MSU College of Law

MSU Board of Trustees Asked to Approve Reordering of Law School Name


Media contact:
Kristan Tetens,
University Relations,
(517) 432-0921,
Christine Hammond,
(517) 432-6804

East Lansing, Michigan. -- To better reflect the location, relationship, and identity that already exist between Michigan State University and the Detroit College of Law, the name of the law school will be reordered as "Michigan State University, Detroit College of Law," pending approval by the MSU Board of Trustees.

The law school is currently known as "The Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University."

The name was proposed by Richard F. Suhrheinrich, president of the law school's board of trustees and associate judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. It was approved by the school's board in January.

The MSU Board of Trustees will be asked to approve the reordering of the name at a meeting on Wednesday, July 21. Such approval is necessary because the name of the school is stipulated in the affiliation agreement established by the two institutions in 1995.

The reordering does not affect any organizational or financial agreements between the two institutions. The law school will remain an independent, private entity. No state monies are used to support its activities.

"This action has been taken to better identify the relationship we have with the university," said Suhrheinrich. "It is the culmination of collaborative efforts set in motion five years ago. The law school is financially strong, and new programs are attracting strong students. Both institutions have greatly benefited from the affiliation and we felt it was time to underscore our mutual commitment."

MSU president Peter McPherson agrees that the reordering reflects the solid relationship that has been forged between the university and the law school since the affiliation. "Our unique partnership provides the resources of a world-class university to the law school's faculty, staff, and students. At the same time, the law school enriches MSU's mission and our own educational offerings. The name reflects our shared vision of continued close collaboration."

"The name has the broad support of our faculty, students, and national alumni association," said David S. Favre, interim dean, who notes that it will also clarify the physical location of the school and improve its name recognition among prospective students.

Current students consider the reordering of the name to be a positive step because it "reflects the pride we feel as a part of the MSU community," according to Richard Zecchino, president of the Student Bar Association.

The name comes at a time of considerable growth for the school. Applications have surged 11 percent in the last year and are coming from students with stronger academic credentials. The school features 12 dual degree programs that allow students to earn a law degree simultaneously with an MSU graduate degree, a rental housing clinic that provides students with hands-on experience with client counseling, one of the most technologically advanced learning facilities in the nation, and flexible part-time programs that attract working professionals from across mid-Michigan.


The following law school and university leaders are available to comment:

The Honorable Richard F. Suhrheinrich, president, law school board of trustees, (517) 377-1513 or (517) 290-6377

Peter McPherson, MSU president, (517) 355-6560

David S. Favre, law school dean, (517) 432-6804

Richard Zecchino, Student Bar Association president, (517) 377-0710 or (517) 374-4067