Cooley's E. Christopher Johnson Jr. appointed Chair of ABA Council

Thomas M. Cooley Law School's Director of Corporate Law and Finance master of laws program, E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., has been appointed as chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline by ABA President Stephen N. Zack. Johnson begins his one-year term today at the adjournment of the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting.

''I look forward to serving as chair of this council,'' Johnson said. ''We hope to find ways to increase access to legal education across the country and explore how to improve educational systems so that the legal profession reflects the great diversity of people we serve.''

The Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline works to increase the number of students of color who are on track to becoming lawyers, and serves as a think tank and incubator for activities that foster a more diverse educational pipeline into the legal profession. It also acts as a forum for key stakeholders to address particular issues and builds networks in order to change educational systems and the legal profession.

Johnson is a national leader in efforts to increase access to law school and diversity in the legal profession. One of his recent efforts included bringing a nationally recognized institute designed to diversify the legal profession to Michigan. Cooley and Oakland University (OU) partnered with the American Bar Association's (ABA) Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) to offer the Sophomore Summer Institute, a month-long program that provided students with intensive, academic coursework and aimed to help disadvantaged students build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in law school.

Johnson is a member of the ABA House of Delegates, the Council for Legal Education Opportunity, the ABA Section of Legal Education Standards Review Committee and a past chair of the ABA Africa Law Council. He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his work in the diversity arena, including the ABA, National Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, State Bar of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and Oakland County Bar Association.

Johnson has led and developed Cooley's master of laws program in corporate law and finance since January 2009. Before joining Cooley, Johnson served as vice president and general counsel of General Motors (GM) North America.

Published: Thu, Aug 19, 2010