Racing to success: Law student founds 'Tortious and the Hare' running club

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Christian Ieraci was originally drawn towards a career in the health care industry, and earned his undergrad degree in biology from Canada’s University of Windsor, with the aim of going to medical school.

His research thesis studying neuro-behavioral cognition in Great Lakes fish provided the opportunity to try academic writing—and to the realization he enjoyed this more than science classes.

He decided to search for a career where he could use those research and writing skills to help others, and is now a 2L at Detroit Mercy Law School.

His background in biology and health sciences prepared Ieraci for the complex issues involved in health law; but after being introduced to several areas of law in his 1L year, he thoroughly enjoyed contract and property law as well.    But since interning at Michigan’s Court of Appeals, he has become more interested in a judicial career.

This year, Ieraci will be a junior member of Law Review, and is looking forward to researching novel legal issues.

“I’m excited to explore these current issues and contribute to the Law Review’s body of work,” he says.

He attended the Pope Francis Legal Clinic twice, and participated in the United Community Housing Coalition Clinic – opportunities that have inspired him to make pro bono work an important aspect of his future career.       

The Windsor resident relished the big-city atmosphere of the Motor City, with many of his pre-pandemic breaks from studies spent exploring Detroit with friends, grabbing lunch or walking around downtown, taking in the beautiful architecture and booming shops and restaurants.   

The coronavirus put paid to all that, with the border between the U.S. and Canada closed.    

“The pandemic has greatly impacted my legal studies,” Ieraci says.

“I miss the in-class discussions and impromptu office hours with my professors. While I dislike online learning, I have to commend my professors on their ability to adapt to online platforms to make the process as painless as possible.

An avid runner, Ieraci founded the law school’s “Tortious and the Hare Club”—not only a bad pun, but as a way to meet new classmates and relax after a hard week of schoolwork.    

“I use running as a way to eliminate stress in my life, so when my classmates and I began to feel the pressures of law school, my natural response was to suggest a group run,” he explains. “After a few successful group runs, I suggested we should create an official club. We used to run three miles every Friday and end at a restaurant to have a quick celebratory meal. The run club became a weekly highlight for our members, to de-stress and get some exercise with our peers.”   

During this pandemic, Ieraci has shifted his study schedule to include golfing, and a lot more running, and ran a virtual 1,000-km race from May 1 to August 1.    

He also enjoys hockey and rock climbing; reading; hiking and climbing; and spending time at home with his parents and his dog, Joey. A soccer fan, he coached high school and regional soccer for 8 years and played semi-professional soccer for the Windsor Stars.

He looks forward to returning to Detroit when border restrictions are lifted.

“My favorite aspect of Detroit is its connection to its roots,” he says. “While some cities neglect their past, Detroit embraces the hard times and praises its revival.    

“Detroit’s story of hardworking, blue-collar roots is very inspirational, and I’m excited about the opportunity to add to the city’s reputation for strong work ethic.”

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