October 19, 2017

Picture of a sign promoting Law Day at Detroit Mercy.Detroit Mercy will host its annual Law Day on Oct. 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Fountain Lounge of the Student Center on the McNichols Campus.

More than 30 law schools will be in attendance with admissions counselors available to answer questions. There will be a moot court simulation and a prep class for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

The event is open to all students, alumni and the public, although you are encouraged to RSVP.

“Students can swing by and talk to representatives about what law school is all about,” said Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Pre-Law Program Stephen Manning. “It’s a good forum for students committed to going to law school, but also for students who are undecided.  A lot of students don’t know what they want to do, which is okay. You can stop by and learn what law school is all about.”

Students also receive exposure to different law schools they might not know about. Manning recalls several students who are attending schools they weren’t considering after attending Law Day.

“I had a student last year who was interested in environmental law,” Manning said. “I referred him to the University of Vermont School of Law because I know they have a good environmental law program. This guy spent a lot of time talking to the Vermont representative, got all the brochures, ending up applying there, got in and now he’s in his first semester. “I just got an email from him, he says he loves it and it was a great decision. I’m not sure if that would have happened if we didn’t have Law Day. You hear stories like that.”

Pre-law and political science students Lydia Mikail and Sara Stover have attended Law Day both as potential law school students and participants in the moot court.

Mikail plans to attend law school next fall. She enjoyed taking part in the moot court last year and recommends students of all majors check it out.

“It’s always a good idea to be a more informed citizen,” Mikail said. “The law shapes your life and politics shape your life, whether you like them or not. People say, ‘Politics don’t affect me,’ but it does, it effects everything from the tags on your mattress to your health to your education. So it’s a good way to see exactly how it works. A lot of people don’t get to see how the Supreme Court works so this is a chance to.”

Last year, Mikail and Stover played the role of Supreme Court justices at the moot court.

“We worked on a big case that was already in the Supreme Court; it was a death penalty case,” Mikail said. “I was on the Supreme Court. It was really exciting to be able to ask questions, and it was a real life simulation. I liked how we had an audience, microphones and gavels, and the ropes. It was extremely real.”

“Interesting enough, the moot court we did last year, our final decision was very similar to that of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision,” Stover said. “A lot of the knowledge we had and a lot of the examples we used for our major points were similar to the real decision.”

Stover was set on attending law school when she entered college, but has since decided to pursue graduate school after graduation instead of law school. Stover believes Law Day can be a useful resource for all different types of students.

“If you’re a student on the fence about what you want to do, Law Day gives you an idea of what comes with being a pre-law student or if you want to go into Legal Studies,” Stover said. “Or if you’re just debating if you want to be a Political Science student, come watch everything and maybe talk to some of the students afterward."

Students will also get a chance to prepare for the LSAT. Manning admitted preparing for the LSAT can be stressful, so students really appreciate getting an opportunity to help prepare for the test.

“Our Pre-Law students agonize over taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) so we have an outfit like Kaplan come in and they give a presentation, and a short test. They grade it on the spot and give results back to students.”

For more information on visit the Law Day web site.

— By Dave Pemberton. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.