Legal professionals discuss ethics and professionalism with future attorneys

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Entering law students met attorneys from the community during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Professionalism in Action program at its Auburn Hills campus. Pictured (front row, l-r) are Martha Moore, auxiliary dean and professor; Lisa Halushka, assistant dean and professor; Hon. Joseph Farah, Seventh Judicial Circuit Court; Don Rockwell, State Bar president; Valerie R. Newman, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office; Michelle Donovan, Plunkett Cooney; Joan Vestrand, associate dean and professor, Raymond A. Cassar, Law Offices of Raymond A. Cassar; (second row) Lynn Helland, Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission; Jim Derian, attorney; David Gillam, Royal Oak city attorney; Thomas J. Ryan, Thomas J. Ryan, PC; Honorable Jeffrey Matis, Oakland County Circuit Court; Michael Nowakowski, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service; (back row) Jeffrey May, Kerr Russell & Weber, PLC; David Anderson, Collins, Einhorn, Farrell, PLC; Thomas Cranmer, Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone PLC; James Vlasic, Bodman, PLC; and retired Judge Jack Gilbreath.

During orientation at WMU-Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus, 52 incoming students had the opportunity to interact with some of the state’s top judges and attorneys to learn about the importance of ethics and professionalism in the legal profession.

 During the Aug. 29 orientation, new law students participated in the Professionalism in Action program, which is presented by WMU-Cooley and the State Bar of Michigan. During the program, students had the opportunity to speak with attorneys and judges from the community about ethics and professionalism in the field of law.

Legal professionals speaking with students during the Professionalism in Action program included Don Rockwell, State Bar president; Valerie R. Newman, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office; Michelle Donovan, Plunkett Cooney; Raymond A. Cassar, Law Offices of Raymond A. Cassar; Lynn Helland, Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission; Jim Derian, attorney; David Gillam, Royal Oak city attorney; Thomas J. Ryan, Thomas J. Ryan, PC; Hon. Jeffrey Matis, Oakland County Circuit Court; Michael Nowakowski, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service; Jeffrey May, Kerr Russell & Weber, PLC; David Anderson, Collins, Einhorn, Farrell, PLC; Thomas Cranmer, Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone PLC; James Vlasic, Bodman, PLC; and retired Judge Jack Gilbreath.
In addition to the Professionalism in Action program, Judge Joseph Farah of Genesee County’s Seventh Judicial Circuit Court administered the WMU-Cooley honor code oath, which in part says, “ethics are as important as academic performance and the mastery of practical legal skills.” 

During his remarks Farah spoke about demonstrations of integrity by lawyers before him, despite the pressures of their cases. He noted that honors, accolades and financial gain mean nothing if integrity is lost.

Farah said, “integrity...without it, you got nothin’!”