Wayne State University

News and Announcements

Return to News Listing Bookmark and Share

Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly to Speak at Wayne Law Commencement Ceremony, Patricia Nemeth to Receive Distinguished Alumni Award, May 18

April 23, 2009

DETROIT (April 23, 2009) – The Honorable Marilyn Kelly, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and a 1971 Wayne Law alumna, will speak at Wayne State University Law School’s annual Commencement Ceremony on Monday, May 18, 2009.

The ceremony, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House, will also provide an opportunity to present Wayne Law alumna Patricia Nemeth, ’84, LL.M. ’90, with the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award.

“We look forward to celebrating the successes of our graduates at the 2009 Commencement Ceremony,” said Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman. “Chief Justice Kelly and Ms. Nemeth are both fine examples of what can be achieved with a law degree, and they will surely inspire and motivate our students, graduates, and guests at the ceremony. We are proud and honored that they will be a part of this important day.”

Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Commencement. She has been a strong and consistent friend of the university and its Law School, where she is a member of the Board of Visitors. Chief Justice Kelly is in her second eight-year term on Michigan’s highest court. She previously was a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals for six years. Before her career as a jurist, she served on Michigan’s Board of Education for 12 years, two as president. She has taught French at high school and college levels and was an associate or partner at three law firms.

Chief Justice Kelly has been on the board of the Women’s Survival Center in Pontiac, on the development committee of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac and on numerous advisory boards. From 1998-2003 she was co-chair of the Michigan State Bar’s Open Justice Commission. She was an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, a panel member on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, and is now a member of the Michigan State Bar Representative Assembly and the Michigan Bar’s Family Law Council.

Patricia Nemeth, who was recently named one of Michigan’s 25 Leaders in the Law by the legal trade publication Michigan Lawyers Weekly, has built a reputation as a leader and innovator in the Detroit business community, with numerous professional, personal and civic achievements. In 1992, after working for a few smaller law firms, Nemeth founded what is now Nemeth Burwell PC, a boutique management labor and employment law firm. Since then, she and her partner have grown the firm to 16 attorneys and a total of 35 employees.

Nemeth has been a hands-on volunteer at Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights since 1998 and is currently an executive board member. She also serves on the personnel committee for the Girl Scouts of America, and in 2005 was recognized as a distinguished volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for her volunteer efforts. She is a member the Michigan Bar and Illinois Bar, and is a graduate of Leadership Detroit XXVI.

Admission to Wayne State University Law School’s Commencement is by ticket only. For more information, please contact the Law School’s Dean of Students Office at (313) 577-3997.

About Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

Training the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders