Detroit Evening Report: Wayne State receives $30M grant for new law school

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Wayne State University will receive a $30 million capital grant from state lawmakers for a new law school facility, school officials announced this week.

Wayne State University will receive a $30 million capital grant from state lawmakers for a new law school facility, school officials announced this week.

Wayne State University is getting a major investment from state lawmakers for a new law facility, the university announced this week.
The $30 million capital projects grant, provided outside of the normal appropriations process, is the third such capital outlay approved for Wayne State in the last dozen years, and the largest in almost three decades, according to the university.

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“This level of financial commitment from the State of Michigan is a testament to the law school’s growth, trajectory and impact,” said WSU President Kimberly Andrews Espy, in a statement. “The university’s agenda is to advance the prosperity of our community. Through Wayne Law’s many public-facing clinics, this new facility will provide better spaces and expanded opportunities for our students to learn while simultaneously providing access to excellent legal services to members of our Detroit community.
“It’s a win-win – our students will enter the workforce with more real-world experiences, and Detroiters will receive assistance in removing real hurdles impacting their lives,” she said.
Richard Bierschbach, the law school’s dean, says that as Wayne Law’s footprint has expanded, it has outgrown its current facilities, which were built in 1966 and are ill-suited to the Law School’s needs of today.
Bierschbach says renovations are needed to continue their work that includes work in the Detroit community to provide “hopefully some sort of community justice center that is really permeable to the community and provides a hub for all the ways that the law school can impact Detroit and the greater southeastern metro area.”

The Wayne State University Law School’s J.D. program has risen 44 spots to No. 56 in the country over the last six years, according to U.S. News & World Report.

More details about the future construction project will be shared as they become available, the university reported.

Other headlines for Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023:

  • Members of the Hamtramck Federation of Teachers rallied outside district offices on Wednesday ahead of a scheduled school board meeting to demand board members show up to handle the district’s issues. The board canceled both of its November meetings because there would not be a quorum.
  • Wayne County is making improvements to Fenkell Avenue, or Five Mile Road, with construction scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 13 and continue through fall 2024.
  • The City of Dearborn Heights is hosting an Expungement Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Richard A. Young Recreation Center in Dearborn Heights.
  • The Downtown Detroit Partnership and DTE Energy Foundation will host the 20th Annual Detroit Tree Lighting from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 at Campus Martius Park.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.