Wayne Law students named ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium Fellows

DETROIT – Second-year Wayne State University Law School students Dominica Convertino and Kawkab El-Moussaoui were named American Bar Association (ABA) Legal Education Police Practices Consortium (LEPPC) Fellows.

The LEPPC aims to contribute to the national effort examining and addressing legal issues in policing and public safety, including conduct, oversight, and the evolving nature of police work. The LEPPC will leverage the ABA’s expertise and that of participating ABA accredited law schools to collaborate on projects to develop and implement better police practices throughout the United States.

Convertino and El-Moussaoui are 2 of only 38 Fellows serving with the ABA's Legal Education Police Practices Consortium during the Winter 2022 semester, and are the only two law students selected for the program in the state of Michigan. Convertino’s research will examine police practices in the City of Detroit, while El-Moussaoui’s will focus on the City of Dearborn.

“The pressing question before us is not whether we should reform police practices in America. That much is abundantly clear,” said Convertino. While Convertino’s research will focus on the Detroit Police Department, she indicated that the scope of these issues is much broader. “My research will delve into the history of racism that has plagued law enforcement practices in our nation. I think it’s critical to acknowledge how that history continues to inform modern policing— especially in Detroit, where Black people make up roughly 80 percent of the population.” Convertino added that she is hopeful the ABA Fellowship will inspire future law students to work on police reform. “Ultimately, my goal is to help local units of government safeguard citizens’ civil rights by enacting substantive reforms to police practices.”

When looking to Detroit’s neighboring city of Dearborn, El-Moussaoui expressed similar plans. “The City of Dearborn is currently home to the nation’s largest population of Arab Americans, but it hasn’t always been this way,” said El-Moussaoui. “Dearborn’s history is very similar to that of many other cities in the nation when it comes to discriminatory law enforcement practices. And unfortunately, many racist police practices still persist in Dearborn today.” When asked where she expects the program to be in the next five years, El-Moussaoui noted, “The ABA Consortium is in its beginning stages, but I feel optimistic that it will only grow from here. I’m eager to see how the academic research that comes from this Fellowship can be used to implement better legislation and more humane police practices moving forward.”

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Contact: Doug Kubek
Phone: 313.577.4629
Email: dougkubek@wayne.edu

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