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The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Recognizes Aaron Burrell Aaron Burrell (Woodward Class, 2010) received the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association’s Barristers President’s Award. The award recognizes a young attorney whose early career has exhibited high standards of service. Burrell is an associate at Dickinson Wright in Detroit where he focuses his practice in the areas of complex commercial litigation, labor, labor and employment law, appellate law, and minority business enterprises. He was recently elected to the Oakland County Bar Association’s board of directors and is the immediate past president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association.

WMU-Cooley Associate Dean of External Affairs and General Counsel James D. Robb (left) with WMU-Cooley graduate Aaron Burrell (right) with his award.

Leadership in Times of Crisis ethics program offered at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum Western Michigan University, WMU-Cooley, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum are collaborating in a new class for students of both schools and members of the community. The program was developed to educate and inspire individuals to adopt the ethical leadership standards exhibited by President Ford throughout his life.

WMU-Cooley Professor Lauren Rousseau was honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of its 2016 Women in the Law.

Professor and Graduates Honored as Women in the Law Professor Lauren Rousseau and graduates Jenna Wright Greenman (Jay Class, 2000) and Amy Tripp (Moody Class, 1996) were chosen by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as members of the 2016 Women in the Law class. Each year, the Women in the Law program honors 30 high-achieving women lawyers in Michigan for their contributions and accomplishments. Rousseau is chair of WMU-Cooley’s Civil Procedure, Evidence and Practice Skills Department. She supervises an Access to Bankruptcy Court/WMU-Cooley collaborative program through which law students are paired with experienced attorneys to handle pro bono bankruptcy cases. Rousseau is an avid leader in fighting heroin and opioid addiction in Michigan and serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations.

Wright Greenman, principal at Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook in Detroit, is a defense litigator specializing in complex medical malpractice and birth trauma. Tripp, who is a partner at Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices in Jackson, is recognized nationally as an expert in special needs planning with an expertise in helping clients plan for age and incapacity.

Leadership in Times of Crisis classes consist of three sessions, held one Saturday morning per month at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum’s DeVos Learning Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “We live in an era of politicians, not statesmen,” said Victoria Vuletich, WMUCooley Law School professor. “Too many leaders on both sides of the aisle view the office they hold as a vehicle to fulfill their personal aspirations instead of an opportunity to serve the nation and its citizens. This crisis of leadership drove us to create an ethical leadership class at a time when it is most needed.” The class, taught by WMU and WMU-Cooley faculty, offers students the opportunity to evaluate the rights and duties of the major stakeholders when making decisions, to distinguish between legal and ethical obligations and to create a personal approach for ethical decision-making.

During the fall sessions, Professor Devin Schindler explored lessons from President Ford’s pardon of former President Richard Nixon. Professors and Brigadier Generals Thomas Edmonds (WMU) and Michael McDaniel (WMU-Cooley) explored leadership lessons from the fall of Saigon and the Helsinki Accords. The final session of the program featured Kalamazoo County Commissioner Kevin Wordelman, who led a discussion on President Ford’s handling of the New York City bankruptcy and its relevance today.

Reservations are being taken for the next three sessions in 2017, which will be held on three Saturday mornings – one each in January, February and March. The cost for WMU-Cooley and WMU graduates is $250. For more information about “Leadership in Times of Crisis,” contact WMU-Cooley Professor Victoria Vuletich, 616-301-6800, ext. 6960, vuleticv@ Participants who successfully complete the program receive a certificate of participation from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The program has also received the support of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. The foundation has provided students with a copy of the DVD, Gerald R. Ford, A Test of Character, which was commissioned by the Peter F. Secchia Family.

WMU-Cooley graduates Amy Tripp (left) and Jenna Wright Greenman (right) with their awards.

West Michigan community members and students from WMU-Cooley Law School discuss President Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon during the Leadership in Times of Crisis course.



Benchmark | Winter 2016  

This issue of Benchmark prominently features our dear friend, alumnus and nationally renowned artist Gordon Boardman, who has made a monumen...

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