Photo of Rochelle E. Lento

Rochelle E. Lento Member

Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1987

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1987


University of Detroit, J.D.

State University of New York at Potsdam, B.A., cum laude

Rochelle E. Lento's practice focuses on affordable housing development and economic development representing developers in transactions involving Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, federal HOME and other HUD Financing Tools, and New Market Tax Credits; and general real estate. Prior to joining Dykema, she was Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and Director of the Law School's Program in Legal Assistance for Urban Communities Clinical Program.

Ms. Lento has been Associate Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Journal on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law and continues to author various editorials for the ABA Journal. She is co-editor and chapter author of The Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development, a joint publication of the ABA Section on State and Local Government Law and the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. Ms. Lento is Immediate Past Chair of the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law for 2008-2009, and served on its Governing committee for 10 years, and currently chairs the Forum's Publication Committee.

In 2002, Ms. Lento was an expert witness on a federal affordable housing case involving a legal malpractice action in Florida. In 1989 she managed the successful re-election campaign of Detroit City Council President Maryann Mahaffey.


  • ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development
    • Initially served as Assistant Editor and then Editor of the Journal
    • Served on the Board of Directors for 12 years
    • Served as Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Chair of the Board of Directors
    • Served on Special Committee to develop a Strategic Plan
    • Served as the chair of the Publications Committee for ten years, and produced 10 small publications on various topics
    • Co-Edited The Legal Guide to Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, first (2002) and second editions (2011)
    • Currently working on the 3rd edition of The Legal Guide to Affordable Housing & Community Development Law to be published in 2021
    • Regular panelist at the Forum’s Annual Meeting in May each year, 2010-present
    • Developed a special training program using a Jeopardy model for the annual Bootcamp for young lawyers, 2015-present
  • Novogradac & Company 
    • Serve on the Advisory Board for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
    • Contributor to the Journal of Tax Credits
    • Served as a judge for Developments of Distinction awards, 2010-present
  • Participated on numerous boards related to housing and community development including the Community Reinvestment Strategy Cluster 10 (1998); Special Assessment District Coalition (2000-2002); Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking Coalition (1994-2004); Fair Housing Center Tester (1996-2000); and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Board (1999-present)
  • Regular speaker/panelist or moderator at conferences on affordable housing and community development law: Nationally, those sponsored by the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), and the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law and locally at City of Detroit workshops sponsored by the City Planning Commission or Planning & Development Department, Lending Institutions Community Development Conferences, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
  • Participated on various University of Michigan panels, special projects and committees related to affordable housing, real estate development and Detroit-related activities

Memberships & Involvement

  • Dykema Women’s Business Initiative Michigan Leader, 2015-present
  • Dykema Diversity & Inclusion Board Member, 2015-present
  • American Bar Association/ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

Community/Civic Activities

  • Alternatives for Girls: Board of Trustees, 2018-present
    • Serve on the AFG Program Committee
  • ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development Leadership Advisory Board
  • Joe Louis Greenway Advisory Board – District 2 Representative
  • People for Palmer Park
    • Founding Board Member, 2011
    • Current President of the Board, 2014-present
  • University of Detroit Mercy Law School
    • Dean's Advisory Council
    • Moot Court Judge Annual Volunteer
    • First Year Student Orientation Annual Advisor
    • Mock Interview Annual Volunteer
  • Community Legal Resources, 1998-2018
  • Reinvestment Strategy Cluster 10 Board, 1997
  • Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking, past Board Member
  • Fair Housing Center, Volunteer
  • Friends School Board of Directors, 2002-2012
  • Michigan Interfaith Trust Fund Advisory Board, 2008-present
  • NAACP Member, 1992-present
  • National Lawyers Guild, Detroit Chapter, Member
  • Palmer Woods Neighborhood Association, past Board President and Member
  • Warren-Conner Development Coalition, past Task-Force Member

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Real Estate Law, 2020 and 2021. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC