Cooley Associate Dean co-authors book on family and medical leave act

Cooley Law School Associate Dean for Legal Affairs and General Counsel James B. Thelen has co-authored a book, Family & Medical Leave and the Law. The book is to be published by Law Journal Press, a professional legal publications division of ALM, whose well-known publications include The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazines, The National Law Journal legal newspaper, New York Law Journal and Minority Law Journal, among others.

The book was written as a practical legal guide to the federal law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act, which generally permits employees to take job-protected leave from work for certain reasons specified in the law. It is written for employers, workers, labor unions, and their respective attorneys. Thelen and his co-author, Megan P. Norris, provide detailed and practical analyses of the impact of the act, Department of Labor regulations, and recent cases interpreting the law.

“It was a privilege to work with Megan and our skilled editors at Law Journal Press, Howard Stiefel and Gail Cleary, to bring this book to print,” Thelen said.  “It’s our hope that the book will be a valuable compliance tool for employers, employees, and other attorneys who want to better understand FMLA compliance in real-life situations.” 

Before joining Cooley in 2011, Thelen was a principal with the Detroit-based firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC, where he practiced labor and employment and higher education law for 16 years. While at the firm, he served as the editor for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s Employment Law Handbook for 8 years. He regularly wrote articles about the Family and Medical Leave Act for the Society of Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine.

Thelen’s co-author, Megan Norris, is a senior principal and managing director with the Miller Canfield law firm, and she chairs the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group as well.

About Cooley Law School: Thomas M. Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation.  Founded in 1972, the private, nonprofit law school operates its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Cooley recently announced a new Tampa Bay, Florida-area campus with courses beginning in May 2012. Cooley has more than 15,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and offers enrollment three times a year in January, May and September. Cooley is an independent law school, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Additional information can be found at