Former MSU running back to speak at Cooley's Howard Soifer Lecture in Sports and Entertainment Law

Todd “T.J.” Duckett, Michigan State University standout and former National Football League running back; and Joseph Bellanca, entertainment and media attorney at Hertz Schram PC., will be the featured speakers during WMU-Cooley Law School’s 10th Annual Howard Soifer Memorial Lecture in Sports and Entertainment Law. Duckett and Bellanca will speak Friday, Nov. 18, at WMU-Cooley’s Lansing campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Duckett, 35, was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and attended Loy Norrix High School where he earned the ranking of USA-Today All-American. Duckett was drafted 18th overall in the 2002 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. In addition to the Falcons, Duckett played for the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks.

Bellanca, a WMU-Cooley Law School graduate, advises entertainers, musicians, athletes, writers, media companies, and more on issues related to contracts, licensing, trademarks and copyrights.  He is an adjunct professor at the Detroit Institute for Music Education, the treasurer of the State Bar of Michigan Arts, Communication, Entertainment and Sports Section, and the recently elected secretary of the Italian American Bar Association of Michigan.

“We are very fortunate to have hosted the Howard Soifer Memorial Lecture for 10 years,” said WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc. “The Soifer family has allowed WMU-Cooley Law School to continue to honor Howard’s passion for law, sports and entertainment by connecting our community to influential business and sports professionals that share those same passions.”

Previous Soifer Memorial Lecture speakers include Tom Izzo, Michigan State University men’s basketball coach; Kevin Poston, president and CEO of Detroit-area based DEAL Elite Athletic Management; Steve Smith, broadcaster and former MSU and NBA all-star basketball player; and Steve Garvey, former MSU and Major League Baseball all-star and MVP.   

Soifer was grateful for his legal education at WMU-Cooley Law School and his family, friends and partners have endowed the lecture series in his memory.
Those interested in attending may RSVP by calling at 517-371-5140 x. 2014 or e-mailing