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University Honors

Professor, School of Law

Professor Emeritus



Richard Seid joined the University of Detroit as an Assistant Professor in 1972, was promoted to Associate Professor and Acting Dean in 1975, and earned full Professor status in 1979.  He earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1955), a J.D. from New York University (1956), and a MSW from the University of Michigan (1985).  In addition he took graduate courses in philosophy, history, and literature at Columbia University in 1956.

Professor Seid began his legal career as a Staff Assistant for the Attorney General of the State of New York.  He moved to the position of Deputy City Attorney for the City of Glen Cove where he was counsel to the Planning Board and Building Inspector.  He joined the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEC) in 1966 as Attorney in charge of the Long Beach Office of Nassau County Law Services which represented indigent individuals and groups in Family Court with welfare, landlord tenant, matrimonial, consumer, and education problems.

In 1968 he became the OEO Senior Attorney, Boston Legal Assistance Project with general supervisory function over all litigation, including law reform.  From 1970-1972 he served as OEO Associate General Counsel and Director of Operations for Community Action for Legal Services Agency for New York City.  His responsibilities included training, maintenance of professional standards, personnel, program policy, and OEO relationships. 
Between 1972-1974, upon joining the university he became the Chairman, Clinical Studies Committee; member of the Center for Urban Law and Housing Committee; member of Decanal Search Committee; Designer and Director of University of Detroit Consumer Protection Clinic; and, member of the Board of Directors, Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services.

Upon becoming Associate Professor and Acting Dean of the University of Detroit School of Law, he served as a consultant to the Legal Aid and Defender Association; Institute of Continuing Legal Education, faculty member; special assistant, Wayne County Prosecutor; and , member of Fair Plan Group to Reform Judicial Campaign Financing.

From 1976-1979 he served as Dean of the School of Law; 1979-1980 was Director of the Michigan Legislative Committee on Courts; and in 1979 returned to being a full-time faculty member.  He taught commercial law, civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, conflicts of law, constitutional law, and class actions.

The Professor Emeritus nomination letter noted “As Dean, he oversaw the Law School’s expansion which featured the new Kresge Library.  It’s hard to imagine the transformation from the former school.  The current atrium was a surface parking lot for faculty and staff.  The law library was housed in the space now occupied by our bookstore; some of its holdings were stacked on walls surrounding a track in a gymnasium in the space which now hosts our cafeteria.”

An important accomplishment of Seid was the agreement between the Library and the Detroit Bar Association Foundation for the library to receive a sizeable part of the DBA’s library collection.  In addition, he supported the hosting of the Women’s Justice Center at the university.  At the time there were a number of existing legal aid services but no agency that was designed to accept cases peculiar to women and to accept them in a humane and supportive manner, recognizing women’s depressed social and economic status.

Some of his publications include Schizoid Federalism, Supreme Court Power, and Inadequate Adequate State Ground Theory, Michigan vs Long, A Requiem for O’Brien: On the Nature of Symbolic Speech, and The Tail Wags the Dog: Hagans vs Lavine and Pendent Jurisdiction.

Professor Richard Seid retired in 2007.  The granting of the Professor Emeritus honor was approved and awarded by Antoine Graibaldi, President, University of Detroit Mercy on April 27, 2011 retroactive to 2007.

University of Detroit Mercy

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