University Of Detroit Mercy Purchases Downtown Facility For Legal Aid Clinics

DETROIT (WWJ) – The University of Detroit-Mercy has a brand new home for its series of free legal clinics, after purchasing a historic Detroit firehouse.

Law School Dean Lloyd Semple said the new location on East Larned is in a prime spot near UDM’s Riverfront Campus.

“We have been looking since we totally renovated this building for an opportunity to find a new space. This firehouse is almost adjacent to our riverfront campus where our main building is,” said Semple.

Last year, the UDM clinics helped represent over 1,400 clients. The school hopes to open the facility in December 2012.

“It’s going to take us several months to renovate it completely. We hope to be able to move the clinics back down there so that all of our clinics will be under one roof,” said Semple.

The firehouse was built in the early-1900s and served as the base for the Detroit Fire Department’s Engine 2 for many years. Although the building was used for many other purposes after it was sold by the department, its historic character was preserved through spiral staircases, exterior red fire doors and a lookout tower. The interior of the facility has been cleared, leaving a blank canvas for the school’s architects.

The two-story facility will provide more than 6,000 square feet of space for the school’s ten legal aid clinics. The building’s location is just steps away from the school’s first Urban Law Clinic, which was located at 531 East Larned.

archive photo urban law clinic 11 24 65 1 University Of Detroit Mercy Purchases Downtown Facility For Legal Aid Clinics

A photo taken at the dedication of University of Detroit Mercy's first Urban Law Clinic on November 24, 1965. (Courtesy: University of Detroit-Mercy)

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