Judge Langford Morris honored by law school

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On International Women’s Day Friday, March 8, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law hosted a portrait unveiling of Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris (right). Painted by Detroit artist Henry Heading (right), the portrait is a gift from four Detroit Mercy Law student organizations—Law Review, Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Women’s Law Caucus, and the Student Bar Association. The portrait unveiling followed Detroit Mercy Law Review’s 2019 Symposium: Women and the Law.      – Photo by John Meiu


On March 8, International Women’s Day, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law held a reception unveiling a formal portrait of Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris. The portrait, a gift from four Detroit Mercy Law student organizations, is the first official portrait of a woman and African-American graduate to be displayed in the halls of the law school.  “It is indeed an honor and very humbling,” said Langford Morris, an alumna of the law school.

“Judge Denise Langford Morris was an easy choice because she demonstrates the characteristics that we all strive to have as aspiring lawyers.  She has served as a mentor to students, a role model to young lawyers and above all, a friend in the community,” said Jewel Haji, editor-in chief of the Law Review.  She went on to state that “Her success in the legal community comes not only from her hard work, but also from her passion in wanting to make a difference.”

Langford Morris has served over 26 years on the Circuit Court bench, having been appointed in 1992.  She was elected in 1994 and was re-elected to four subsequent terms, most recently in 2018.  She is the first female dean of the bench in the history of the Oakland County Circuit Court and is the first African American to serve on the bench.

Langford Morris is a former assistant prosecuting attorney for Oakland County, a former assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan (Civil Division), and was a trial attorney with civil and criminal experience in state and federal courts.

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