May 29, 2023

Warriors in the Community, episode 7: The Warrior Housing Corps

WWJ Newsradio 950

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters.

In our seventh episode, we talk with assistant law professor Daniel Ellman about the Wayne Law Warrior Housing Corps, a community of law students dedicated to addressing housing issues in Detroit and surrounding areas. Supervised by experienced attorneys from partner legal service providers, students in the Corps provide critical legal assistance to tenants in housing court, including staffing eviction dockets, conducting client intake, drafting pleadings, negotiating conditional dismissals and engaging in canvassing and direct outreach. Students also engage in a professional development series, connecting students to practitioners and advocates in the housing space.


Intro: This is “Warriors in the Community” brought to you by Wayne State University, and now to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our community, here is Darrell Dawsey.

Darrell Dawsey: Today I'm with Daniel Ellman. He's an assistant professor at the Wayne State Law School. He's also the Director of Externships and Faculty Coordinator for the Warrior Housing Cor. Tell us a little bit about why the Housing Core was created and what kind of work it does for clients.

Daniel Ellman: We see the Housing Core as a community of law students that's dedicated to addressing the serious housing issues going on in Detroit, and they, they do run really deep. You know, we're talking about widespread evictions, property tax, foreclosures and substandard housing conditions to name just, just a few of them to create the core.

Daniel Ellman, assistant professor at the Wayne State Law School.

We built on a few existing partnerships with legal service providers that we've had, and through the core, our students do real legal work under the supervision of attorneys from these organizations. It was important to us that not only are we providing this directly legal representation, but we're kind of building a broader community at Wayne Law so that students are invested in the community and see this as a, a long-term commitment to housing issues in the city. 

Darrell Dawsey: Now, is there a particular story that maybe you've heard from some of the students who do this work about someone that they've worked with that sort of helps bring into focus the value and the impact of the work that they're doing?

Daniel Ellman: I recently had a student come to meet with me; she shared a story about a client who was facing eviction and had several children in the local public schools. And, and his concern was not only to maintain his house, keep his house, but also keep his kids in that school cuz they developed such personal bond and strong roots there.

So she helped him obtain a payment plan where he could pay some back rent and pay rent going forward that enabled him to stay in the home, but also kept his kids firmly rooted in the school district they were in. So I think that was really meaningful for the client, for the tenant, and also for this to too.

Darrell Dawsey: Thanks so much for joining us, Dan.

Daniel Ellman: Thanks a lot, Darrell. Appreciate it. 

Extro: This has been “Warriors in the Community.” For more Wayne State News, please visit us online at and join us here next Monday at the same time for more warriors in the community.

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