Cooley graduates 171 students

The Michigan campuses of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School honored 171 graduates with juris doctor degrees and 20 graduates with LL.M. degrees during a commencement ceremony held at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts Student Center in East Lansing, Michigan, on Jan. 24, 2016.

Graduate Benjamin Schirm presented the graduation valedictory remarks. In the speech, he shared how hard work and hope kept him on task to achieve his goals and serve in the profession.

"Our collective hope lives in three forms. What it took to get us here, how we persevered through the challenges and struggles of law school, and our hope to serve the profession and to serve those in times of need," stated Schirm. "Hope is such a small and unassuming word, yet today on this our graduation day it's what we have and take with us."

The keynote was presented by Megan Norris, principal, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone, PLC, Detroit. Norris spoke to the graduates about advice she wished she received before practicing law.

"No matter how good you were in law school, there is a steep learning curve, this was my hardest lesson," said Norris. "While your time in college and law school is measured in a handful of years, your career is measured in decades. It took me 15-20 years, but I found my lane, and I'm happy driving in it. Find yours."

During the ceremony WMU-Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc presented Alexandria Solis-Mullen with the President's Achievement Award. Sara Graber was honored as a summa cum laude graduate.

Each class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. The January 2016 class is named after William Howard Taft. Taft was the only person to serve as U.S. President (1909-1913) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930).

The WMU-Cooley Law School Michigan campuses are located in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Auburn Hills.

Published: Thu, Jan 28, 2016