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Dykema and the Detroit Urban Debate League Team Up to Host Season Opening Tournament

On September 18, 2019, Dykema’s Detroit office hosted the Detroit Urban Debate League (“D-UDL”) for a tournament to kick off its 2019-2020 season. The topic for debate was, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.”

The D-UDL is a Detroit-based non-profit that provides opportunities for Detroit-area high school students to prepare for and compete in policy debate tournaments. The Dykema Tournament is an effort to strengthen relationships between lawyers and students of the D-UDL. Dykema attorneys Lew Loss and Boyd White took time to address participants of the event. Loss, who serves as counsel to the Commission on Presidential Debates (“CPD”), discussed the importance of debate to our American democracy and the role of the CPD. White, a Detroit Public Schools alumnus, discussed the value of extra-curricular activities and planning for success by believing in your potential. At the conclusion of the event, Loss also presented each student with a special memento in recognition of their achievements with the D-UDL.

Through the efforts of Dykema attorney, Michael P. Fannon, and Detroit Urban Debate League Director, John Lawson, Dykema and the D-UDL partnered for the event in order to celebrate the outstanding work and dedication to debate each student has demonstrated. The D-UDL students spent an average of 10-20 hours each week studying argumentation, critical thinking, and oratory skills. The students also conducted research related to the domestic and foreign policy of U.S.

Recently, Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan, along with prominent legal scholars Erwin Chemerinsky and Laurence Tribe, joined more than 40 law school deans and professors from top schools in a Statement of Support endorsing the connection between urban debate and racial and economic diversity in the legal profession.

There is also a correlation between academic success and involvement in the D-UDL. Students who have participated in the D-UDL have shown to be 70 percent more likely to graduate high school, and are twice as likely to score at or above the college-readiness level on the English portion of the ACT. D-UDL participants also feature a 100 percent high school graduation rate since 2009.