Desiree M. Ferguson is the Legal Director / Senior Staff Attorney of the Detroit Justice Center. Before joining DJC, Desiree retired after serving for over 26 years as an Assistant Defender at the State Appellate Defender Office, where she specialized in handling criminal defense appeals on behalf of indigent persons convicted of felonies, in both State and Federal courts. She taught a Criminal Appellate Advocacy clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan Law School. Previously, she worked for UAW Legal Services Plan, Michigan Legal Services, Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services and Farmworker Legal Services.
A native Detroiter, Desiree graduated from Cass Tech in 1975, and from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature in 1978 and a Juris Doctor in 1982. She is an active member of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and served as its national co-Chair for two terms. In that capacity, she co-authored a Brief of Amicus Curiae in the Supreme Court of the United States in Gratz v Bollinger, supporting the University of Michigan’s affirmative action educational programs. She is also an active member of the National Lawyers Guild, and currently serves on the Board of its Michigan/Detroit Chapter. She has served on the State Bar of Michigan Criminal Jury Instruction Committee, and is a member of the Criminal Law Section.