'Advancing equity': MSU Law welcomes the director of a new law clinic

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By  Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

‘Anne Choike joined the faculty of Michigan State University College of Law this fall, as director of the Equitable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Law Clinic, and as an associate clinical professor of law.

“As the unique name of my clinic suggests, the clinic offers a distinctive approach that provides outstanding transactional legal services for underserved entrepreneurs, innovators and makers while advancing equity — among clients and communities, in the marketplace, in the legal system and within the legal profession itself,” she says.

Choike looks forward to building upon her prior work in many ways. 

“I’m excited to do more intellectual property work in my clinic, in addition to business law — both of which are strengths at MSU Law and at MSU generally, with its outstanding entrepreneurship programs. I’m excited to continue my work in Detroit while also expanding to other parts of the state. In particular MSU Law has an unparalleled strengths in indigenous law and I’m curious to explore how the clinic can serve underserved native entrepreneurs, innovators and makers.”

Choike got her first taste of the legal field in childhood, when her father, a probation officer, introduced her to judges at court.

“I would come home and sentence my stuffed animals,” she says with a smile. “Later, it was my experiences working in the environmental engineering department at two different plants at General Motors that led me to law. I worked with regulations and permits frequently, and heard GM’s then-VP of Environment and Energy speak about company sustainability policies at a meeting. I was inspired by her work so I asked her how she got where she is, and she said she was a lawyer. The rest is history!” 

Previously the director of the Business and Community Law Clinic and an assistant clinical professor at Wayne Law School, Choike enjoys teaching and guiding law students. 

“I love supporting students in developing their unique professional identities,” she says. “I also like helping them sharpen their analytical skills and realize they can do so without losing themselves, their well-being, or the interests that led them to pursue a career in law.” 

Choike launched her academic trajectory with an undergraduate degree in earth and atmospheric science, drawing from a passion sparked in childhood when her father took her to national and state parks, instilling in her a deep appreciation for nature. This motivated her to pursue an environmental engineering major at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences—but she ultimately switched to earth sciences after a transformative field semester in Hawaii offered through that department in Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences. 

“I realized that, unlike in the Ag School, in the College of Arts & Sciences I could study the natural world while also taking the liberal arts classes I loved like modern philosophy, Russian literature, Polish language, and urban planning,” she says. “I’m a land grant aggie at heart though, and that’s part of what drew me to MSU for sure!” 

She earned both her J.D. and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. Her interest in the latter subject was piqued by spending time with her father in Detroit, where he had attended college and spent much of his youth. 

“Seeing the assets as well as the challenges of Detroit — as well as the sprawl of its suburbs — really impacted me and made me curious to learn more,” she says. “Later, when I was studying in Hawaii, I was exposed to native Hawaiian land management approaches. These helped me to appreciate that the way land and development is managed has an enormous impact on community sustainability and equity. When I got back to Ithaca, I wanted to learn more and took several urban planning classes there, and discovered I enjoy design and planning generally.”  

Choike now practices and researches in the area of organizational law.

“I enjoy analyzing how organizational law works and also how it can be used to promote justice and socially responsible enterprise,” she says. “To this end, I recently completed a project—'Feminist Judgments: Corporate Law Rewritten,’ scheduled to be published by Cambridge University Press in November 2022—using feminist theory and methods to analyze corporate law. I’m fortunate to have opportunities to put this a project in action in my clinic practice.” 


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