and housing, will address issues of structural racism in Detroit.

Arthur Neef Law Library

The Arthur Neef Law Library provides a major legal research center for Wayne Law students and faculty. Its special collections include the Alwyn V. Freeman International Law Collection, Driker Antitrust Law Collection, Jewish Law Collection and a comprehensive collection of current and historical Michigan law materials that include the Michigan Supreme Court Records and Briefs, Michigan probate court opinions and Michigan Superfund site documents. The law library is a selective depository for U.S. government publications. Databases and other e-resources are easily discoverable and remotely accessible.

The law library building was designed to make optimal use of natural light in reading and study areas. Tables, carrels and soft-seating areas are available throughout the law library and offer wired and wireless access to networked resources. Our students may reserve any of the 14 study rooms through an online reservation system. A computer lab featuring desktop computers, printers and scanners is reserved for the exclusive use of Wayne Law students.

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