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Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Blog

Adjunct Law Professors: Blessing or Curse?

September 15

From its earliest days, WMU-Cooley Law School has employed the services of adjunct (part-time) professors. The faculty members hired to teach the very first entering class in 1973 were all part-timers. They consisted of two lawyers, an appellate judge, and a former prosecuting attorney.

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Why Writing Well is Essential to Your Legal Career

August 26

Writing is a necessary evil to some and a welcome respite to others. But whether you love it or hate it, lawyers spend much of their time writing, and writing well is important to success as a lawyer. WMU-Cooley understood these two facts from the start, which is why WMU-Cooley now has a nationally recognized research and writing program. Designed to teach students plain-language writing and techniques that will serve them throughout their careers, the program has raised the legal-writing bar nationwide.

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WMU-Cooly Grad Olu Ben-Shidah: Stay Focused and Fight for your Clients

August 24

“Calm” is not a word that typically springs to mind when thinking about the practice of law – particularly criminal law. From stressed attorneys to frantic defendants, looming deadlines, over-crowded trial calendars, and high-stakes courtroom drama, “calm” just isn’t an adjective that typically gets put into play in the legal arena.

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Guide to Good Writing; Get Specific!

August 17

Strunk & White’s classic guide to good writing, The Elements of Style, urges writers to use definite, specific, and concrete language. “Prefer the specific to the general, the definite to the vague, the concrete to the abstract.” The goal is to write “with such accuracy and vigor that the reader, in imagination, can project himself into the scene.”

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Vaccines. Masks. Mandates and the law. WMU-Cooley Experts Weigh in.

August 13

Despite the apparent confusion and divide on the topic of vaccines, masks, and mandates, WMU-Cooley professors are very clear about what the law says, and what is allowed, not allowed, and why. 

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Asynchronous Teaching Methodologies: Pandemic Reflections and Best Practices

August 11

WMU-Cooley Law School Professors Matthew Marin and Amanda Fisher’s article, "Asynchronous Teaching Methodologies: Pandemic Reflections and Best Practices,” published in the Summer/Fall 2021 issue of The Learning Curve, a publication of the AALS Section of Academic Support .  It includes well supported advice for the use of asynchronous methods, even after the return to the physical classroom.

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WMU-Cooley Graduate Jon Kohler: Leading Plantation Broker in USA

August 11

WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Jon Kohler (Adams Class, 1997), is the founder of Jon Kohler & Associates, the #1 plantation brokerage in the United States. Kohler attributes the work ethic and education he gained at WMU-Cooley Law School with his continued success. Read below Mr. Kohler’s interview with writer Adam York in this  Dec. 6, 2016 blog. 

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Maples & Jones: Cooley grads Achieving positive Outcomes For Clients

August 09

What are the keys to a successful law practice? For family law attorneys Nikki Maples (Sibley Class, 2011) and Meagan Jones (Nelson Class, 2018), the answers are easy – fostering professional relationships and a strong interest in the people who show up on the doorstep of Maples | Jones, PLLC, in Austin, Texas.

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James Turgal - A Lifetime Calling to Protect America

July 16

James Turgal stared at his phone in shock. In just five minutes, his life had been completely changed. Settled in nicely to his post as Special Agent in Charge for the FBI in Phoenix, Arizona, moving across the country was not on his to-do list. But when your boss – who happens to be FBI Director Robert Mueller – calls and tells you he needs you back in Washington, D.C., ASAP, you just start packing up your house and go.

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Detroit's Revitalization Flows Through Work of Graduate Choi Portis

July 15

Choi T. Portis (Wilkins Class, 2011), a Detroit native and deputy general counsel for the city of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, will tell people affectionately and with a laugh that her day job is centered on “fighting over sewer water.”

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