Detroit Mercy law students get unique new digs for clinic training

From the National Law Journal:

When students at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law return from winter break, those enrolled in clinics will enjoy new digs in a refurbished former city firehouse.

The law school in December opened the 6,000-square-foot space, which will now house its 10 legal clinics, just steps away from its main building.

“It’s a really beautiful facility,” said law dean Lloyd Semple. “It will convey an aura of professionalism, and the students will have a beautiful place to learn.”

Detroit Mercy is one of a handful of law schools that require students to complete at least one semester of clinic work. The law school’s clinics had been housed in a makeshift space in the back of an adjacent church for the past decade. Their offices were constructed with “bailing wire and fiberboard,” according to Semple, and their comparatively shabby condition was highlighted when the law school unveiled an $8 million renovation of its main building in August of 2011. Site inspectors with the American Bar Association were also unimpressed with the state of the school’s clinic offices.

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Digital Life After Death

In the Wall Street Journal today, there was a fascinating (and saddening) article about a 16 year old girl that passed away earlier this year. Her family has been trying to gain access to her digital life (facebook, twitter, email, etc.):

But using Alison’s passwords violated some of those websites’ terms of service, and possibly the law. None of the services allow the Atkins family—or any others—to retrieve the passwords of the deceased. Their argument is that it would violate Alison’s privacy.

Since then, Ms. Atkins’s attempts to recover Alison’s online life have begun falling apart. The websites that previously logged in automatically on Alison’s laptop began locking out Ms. Atkins as part of their standard security procedures. Her attempts to guess or reset her sister’s passwords backfired. Some of the accounts have been shutting themselves down.
On Nov. 21, Alison disappeared from Facebook, where her family used her account to communicate and share memories with more than 500 friends. “We have already lost Alison,” says Ms. Atkins. Now the family says it fears losing another part of her.

The digital era adds a new complexity to the human test of dealing with death. Loved ones once may have memorialized the departed with private rituals and a notice in the newspaper. Today, as family and friends gather publicly to write and share photos online, the obituary may never be complete.
This is an interesting topic to keep in mind when I study Estates & Trusts next year. My initial thoughts are that you could designate access to your online social media through a will, but then again, allowing anyone to access your social media profiles violates the terms of service of the various companies.

Additionally, most young adults do not have a will. And if they did, would a young adult or teenager really want their family to access all of their past social media history?

Also, would it be best to leave social media profiles online indefinitely or to close them down at time of death? This is something to think about and perhaps could even lead to the creation of “social media wills.” Just like you designate a beneficiary for life insurance, perhaps social media should start allowing you to designate what happens to your profile when presented with a death certificate.

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This is a Time for American Hero’s

My thoughts and prayers are with those that were lost today.

President Obama’s remarks:

I also can’t help, but to remember this clip from one of my favorite shows:

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Updated Bio

Justin Zatkoff earned a B.A. in Political Science in 2010, but even before his graduation, he launched a career marked by leadership, both in politics and business. From 2007 to 2009, Zatkoff worked as a Consultant for Strategic National Campaign Management, managing the College Republican National Committee’s National Field Program and promoting Republican candidates at the national and state level.

Although he never truly left that role, Justin Zatkoff joined Life Time Fitness as the Aquatics Department Head, a position that required him to oversee more than 60 employees and ensure the achievement of monthly revenue benchmarks. In just two years with Life time Fitness, Zatkoff earned an “Artistry” award for becoming the highest-performing Aquatics Department Head in the company.

Today, Justin Zatkoff is once again enrolled in school. This time, Mr. Zatkoff is in the Juris Doctor program at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Scheduled to graduate in 2014, Mr. Zatkoff has fully immersed himself in both the academic and practical side of legal studies. In addition to earning a Dean’s Scholarship, he won the “Book Award” for the highest grade in the Analytical Tools course, and is ranked in the top of his class.

Beyond the walls of the classroom, Justin Zatkoff employs his legal studies in practical settings. From December 2011 to August 2012, he served as a Law Clerk with the Farmington Hills, Michigan, firm of Shifman & Carlson, P.C.; a position that allowed him to draft legal memoranda and prepare legislation documents for matters of charter school, municipal, and election law. During the summer of 2012, Mr. Zatkoff worked as a judicial intern for a federal judge, Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff, in the Eastern District of Michigan. His dedication in that position earned him a Certificate of Appreciation from Judge Zatkoff.

Despite his full academic and professional schedule, however, Justin Zatkoff has always found time for athletics and fitness. As an undergraduate, he earned recognition as a track and field scholar-athlete during his time at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Today, Zatkoff continues to run, bike, swim, and compete in triathlons. Justin Zatkoff resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Justin Zatkoff

Justin Zatkoff

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Michigan Basketball

University of Michigan has had quite the impressive few years in basketball and it’s only getting better:

The Michigan basketball team is beating its opponents by an average of 20.4 points per game.

Four times this season, the third-ranked Wolverines have scored wins by 30 points or more.

Michigan has had a few easy-breathing games on its way to the program’s first 9-0 start in 24 years. But the days in between those games have been anything but simple, according to players.


Read More Here.

Justin Zatkoff

Justin Zatkoff, Brent Stanton, Matt Hall, and Scott Greenlee at a recent UM Basketball game

See my other post.

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Race Across the West

Chris Watson, owner of, is putting together a team for the 2013 Race Across the West bike race.

This a round-the-clock race that follows the first portion of the Race Across America course.

He’s looking for interested athletes and spectators that may be willing to get involved on the support side of things for the race. His four person team will certainly be in need of a support crew for this grueling 900-mile bike race!

The team will be starting on June 11, 2013 in Oceanside, California and ending in Durango, Colorado. If you are interested, please leave a comment and I will get you in touch with Chris.

This race is an adventure by all definitions of the word. It will test the physical and mental strength of all four members. They certainly need our support. If it was not for my internship (job?) next summer, I would be in for sure! I look forward to updates though. Chris is seeking drivers, bike mechanics, navigators, and direct team support.

Go Team Fitness Journal!

Justin Zatkoff Fitness Journal

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Honoring Roger Zatkoff (and others) for Exceptional Volunteer Leadership at the University of Michigan

Honoring Exceptional Volunteer Leadership with the University of Michigan


Ari Spar (AB ’89), Charles Woodson (’97), and Roger Zatkoff (ABED ’64)


Last week, the University of Michigan honored my grandfather with The David B. Hermelin Volunteer Fundraising Award. For those of you that know my family, we are extremely big University of Michigan supporters. While the Zatkoff family has alumni from just about every university in Michigan, our hearts are with the University of Michigan.

My grandfather, Roger Zatkoff, played football for the University before going on to play for the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. In fact, Roger Zatkoff was a member of the 1957 Lions World Championship team (that was the “Super Bowl” of its time). Here you can see a great picture of that team:


Justin Zatkoff

1957 World Championship Team: Roger Zatkoff #57 (Justin Zatkoff ‘s grandfather).


My grandfather is number 57 in the very back row. Don’t let his height fool you; he was actually one of the tallest members of the team. However, rumor has it that right before the photo was taken, everyone played a joke on him by standing on their tippy toes! He was always known to give 110% at practice and during the games.

Back to the recent Award:

The University of Michigan (U-M) has honored 37 individuals with The David B. Hermelin Volunteer Fundraising Award since the award’s inception in 2004. On Nov. 9, U-M recognized three new honorees: Ari Spar (AB ’89), Charles Woodson (’97), and Roger Zatkoff (ABED ’64).

The award was created to honor the late David Hermelin (BBA ’58, HHLD ’00), a Detroit-area entrepreneur, philanthropist and former U.S. ambassador to Norway, who was a dedicated friend of the University. Hermelin graduated from U-M’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 1958 and received an honorary degree in 2000.
This year’s recipients exemplify Heremlin’s dedication and volunteer their time and resources to better the Michigan community.

A football scholarship brought Roger Zatkoff to the U-M in 1949. He became a Green Bay Packer and Detroit Lion before completing his U-M degree. For more than three decades,  Zatkoff has helped to build the U-M Club of Greater Detroit, which provides more than $70,000 in scholarships to nearly 20 students each year.

Zatkoff and his wife, Elaine, established the Roger and Elaine Zatkoff Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide need-based support for a School of Kinesiology undergraduate assisting the women’s lacrosse team. He created the Zatkoff Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for Women’s Volleyball, providing financial assistance for a student athlete through the Department of Athletics. Recently, he established the Gary and Ann Moeller Scholarship Fund to provide support for Detroit-area undergraduates.

Congratulations, Grandpa!

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