Professionalism in Action

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Photo 1: On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus hosted a State Bar of Michigan Professionalism in Action Orientation for incoming students. The orientation premiered at the school in May 2009 under then State Bar of Michigan President Edward H. Pappas. Numerous judges and lawyers from metropolitan Detroit gave up their afternoons to meet in pairs with small groups of six to eight students each to discuss real-life ethics and professionalism issues that the students may confront as lawyers.  Among those participating in the program were (front row, left to right) Eric Parzianello, WMU-Cooley Auburn Hills campus Assistant Dean Lisa Halushka, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Hala Jarbou, Michelle Donovan, WMU-Cooley Auburn Hills campus Associate Dean Joan Vestrand, State Bar of Michigan President Larry Nolan, Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah, Aylysh Gallagher, Victoria King, and Oakland County 50th District Court Chief Judge Cynthia Walker; along with (back row, left to right) Kurt Schnelz, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jeffery Matis, Oakland County 52-2 District Court Kelley Kostin, Oakland County 52-4 District Court Judge Maureen McGinnis, retired Judge John Gilbreath, State Bar of Michigan President-Elect Don Rockwell, Oakland County 52-1 District Court Judge Travis Reeds, Matt Allen, Jordan Fields, and Lori Smith.

Photo by John Meiu

Photo 2: Also on Aug. 30, WMU-Cooley conducted its Honor Code Convocation where new students take the oath to be ethical students.  The honor code states that “ethics are as important as academic performance and the mastery of practical legal skills.”  All entering students, faculty, and staff take the oath as a commitment to the law school’s ethical standards. Leading the oath was Oakland County 52-1 District Court Judge Travis Reeds (right).  During his remarks, Reeds spoke about the significance of honesty and ethical standards.  “Being a lawyer is about assisting in the administration of justice while keeping in mind your obligation to your client’s cause. If your word can be trusted, you can accomplish what you need to,” he said.  “The best lawyers are those who fearlessly advocate within those ethical boundaries.”

Photo by John Meiu

Photo 3: During the program, WMU-Cooley students had the opportunity to engage with nearly 20 different judges and attorneys from the community who offered advice on various professional and ethical situations that attorneys may encounter throughout their careers. Among those happy to interact with students at the Auburn Hills campus was Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jeffery Matis (right).

Photo courtesy of WMU-Cooley

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