Cooley Law School starts fall semester with Professionalism in Action


Cooley Law School kicked off its fall semester with its annual Professionalism in Action programs held at all five campuses.

Before incoming Thomas M. Cooley Law School students step into their first law school class, they are oriented to the importance of attorney ethics and professionalism through a collaborative program between the State Bar of Michigan and Cooley, called Professionalism in Action. Begun in 2009 by then State Bar of Michigan President Edward H. Pappas, the program brings students, local attorneys and judges together to discuss the role and importance of ethics and professionalism in both the study and practice of law.

In Grand Rapids, attorney William W. Jack Jr., of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge PC, served as the keynote speaker. He urged students to “take the higher road” and stressed the importance of consistently ethical behavior. Bruce Courtade, the president-elect of the State Bar of Michigan, provided welcoming remarks and introduced the speaker.

In Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County District Court Judge Cedric Simpson served as the keynote speaker. He stressed the importance of honor and integrity in the practice of law, and told students to strive to be an honorable attorney in how they conduct themselves with clients, other attorneys, and in their practice. He administered the Commitment to Honor to the students. Roundtable discussions on issues of ethics and professionalism, a hallmark of the Professionalism In Action tradition at Cooley Law School, followed the oath.

In Lansing, State Bar of Michigan President Julie Fershtman served as the keynote speaker. Following that presentation, incoming students participated in roundtable discussions on ethics and professionalism with lawyers and judges. Ms. Fershtman emphasized to students the importance of civility, honesty, and competence.

In Auburn Hills, the Hon. Cynthia Stephens, a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals, gave the keynote address and talked with students about practical professionalism issues. Assistant Dean Lisa Halushka gave opening remarks while Cooley graduate Thomas Romach, secretary for the State Bar of Michigan, introduced the speaker.

In Tampa Bay, 13th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Christopher Sabella gave the keynote speech, administered the Honor Code Oath, and led a discussion group. In addition to Judge Sabella, program volunteers included Cooley alumni Nick Martinez, J.D. Pierce, Manuel Franco, Aaron Hubbard, James Amarosa II, Charles Jones II, Julianna Rojas-Butcher, J. Chad Self and Bradley Butcher, as well as  Tampa Bay Campus Deputy Director and alumna Carly Wolf, judges Emily Peacock and Daniel Sleet of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court, Tampa Bay Campus Director and alumna Dionnie Wynter, Tampa Bay Campus Assistant Director for the Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism Amy Bandow, and Dara Cooley, Jacqueline Ambrose, Peter Farren, Victoria Cruz-Garcia, Robert Nader, and Brittany Maxey.