Search

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Blog

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.

Read more about Why Writing Well is Essential to Your Legal Career

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.

Read more about Asynchronous Teaching Methodologies: Pandemic Reflections and Best Practices

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.

Read more about James Turgal - A Lifetime Calling to Protect America

Nurisha A. Harvey, ESQ.: Following Family Footsteps to Advance Equal Justice

July 14

Nurisha Azizi Harvey graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor and concentration in litigation from WMU-Cooley Law School. She shared the day with the William Strong Class during a virtual graduation ceremony on Sunday, December 6, 2020. Then she was sworn in on June 11, 2021 as a new attorney during a ceremony held at the historic Sarasota County Courtroom in Sarasota, Florida  by the Honorable Charles E. Williams. The next month Harvey was admitted to the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Read more about Nurisha A. Harvey, ESQ.: Following Family Footsteps to Advance Equal Justice

Cooley Law Student Seeks Chance to 'Create Change'

July 12

Never tell Heather Silcott she can’t achieve success—whether in the legal field, hockey arena, or pageant world. A comment from an employer that she could “always be a legal assistant,” gave Silcott the impetus to apply to law school—and she is now a rising 3L at WMU-Cooley Law School with an exciting legal career in her sights.

Read more about Cooley Law Student Seeks Chance to 'Create Change'

Using Microsoft Word’s Readability Program: advice for lawyers

June 29

Readability should be a goal of all careful writers. Lawyers, in particular, need to exercise care that their writings are comprehensible to the intended audience.

Read more about Using Microsoft Word’s Readability Program: advice for lawyers

Calling All Scribes

March 02

What does the word “scribes” call to mind? For most people, it evokes the image of medieval monks copying manuscripts with quill pens. But modernly it also refers to a society of legal writers.

Read more about Calling All Scribes

Historian James Kratsas: These are the best (and worst) of times

February 13

My fervent hope is to provide some historical perspective of the past year and the last three months. The title I came up with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Maybe it should have been “These are the times that try men’s souls”

Read more about Historian James Kratsas: These are the best (and worst) of times

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.

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

Judge Brennan's Ten Commandments For Law School

November 16

Starting a new law school from scratch is not a simple matter. WMU-Cooley Law School’s founder, Justice Thomas E. Brennan, had many concerns, large and small, to attend to, from hiring faculty to acquiring furniture. He devised the school’s innovative year-round schedule, created the Student Bar Association and Scholastic Review Board, composed the school’s motto, and designed its distinctive diplomas.  Another of Brennan’s concerns was that his students—also new, of course—achieve success at the new school. To that end he typed up a one-page list of suggestions he titled “Judge Brennan’s Ten Commandments for Law School.” For several years, Xerox copies were included in new-student welcome packets. In later years, some first-year professors attached copies to their course syllabus. But as far as is known, the “Ten Commandments” were never typeset or digitalized. . . until now. Here, preserved on the internet, is the handout that helped the first generations of WMU-Cooley law students achieve success.

Read more about Judge Brennan's Ten Commandments For Law School