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WMU-Cooley Graduate and Board Chair Lawrence P. Nolan Assumes Presidency of the State Bar of Michigan Nolan is the third WMU-Cooley graduate to hold the post of president of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM), following Thomas Rombach (Morse Class, 1987) who served from 2014-2015, and Charles R. Toy (Kavanagh Class, 1981) who served from 2009-2010. As Nolan begins leading the association, he said he would like to bring to fruition the recommendations from the 21st Century Practice Task Force. “The task force spent a year compiling a detailed assessment of how to improve the profession in Michigan,” said Nolan. “Now it is our job to continue implementing this great work.”

Lori A. Buiteweg (right), who served as State Bar of Michigan President from 2015-2016, passes the gavel to Lawrence P. Nolan during the bar’s annual meeting.

Lawrence P. Nolan (Cooley Class, 1976) was sworn in as the State Bar of Michigan’s 82nd president during the organization’s annual meeting on Sept. 22 in Grand Rapids.


Nolan also plans to continue to co-chair the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and encourages all lawyers to perform pro bono service for those in need. Nolan practices law at the firm of Nolan Thomsen & Villas PC, in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. He is a member of the General Practice – Solo & Small Firm Section, Law Practice Management & Legal Administrators Section, and Master Lawyers Section and has served as treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president-elect.

Benchmark | Winter 2016