Cooley associate dean and graduates honored as 'Leaders in the Law'

Three of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 30 “2017 Leaders in the Law” have connections to WMU-Cooley Law School, including Lansing campus Associate Dean Michael McDaniel, and graduates Hon. Joseph Farah of Flint; and Sharon Levine of Kalamazoo.

In addition to teaching constitutional law, McDaniel is also the director of the Homeland and National Security Law LL.M. program at WMU-Cooley Law School, a program he created in 2013. McDaniel is a retired Brigadier General and was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Strategy, Prevention and Mission Assurance at Department of Defense prior to joining the law school. In 2003, he was also Homeland Security Advisor to then-Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and has been the chairperson for Great Lakes Hazard Coalition (GLHC) since 2012. He also served as the Assistant Adjutant General for Homeland Security with the Michigan National Guard. McDaniel has been on the board of directors for the Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) since December 2012, assisting the organization in national infrastructure security and resiliency planning. In 2016, McDaniel was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee (FWICC) and helped to secure $100 million in funding from Congress. The funding sped up the process of removing hazardous water pipes, with over 600 pipes replaced by the end of 2016.

From 1982 to 1984, Levine served as president of the southwest region of Women’s Lawyers Association. Shortly thereafter, she was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court as a commissioner to the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners. At the local level, Levine served as the legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio Station WMUK in Kalamazoo from 1985 to 2005. Levine is a member of the Small Business Forum of the Business Law Section of the State Bar. In the last several years, she has developed a private practice representing business entities and families throughout west Michigan. Recently, Levine focused her efforts on raising awareness for the need of a Veterans Treatment Court in Kalamazoo to improve the community’s legal system.

In 1998, Farah was appointed to Genesee County’s 7th Judicial Circuit Court where he was assigned to the family division.  During his seven years in the family division, Farah handled domestic and juvenile cases. Since 2005, Farah has presided over cases in the court’s civil and criminal division. Before his appointment to the court, Farah spent 18 as a criminal defense attorney in Flint. Beyond the courtroom, Farah has become involved in two organizations; he was recently sworn in as a board member of the West Flint Optimist Club and he serves on the Metro Community Development Board.