Blog contributor Otto Stockmeyer is a WMU-Cooley Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He represented mid-Michigan lawyers on the State Bar Board of Commissioners and in the ABA House of Delegates. The following is based on his three-part series of articles profiling Lansing-area State Bar presidents, published in the Ingham County Bar Association newsletter, BRIEFS.
The State Bar-Cooley Connection
Jeffrey Swartz: Military Students Have Superior Sense of Structure, Discipline, and Commitment
WMU-Cooley Law School, a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their careers. This month's Military feature is WMU-Cooley Professor Jeffrey Swartz. After entering the National Guard during college, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant E5, Professor Swartz had an illustrious career in the law, including serving as a judge, before he fulfilled his desire to teach and work in academia.
Valerie Smith: Law School Teaches Law and Life Lessons
"I wanted to go to law school as long as I can remember,” recalled WMU-Cooley law student Valerie Smith. Yet it wasn’t until the single mother of three got the go ahead from her children that she had the courage to pursue her dream.
Hardam Tripathi: Diversity, culture and a passion to help others
WMU-Cooley is a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School. This month’s military blog feature is recent WMU-Cooley graduate Hardam Tripathi. Learn about his law school journey and his new position as an Officer and Judge Advocate with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
Weekend law student Stephanie Samuels: Never too late to start a new life
Stephanie Samuels was almost 60 years old when she finally discovered she could make her life dream of going to law school a reality. Up until then, “life sort of just happened,” and it was never really an option – until she heard about WMU-Cooley’s weekend program.
WMU-Cooley graduation speaker: Others don’t have to fail in order for you to succeed
“Because of Cooley, you are now prepared to join in the battle for justice; to be the voice for the voiceless, to bring hope to the hopeless, and to speak justice for those who suffer injustice … In pursuing success in the profession, remember that success is not a zero sum game. Others don’t have to fail in order for you to succeed.” – Frederick McClure, managing partner at the Tampa Bay office of DLA Piper and president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association.
How a Small Firm, in a Small Town, is Making a Big Impact
Before Jeanne Reed decided to go to law school, she was deep into the building construction industry. Since receiving an associates degree in Building Construction Technology, she had spent seven years working in a business as a construction estimator. Then one morning she woke up and thought, “this isn’t enough.” “I realized I just wasn’t happy and felt like I’d maxed out in what I was doing and where I was going in this line of work,” recalled Jeanne. “Going to law school was a total leap of faith. I had never once in my life thought of myself as lawyer until I found myself listening to my friend talk about how excited she was about going to law school. It had always been her dream. It hit me that moment that law school might be right for me too. It’s funny, but I saw it as a sign.”
Dropping in on WMU-Cooley’s Foreign Study Down Under – Literally!
Katie O’Grady loves a challenge. And really loves a challenge that includes an adventure! What could make law school more challenging and more exciting? How about taking a semester with law students in WMU-Cooley Law School’s Down Under foreign study program! For Katie, law school never looked this good. Learning the law was a thrill a minute in Australia and New Zealand.
Advocating for animals is a passion and commitment for WMU-Cooley law student Alicia Prygoski.
Alicia Prygoski is a third-year law student at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and serves as the president of her Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter. Most recently, she received an Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Debra Steele: You are only as strong as you believe yourself to be.
“The defining step in the journey to where I am today is the time I served in the United States Marine Corps where I was taught discipline, leadership, and the value of team work. The Marine Corps’ motto is Adapt, Improvise and Overcome. I have lived by that code for most of my adult life and it has brought me much success.” – WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Debra Steele