Welcome to the Keith Collection

The Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African American Legal History was established in 1993 to meet the need for a central repository for the nation’s African American legal history. The Collection is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing resources pertaining to African American legal history, including the history of prominent African American lawyers, judges, and lawmakers, and others whose service to the community reflects an interest in and commitment to civil rights and social justice.  The Collection contains papers and other materials documenting the experience of African Americans and the law, nationally, with a particular emphasis on Michigan.  Upon the founding contribution of papers by the Honorable Damon J. Keith, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Keith Collection was firmly established. The Collection is a partnership between the Walter P. Reuther Library, a world-renowned archival repository, and the Wayne State University Law School and is available for research by scholars, students and the general public.

The Honorable Damon J. Keith

"Through Howard University Law School, we came to know these lawyers who are legends today in African American legal history. They include: Charles H. Houston, Thurgood Marshall, William H. Hastie Jr., James Nabrit Jr., Spottswood Robinson III, George E. C. Hayes…. They taught us that the Constitution was our best hope; that equality would come through the law."

− The Honorable Damon J. Keith

Wayne Law School


Calendar of Events

Full List
Law School Showcase
October 9 2014 at 1:00 PM
Law School, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium
Hands-On Learning at Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson, students and faculty will share how Wayne Law brings the law to life through classes, clinics, fellowships and study abroad while revitalizing Detroit and making a difference worldwide. Highlighted areas will include entrepreneurship, business law and public-interest fellowships abroad. In addition, students and faculty will host informative presentations on topics such as medical-legal partnerships, environmental law and civil rights law. 1 to 3 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium Atrium Student galleries - Clinical experience and International Public Interest Law Fellowships Refreshments with faculty Video testimonials  1 to 1:30 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium    Panel discussion: Wayne Law’s Role in the Detroit Revitalization Professor Peter J. Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights Assistant (Clinical) Professor Nick Schroeck, director of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic Assistant (Clinical) Professor Eric C. Williams, director of the Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, Business and Community Law Clinic, and Patent Procurement Clinic 1:30 to 2 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium    Medical-Legal Partnerships Kathryn M. Smolinski, director of the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic 2 to 2:30 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium   Student Opportunities Abroad in International Law Professor Gregory H. Fox, director of the Program for International Legal Studies  2:30 to 3 p.m. – Law Classroom Building    Back to Law School – Join a class discussion Reimagining Development in Detroit: Institutions, Law & Society with Professor Peter J. Hammer   This showcase event is part of the launch of WSU's comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Julian Bond presents the Sixth Keith Biennial Lecture
October 23 2014 at 7:30 PM
Law School Building
The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School is pleased to announce its Sixth Biennial Lecture featuring civil rights activist and distinguished professor Julian Bond.  The lecture, titled "Under Color of Law" is sponsored by Comerica Bank and will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Wayne State University's Law School Auditorium on Thursday, October 23, 2014.Reservations are not required, but recommended. Complete details
Youth Civil Rights Conference
November 14 2014 at 9:00 AM
Law School Building, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium & various other rooms
The Youth Civil Rights Conference brings groups of high school students together to engage actively in seeking solutions to building communities across racial, ethnic, and class lines in Metro Detroit.  It is also a means of supporting the school-to-higher-education path for high schools students.
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