Legal professionals discuss ethics and professionalism with future attorneys


Entering law students met attorneys from the community during Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Professionalism in Action program on Thursday, Jan. 3. The program was held in cooperation with the State Bar of Michigan (SBM). To prepare students for issues they may face during their career, local attorneys and judges led small group discussions about professional conduct and ethical dilemmas. Happy to speak with the students at the Auburn Hills campus were (front row, left to right) WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean and Prof. Lisa Halushka, WMU-Cooley Associate Dean and Prof. Joan Vestrand, Laura Polizzi, SBM President Jennifer Grieco, Aaron Burrell, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Cunningham, and Oakland County 52-4 District Court Judge Maureen McGinnis; along with (back row, left to right) Jeffrey May, Christine Stephens, and retired Judge Jack Gilbreath.

Incoming law students at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School's Auburn Hills campus participated in a two-day orientation program Jan. 3-4, which included opportunities to learn about ethics and professionalism from State Bar of Michigan President Jennifer Grieco and Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Cunningham.

During the Professionalism in Action program, Greico welcomed students on behalf of the bar, and encouraged them to always keep ethics in the front of their mind, as the most successful lawyers are the most ethical. She also encouraged students to become active in their local and state bar associations as a way to develop relationships with other lawyers.

The WMU-Cooley Honor Code Oath, which states which states, "ethics are as important as academic performance and the mastery of practical legal skills," was administered by Cunningham. Speaking to the students during the Honor Code Convocation, Cunningham told students that they need to take their ethical obligations seriously.

"It takes a long time to build a reputation, and seconds to ruin it," said Cunningham.

– Photos by John Meiu

Published: Wed, Jan 16, 2019


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