Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Blog

Tips For Making A Presentation

March 11

Lawyers are trained to be expert communicators. Yet speaking before a group can be an intimidating prospect for some, whether it’s a civic club luncheon, trade association meeting, or bar association CLE program. Rejoice if you are invited to make a speaking presentation, as there are many ways it can benefit your practice. Here are some tips for making your presentation an effective and impressive one.

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What does the Constitution say is a national emergency? Con Law profs explain 'what is' and 'what isn't.'

February 23

On Friday, Feb. 15, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in order to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Following President Trump’s announcement, Constitutional professors from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School responded by releasing a joint statement about the National Securities Act and an analysis of what our Constitution says and what it means for our democracy. 

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Judge Fitzgerald's Final Precedent

February 20

Judge E. Thomas Fitzgerald of Owosso, Michigan, passed away December 27, 2018, at age 79. He was a trial lawyer for 24 years before his election to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1990. He served on the court for another 24 years before retiring in 2014.

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Insights & Analysis on Presidential Emergency Power by Ret. Brig. Gen. Michael C.H. McDaniel

February 16

Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School Associate Dean and Ret. Brigadier General Michael C.H. McDaniel offered insight into the legal ramifications if President Donald Trump invokes the National Emergency Act in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Passing the Bar Today Requires New Ways of Teaching and Exam Preparation

February 13

Getting students ready to pass the Bar Exam is something Professor Emily Horvath takes very seriously. As the director of academic services with the law school, not only does she work to create solid curriculum and programming, she puts in an effort that begins day one, the minute a student steps into the classroom. 

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Specifics Make It Real

January 28

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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Remembering Our Founder

December 18

The Honorable Thomas E. Brennan, founder of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Sept. 29, 2018 at the age of 89. He has been called one of the most important innovators in legal education of the past 40 years. A visionary. A risk-taker. An “idea guy.” His legacy reaches far beyond the founding of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, rippling through the lives of more than 20,000 graduates of the institution he imagined back in 1972, touching even the lives of generations of people he never would meet.

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Stacey Dinser Honored with Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award

December 14

An adjunct professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, Stacey Dinser might be considered a bountiful giver.  It’s just something that comes naturally to her. It then is no surprise that her dedication and enthusiasm for teaching the law have resulted in her being honored with the 2018 Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award.

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Beloved Storytellers (Part Two): Cardozo's Opinion Style

November 30

In England, Lord Denning was hailed at his death as "the best-known and the best-loved judge in the whole of our history." This tribute was due at least in part to his storytelling style of opinion writing. Are there American judges with a similar flair for storytelling? Surely one is Justice Benjamin Cardozo of the New York Court of Appeals (1914-1932) and United States Supreme Court (1932-1938).

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Beloved Storytellers (Part One): Denning the Master Storyteller

November 30

Alfred Thompson Denning--England's Lord Denning  to the legal world—died in the final year of the 20th Century at the age of 100. Before retiring in 1982, he had served on the bench for 38 years, the last 20 as Master of the Rolls, the head of England's Court of Appeal. At a memorial service held in Westminster Abbey, the Lord Chief Justice of England hailed Denning as "the best-known and the best-loved judge in the whole of our history."  Lord Denning was most renowned for his clarity of expression. His judicial opinions (the English call them "judgments") were regarded as models of lucidity. He wrote in short, crisp sentences intended to make the law accessible to lay people. A biographer referred to his writing style as “pungent English." Many law students encounter their first Denning opinion in Contracts in a case involving Anglia Television's suit against the American actor Robert Reed for backing out of an agreement to star in a made-for-television movie. Lord Denning sets the stage in the opening sentences of his opinion:

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