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Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Blog

It's All About IRAC

February 08

As beginning law students soon learn, what we call “legal reasoning” can be expressed by the formula IRAC. It’s the law’s version of the deductive syllogism. It stands for Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion. First, identify the salient issue (“Is Socrates mortal?”). Then, state the applicable rule (“All men are mortal”). Next, apply the rule to the relevant facts (“Socrates is a man”). This leads inexorably to the conclusion (“Therefore Socrates is mortal”).

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A Tale of Two Toms: How WMU-Cooley Law School Acquired Two Bronze Likenesses of its Namesake

January 03

WMU-Cooley Law School alum John Nocita (Turner Class, 1991) is profiled in the Winter 2020 issue of the alumni magazine Benchmark. The profile includes an account of his donation to the law school of an impressive bronze bust of Thomas M. Cooley mounted on a marble pedestal.

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Lawyers Publish or Perish. Is Legal Writing An Essential Skill?

December 18

Yes, that statement exaggerates—but only slightly. Academics must publish or perish, meaning to lose their chance at a tenured position. Lawyers, on the other hand, don’t lose their law license when they fail to publish. Yet they lose a critical professional-development opportunity.

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Origin of Michigan State Bar Foundation’s Fellows Program

December 18

Earlier this year the Michigan State Bar Foundation announced the names of inductees into the 2020 Fellows Program. Among the twelve persons honored as Fellows is WMU-Cooley Law Professor Erika Breitfeld. A number of other WMU-Cooley faculty members and senior administrators are members as well.

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WMU-Cooley Faculty Experts Shine a Spotlight in Election Coverage

November 20

Leading up to, during, and after the 2020 presidential election, WMU-Cooley Law School professors were called on by the media as subject matter experts. Associate Deans Michael C.H. McDaniel and Tracey Brame, along with Professors Brendan Beery, Devin Schindler, Jeffrey Swartz, and Renalia DuBose spoke on topics relating to election law and constitutional law, and offered analysis of the election and potential litigation stemming from counting ballots.

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Justice Cardozo's Supreme Court Confirmation

October 15

My Contracts students know how much I revere Justice Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938). Teaching his opinion in Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon has been a particular delight. And I have blogged about him here and here.

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WMU-Cooley Faculty Legal Experts Available To The Media

October 06

With campuses in Michigan and Florida, WMU-Cooley Law School professors are available to speak with members of the media regarding various issues facing the nation’s Nov. 3 elections. If you are interested in speaking with any of WMU-Cooley's legal experts, or securing their election night availability, please feel free to contact Tyler Lecceadone at SeyferthPR, the PR partner for WMU-Cooley Law School, at 616-776-3511 or email Lecceadone@seyferthpr.com

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State's High Court Justices DO Indeed Make Law

October 05

It has happened again. A candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court has declared, “It is incumbent upon our state’s highest court to enforce and not make the law.” I have written about this mischaracterization of the role of our state’s highest court before, but a reminder seems in order. Here is an abridged version of my op-ed column in the Detroit News several election cycles ago:

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Death Means Far More Than Many Truly Understand

September 28

Blog author, Constitutional Law expert and WMU-Cooley Professor Brendan Beery gives his legal opinion on why the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg represents a death far beyond her loss as a human being. It may mean a death of her life's work. Professor Beery, a summa cum laude graduate of the law school, teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure at WMU-Cooley Law School, and is a frequent legal expert in the media.

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Bob Woodward and the Ethical Lens of America

September 15

This opinion blog piece was written by WMU-Cooley Law School Assistant Dean Victoria V. Vuletich. Professor Vuletich has expertise in legal ethics, the regulation of the legal profession and drafting and proposing administrative rules relating to the legal profession. She also has expertise in the restructuring of the legal profession and its implications for the profession and the public. You can listen to Professor Vuletich on Michigan's Big Show. 

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