Area attorney to receive Monsignor Malloy Award


Dennis J. Clark, a local attorney who has helped many people and community organizations through his professional and pro bono efforts, has been named the 2019 winner of the Monsignor Charles J. Malloy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Malloy Award, presented annually by the Catholic Lawyers Society of Detroit, recognizes Catholic judges and lawyers whose service and character exemplify and advance the highest values of both the Catholic faith and the legal profession. The award is named for Monsignor Charles J. Malloy, a longtime canonical lawyer for the Archdiocese of Detroit and CLS’ first spiritual director. Past winners include U.S. District Court Judge Terrence G. Berg and former Chief Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert J. Colombo.

Clark’s involvement with Connect Detroit, which Clark serves as chair of the board of directors, was an important factor in the award decision, said CLS President Robert S. Gazall.

“Dennis has a long and rich history of giving of his time to charities and other local and national organizations,” said Gazall. “Dennis’s work with Connect Detroit is an excellent example. Inspired by his Catholic faith, Dennis brings legal skills to bear on issues affecting Detroit families. He’s a reminder that our Catholic faith, fully lived, embraces service to others.”

Founded in 2001, Connect Detroit pursues partnerships between local government agencies and community groups on issues affecting Detroit residents, such as summer jobs programs and safe after-school and recreational activities for children. To date, Connect Detroit has organized, managed, and led more than four-dozen community initiatives and mobilized more than $140 million to support that work.

Clark, who is principal of Detroit-based Clark Law Firm PLLC, was previously vice-president of compliance and ethics for the Auto Club Group (AAA). Before that, he was a partner at Plunkett Cooney, where he specialized in compliance, civil rights, personal injury, and criminal law. Since 2011, he has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Clark is a past national president of the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association and past chair of the Foundation Fellows. He is also a trustee and treasurer of the Federal Bar Foundation of Detroit and a past president of the Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Clark is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.