Photo of wooden judge's gavel in the library, focus on the gavel

Legal Scholars Program

Drawing from the example of the Nobel Foundation in Sweden and its recognition of creative contributions in important professional and academic subject matter fields, the Detroit Bar Association (DBA) under the leadership of its President Donn Fresard and the DBA Board of Directors and staff last February established the DBA Legal Scholar Program. The Program is designed to recognize each year original legal work product that advances the field of law and offers the application of new ideas that address the social, educational, economic and/or human advancement of the State of Michigan.

2018 Detroit Legal Scholar Winner

We requested submissions that addressed the following Mega Question for 2018:

“How could current legal/judicial tools and/or new ones be innovatively applied to optimize the present and future well-being of our children at risk after being expelled from public schools in Michigan and then serve as a model nationally?”

The DBA Legal Scholars for 2018 and her submissions is:

Our 2017 Mega Question addressed the application of creative legal tools to optimize the rebirth of neighborhoods within the City of Detroit:

“How could current legal tools and/or new ones be innovatively applied to assist in the redevelopment of Detroit’s neighborhoods?”

After review of the three submissions responsive to the Mega Question by the Program’s volunteer internal committee consisting of DBA Board Members Katherine Fox and Julia A. Perkins and a long-time DBA member Christopher J. Webb, the committee unanimously recommended to the DBA Board that each of the authors of the three submissions was worthy of recognition at this year’s DBA Annual Meeting and the recommendation was approved by the DBA Board of Directors.

The DBA Legal Scholars for 2017 and their respective submissions are:

Each of these submissions will be published on the DBA website for review and comment by our members and the public at large. The submissions will be formally shared with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the 2017 recipient of the Archer Award, at its gala event this coming fall.


Katherine Fox, Wayne State University Law School
Julia A. Perkins, Varnum LLP
Christopher J. Webb, Law & ADR Offices of Christopher J. Webb, JD, PLC