Law professor retires after 40-year career with Cooley

Professor John Scott taught his first class at WMU-Cooley in 1978. Four decades later, the respected law professor said farewell to the institution after teaching his very last class.

Scott, who received his bachelor’s, master’s and juris doctor degrees from the University of Michigan, retired this month after teaching 40 years at WMU-Cooley. Before joining WMU-Cooley, Scott began his legal career with a general trial practice near Kalamazoo, Michigan. There, Scott specialized in family, criminal, property and bankruptcy litigation. He started teaching at WMU-Cooley’s Lansing, Michigan, campus in 1978, and moved to the school’s Tampa Bay, Florida, campus when it opened in 2012.

“I’ve enjoyed my time immensely at WMU-Cooley. I will greatly miss the students and my WMU-Cooley colleagues – both in Michigan and in Florida,” Scott said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing a new chapter in life.”

Throughout his 40 years at WMU-Cooley, Scott administered the school’s Trial Workshop program for 10 years and coached the school’s teams in the ABA, ATLA, BLSA, and NACDL national trial competitions for law students. He was also a member of the WMU-Cooley Legal Authors Society.

In addition to teaching, Scott was a member in various legal organizations, including the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Real Property, Local Government, Litigation and Legal Education sections of the American Bar Association; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and the State Bar of Michigan. He also co-chaired the NACDL Criminal Trial Competition with WMU-Cooley Professor Gerald MacDonald. The pair co-authored case-file problems for the annual competition.

Scott, who taught Evidence and Property at WMU-Cooley, is the author of “Evidence Illustrated: Cases to Illustrate How All the Rules Work.” The book, published in 2000, is often used in today’s law classes.

Scott’s current Evidence students got together during their last class and gave him a memorable retirement send-off, complete with his favorite cake: chocolate.

“Professor Scott has been a remarkable faculty member at WMU-Cooley and a tremendous mentor and role model to our students,” said Ronald Sutton, associate dean of the WMU-Cooley Tampa Bay campus. “He will be missed dearly by all of us at WMU-Cooley. We wish Professor Scott the best in his retirement.”