James Thelen joins Cooley Law School leadership group


James B. Thelen, of DeWitt, Mich., has been named Associate Dean for Legal Affairs and General Counsel at Cooley Law School. He takes over duties from James Robb, who has been named Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations.

Mr. Thelen was most recently a partner at Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone, where he worked in the firm’s Lansing office and handled several matters on Cooley’s behalf. He first joined Miller Canfield in 1995, and was an associate attorney in the Labor and Employment Practice Group.

He was named a principal in 2005.

At Miller Canfield, he managed discrimination and other employment-related litigation for employers, as well as governmental and administrative agency proceedings involving unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, labor relations, affirmative action, and Department of Labor audits.

Mr. Thelen served as the Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Vice President for Legislative Affairs at Western Michigan University 1997-1999 before returning to private practice at Miller Canfield. He also served as an adjunct professor at WMU from 1997-2002, teaching upper level undergraduate courses in judicial process and political/social history.

He was named to Best Lawyers in America 2010-2011, Michigan Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2008, and America’s Leading Business Lawyers Up and Coming in 2006 for Chambers USA. He speaks and publishes frequently on employment law.

Mr. Thelen earned his juris doctor degree cum laude from Tulane University School of Law, where he was named to Who’s Who Among American Law Students. He earned his bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude from Western Michigan University, where he was a 1988 Medallion Scholar, a 1992 Presidential Scholar in Communication, a Rhodes Scholar nominee, and vice president for student government. He was also named to Who’s Who Among American College Students.


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