MSU College of Law News

Michigan State University-DCL College of Law appoints fellow

For Release October 21, 2003

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Michigan State University-DCL College of Law appoints fellow

Michigan Sate University-DCL College of Law has named Allison Patricia Ernst as the first Tax Clinic Public Interest Fellow.

A native of Traverse City, Ernst earned her undergraduate degree in political theory from Michigan State University and is a recent graduate of MSU-DCL. During her 2003-2004 fellowship appointment, she will be responsible for the clinic’s written materials, community education presentations to low-income taxpayers and training of volunteer tax preparers. In addition, she will continue to provide legal assistance in tax controversy cases and prepare tax returns for ESL taxpayers under faculty attorney supervision.

As a student at MSU-DCL, Ernst participated in both the Tax Clinic and the Rental Housing Clinic and successfully argued an appeal before the Ingham County Circuit Court. She also interned with the Honorable Bernard Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District.

“The fellowship was awarded to Allison because of her commitment to public service, her strong leadership skills and her outstanding clinical performance,” said Director of Clinical Programs MaryAnn Pierce.

The Rental Housing and Tax Clinics provide legal services to low-income tenants, landlords and taxpayers in the Greater Lansing area and offer practical legal experience for second- and third-year law students. Under the supervision of clinical faculty members who are members of the State Bar of Michigan, law students offer confidential legal representation and learn to advocate for the less fortunate. In addition to operating the Rental Housing and Tax Clinics, MSU-DCL offers legal representation for small businesses, non-profit organizations and advocates on behalf of children in abuse and neglect cases.

Michigan State University-DCL College of Law, formerly known as Detroit College of Law, was founded in 1891 and was the first law school in Detroit. To extend its commitment to educational excellence, the Detroit College of Law affiliated with Michigan State University in 1995 and moved to MSU’s East Lansing campus in 1997.

The move to MSU enabled the Law College to build a $28 million facility and to provide law students the benefits of a Big Ten university while maintaining its private law school status. Today, MSU-DCL remains the nation’s oldest continuously operating independent law school.

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