MSU John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law holds inaugural lecture

By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

The John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law, the first fully endowed chair in Michigan State University College of Law's history will hold its inaugural lecture on September 15th at the College. Professor Cynthia Lee Starnes, Professor and the first John F. Schaefer Chair of Matrimonial Law, will speak on the topic "Alimony and Partnership Marriage: Rethinking the Law and Theory of Post-Divorce Income Sharing." The event, which will be held in the Castle Board Room, is open to the public.

Starnes, graduate of Indiana University School of Law, Michigan State University, holds an LL.M. from Columbia University School of Law. Professor Starnes's research interests include the law and theory of divorce economics and child custody. She explores these issues in the broader context of social justice, changing gender roles, and private commitments as a source of responsibility for public good.

Professor Starnes has presented her scholarship in both national and international fora and has worked with grass roots community groups dedicated to law reform. Some of her publications appear in University of Chicago Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Iowa Law Review, and Indiana Law Journal. She has taught family law to students abroad, and commercial law to judges at the National Judicial College.

John F. Schaefer is a 1969 graduate of the Law College. He is an expert in the field of matrimonial law. Schaefer, a trustee emeritus and a member of the Board from 1985 to 2001, was instrumental in bringing Detroit College of Law to MSU. A major donor to the Law College, the law library was renamed the John F. Schaefer Law Library in November 2010.

Schaefer also taught Family Law as an adjunct professor at the Law College for more than 30 years. His recent $6 million gift was used to endow the chair in matrimonial law.

Hon Michael J. Talbot, Michigan Court of Appeals, will also be present at the lecture. Judge Talbot was previously a judge of Wayne Circuit, Detroit Recorder's and Detroit Common Please courts and worked as an attorney in private practice. Active in a variety of organizations, he has received numerous awards for his service to the profession.

To RSVP for the lecture, please call the Office of Advancement at 517-432-6540 or visit For more information, visit

Published: Thu, Sep 1, 2011