Legal professionals discuss ethics and professionalism with future attorneys

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Entering law students met attorneys from the community during at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Professionalism in Action program on Wednesday, Aug. 29. Happy to speak with the students at the Auburn Hills campus were (front row, left to right) WMU-Cooley Auxiliary Dean and Prof. Martha Moore; WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean and Prof. Lisa Halushka; Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah; State Bar of Michigan President Don Rockwell; Valerie R. Newman; Michelle Donovan; WMU-Cooley Associate Dean and Prof. Joan Vestrand; and Raymond A. Cassar; along with (middle row, left to right) Lynn Helland; Jim Derian; David Gillam; Thomas J. Ryan; Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Matis; and Michael Nowakowski; in addition to (back row, left to right) Jeffrey May; David Anderson; Thomas Cranmer; James Vlasic; and retired Judge Jack Gilbreath.

– Photos by John Meiu


Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah (pictured left) administered the WMU-Cooley honor code oath to incoming law students during the Aug. 29 orientation in Auburn Hills.

During orientation at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School's Auburn Hills campus, 52 incoming students had the opportunity to interact with some of the state's top judges and attorneys to learn about the importance of ethics and professionalism in the legal profession.

During the Aug. 29 orientation, new law students participated in the Professionalism in Action program, which is presented by WMU-Cooley and the State Bar of Michigan. During the program, students had the opportunity to speak with attorneys and judges from the community about ethics and professionalism in the field of law.

Legal professionals speaking with students during the Professionalism in Action program included State Bar of Michigan Preident Don Rockwell; Valerie R. Newman of Wayne County Prosecutor's Office; Michelle Donovan of Plunkett Cooney; Raymond A. Cassar of Law Offices of Raymond A. Cassar; Lynn Helland of Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission; attorney Jim Derian; David Gillam, Royal Oak city attorney; Thomas J. Ryan of Thomas J. Ryan PC; Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Matis; Michael Nowakowski of Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service; Jeffrey May of Kerr, Russell, & Weber, PLC; David Anderson of Collins, Einhorn, Farrell PLC; Thomas Cranmer of Miller, Canfield, Paddock, & Stone PLC; James Vlasic of Bodman PLC; and retired Judge Jack Gilbreath.

In addition to the Professionalism in Action program, Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah administered the WMU-Cooley honor code oath, which in part says, "ethics are as important as academic performance and the mastery of practical legal skills."

During his remarks Farah spoke about demonstrations of integrity by lawyers before him, despite the pressures of their cases. He noted that honors, accolades and financial gain mean nothing if integrity is lost.

Farah said, "integrity ... without it, you got nothin'!"

 

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