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Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Professionalism Plan The Second Decade

Bringing Professionalism to a New Generation of Law Students


The second decade

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Professionalism

“[P]rofessional [identity] formation is critical not only to preservation of core values of the profession such as civility, a service ethic, and integrity, but to the development of personal resilience as a professional — an essential attribute for lawyers facing turbulent times for the profession. Professionalism education is a pillar of legal education reform upon which all else must rest. Neither clinical nor theoretical, it is rather a foundational topic that must be addressed early and often in law school … .” Reprinted with permission from Frederick S. Ury, Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism. Excerpt from his October 28, 2013 committee letter to the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education.

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The second decade

Contents 6 Acknowledgments 9 Introduction

 Pioneering law school professionalism.

10 Executive Summary  The new professionalism

plan’s 25 initiatives.

12 The Second Decade  An expanded discussion of our new plan.

23 The First P  rofessionalism Plan 2002-2013  The original 18 initiatives and how they worked.

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7 First Decade 2 Accomplishments Beyond the 18 initiatives. 

38 2012 Report of the Cooley Law School Professionalism Advisory Committee  The recommendations that

shaped our new plan.

44 Professionalism Advisory Committee Membership  A list of members and their

titles, as of July 2012.


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The second decade

We Couldn’t Do It Without Your Support We express our gratitude to the hundreds of people who helped shape and support this plan including: he volunteer lawyers who come to our campuses every day to T speak, mentor, role-model, lead, supervise, guide, inspire, and support our students.

Cooley Law School’s Professionalism Advisory Committee Cooley Law School’s Board of Directors Cooley Law School Students and the Student Bar Association Cooley Law School Faculty and Staff Cooley Law School Leadership Team Cooley Law School Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism Staff Cooley Law School Alumni Association The State Bar of Michigan The Florida Bar Thank you, Amy Timmer, Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism

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Acknowledgments

Special Thanks To:

Edward Pappas

Chairman, Dickinson Wright PLLC

Chair, Cooley Professionalism

Advisory Committee

John Berry

Cheryl Niro

Past Chair, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism Robinson Niro, PC

Past President, Illinois State Bar Association

Melvin Wright, Jr.

Executive Director, North Carolina Chief

Justice’s Commission on Professionalism,

Past Chair, ABA Standing Committee

on Professionalism

Dr. John Dunn

President, Western Michigan University

Don LeDuc

President and Dean, Cooley Law School

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The second decade

The 2006 E. Symthe Gambrell Professionalism Award 8


Introduction

Introduction Cooley Law School pioneered law school professionalism programming when it adopted its first Professionalism Plan in 2002. That plan was recognized in 2006 by the American Bar Association as one of the best in the nation when the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism awarded Cooley the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award for its innovative and far-reaching program. The 18 initiatives of that plan were fulfilled during the decade following its 2002 adoption and spawned many additional professionalism programs and initiatives, now numbering over 70. Our goal was to create a culture of professionalism in the school, and the positive change in our culture is palpable. We are proud to report that professionalism permeates our conduct, relationships with each other, curriculum and classroom discussions, events and facilities, policies and practices, and long-term planning. Indeed, professionalism and ethics have always comprised a key part of Cooley’s mission, which is to provide access to the legal profession and to prepare our graduates for the practice of law by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and ethics to succeed.

In 2012, we were comfortable with what we had accomplished, but were in need of an infusion of information from our “partners” in our teaching mission about the people and practices coming to and leaving from our school, so that we could expand and target our professionalism efforts accordingly. We wanted to learn from our higher education colleagues the issues that undergraduate and graduate students might be bringing to the law school as new students, and we needed to learn from our practicing lawyer affiliates what issues they were seeing in law school graduates. Thus, we established the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Professionalism Advisory Committee, composed of representatives of higher education, law practice, and lawyer professionalism, to review our programs and advise us about new directions to take in our second decade of professionalism programming. The Professionalism Advisory Committee’s 20 recommendations, combined with input from staff, faculty, and others, form the basis for this new professionalism plan’s 25 initiatives that will guide us through the next decade.

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The second decade

Executive Summary Professional Identity Development 1. Keep professionalism programming current through literature review. 2. Require a multi-semester professional development program. 3. Help students take personal responsibility for their education and conduct. 4. Survey and assess character changes throughout enrollment. 5. Weave ethics and civility teachings into all courses. 6. Hire faculty and staff who share Cooley’s commitment to ethics and integrity. 7. Expand and intensify our wellness programming. Civic Professionalism Obligation 8. Help law students commit to bringing diversity to the profession. 9. Help members of the public understand the law. 10. Grow pipeline programs in high schools and undergraduate schools. 11. Involve more students in pro bono work and address access to justice needs. 12. Offer pro bono service to the under-served, along with the indigent. 13. Expand professionalism and pro bono mentoring. Business, Management, and Professional Skills Training 14. Teach business and management skills. 15. Design a curriculum to effectively teach the skill set required of new lawyers. 16. Devote more of the curriculum to practical training. 17. Publish and speak about needs of practitioners, courts, and businesses. 18. Address professionalism issues that arise in law practice. Relations with the Legal and Business Communities 19. Continue relationships with local and state bar associations. 20. Work to extend state bar “pro bono credit” and law firm “billable credit” to mentors. 21. Include the working poor, not just indigents, in state bar “pro bono credit.” 22. Work to allow students to appear in court in pro bono matters. 23. Consult with leaders of the business community to plan our curriculum. 24. Include members of the business community as mentors and evaluators. 25. Increase Cooley’s national presence. 10


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The second decade

The Second Decade of Professionalism Programming We dedicate this decade to intensifying our focus on the professional identity development of our students; instilling in them their obligation to participate in civic professionalism; expanding our skills focus to include more business and management skills training; and tightening and improving our good relations with the practicing bar, lawyer associations, and businesses and agencies that benefit from employing people who have law degrees. Ethics and Professional Development Professional development programming exposes law students to information, experiences, role models, and assignments and reflection, including personal moral examination, to help them understand the connection of their own morals and values, their concepts of justice and fairness, right and wrong, and their behavior, to the duties they will have as lawyers to themselves, clients, the profession, and the public. Those connections can be made through experience and reflection while enrolled in law school. Some of that experience will come from the classroom: As the most diverse law school in the nation, Cooley’s student body provides the foundation for that experience, immediately exposing students to others who are from different countries, cultures, races, and life experiences. 12


Programming

Cooley’s interactive teaching methods situate these different people together to experience and understand their varied reactions to legal concepts. In addition to forming an understanding of others’ values, Cooley should integrate concepts of civility, ethics, and professionalism into all courses, especially the required courses, to further the students’ contemplation of the impact of professionalism on the outcome of legal actions and the integrity of the judicial system. Faculty and staff hiring offers an important opportunity to bring in teachers who understand the importance of professional identity development in law school and who are dedicated to helping students form their professional identities through classroom experiences and reflections. Some of the students’ experiences during law school enrollment should come from outside the classroom and specifically from attorneys who are role models for professionalism. Our ongoing speaker series should continue in order to give students the chance to hear from professionals how they handle the

ethical and professional challenges they face. Expansion of our mentoring programs is recommended, with a special emphasis on students being mentored by attorneys engaging in pro bono law practice: The student will learn professionalism in practice while incorporating the ideals of service and access to justice for all. The professional development program that Cooley currently offers, which spans six semesters, will be required of all students. Students post reflections about their professional development, personal growth, experiences, assignments, and their professional identity development throughout enrollment. We will emphasize the risks that can arise from poor practices in operating a solo law practice, billing, use of social media and e-mail, conducting research, and other professional lawyering activities. There is a direct connection between a person’s lack of wellness and the tendency toward inappropriate behavior; thus, wellness must continue to be a focus of Cooley’s professionalism programming. While Cooley’s wellness programs currently focus on 13


The second decade

The Second Decade Professionalism Programming cont. physical, financial, social, emotional, career, and spiritual wellness, we have not directly addressed the abuse of prescription drugs, but this is an issue of growing concern, which we will now explore. Aside from the output measures currently produced through students’ reflections, the school will dig deeper into assessing students’ professional development to ensure our programs are having a positive impact. We will survey students’ character in the first semester, end of first year, end of second year, and late in the last year of enrollment to measure the impact of the professionalism programming. Skills Since Cooley was founded in 1972, its mission has been to prepare students for practice; its curriculum has focused on teaching practical legal skills, as well as substantive knowledge and ethics; its faculty has been selected from among the national practicing bar so that they can teach students how law is actually practiced; and faculty publication requirements encourage writing about legal skills and practical approaches that are relevant and useful to the practicing bar. 14

In recent years, it’s become apparent that we need to extend our skills training to cover business and management skills. The lawyering skills identified by the American Bar Association as essential to good law practice will continue to guide us as we create more skills courses and experiences, but those skills do not include specific business and management skills necessary to running a business (except law office management). Working additional business and management skills into the curriculum presents an exciting opportunity to address a growing need while exploring new ways to deliver legal service. This effort will directly contribute to the part of our Strategic Plan that calls for innovation, and will provide the foundation for a Skills Plan. We are moving toward establishing and measuring learning outcomes (as opposed to teaching inputs) starting with our skills courses and our professional development course. We intend to review our curricular offerings to identify all elective courses already dedicated to skills. We are in-


Programming

Cooley has intentionally partnered with various groups in the legal and broader community to present programming, bring lawyers into the school, provide students with legal experiences and service opportunities, and match students with lawyers for pro bono service and mentoring.

terested in intertwining ethics and professionalism into all skills courses, where students can experience, not just study, ethics issues in practice. And we will continue to grow our pro bono programs, through which students get skills training and mentoring while assimilating the value of providing legal service to those who cannot afford it. Legal Community In keeping with our mission to prepare students for practice and provide opportunities for mentoring, service, and ethics and professional development, and in conjunction with our strategic plan to expand through strategic partnerships and alliances, Cooley has intentionally partnered with various groups in the legal and broader community to present programming, bring lawyers into the school, provide students with legal experiences and service opportunities, and match students with lawyers for pro bono service and mentoring. Our strategic plan urges that we “expand through strategic partnerships and alliances,� and we have established informal and formal partnerships with the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, local and affinity bars, law firms, Inns of Court, U.S. armed forces, courts, government agencies, private businesses, public schools, and community service agencies to accomplish many of our educational goals. We have a rich relationship with the State Bar of Michigan and would appreciate any extension of that relationship into new areas. The recommendations below for working with the State Bar of Michigan and The Florida Bar fit neatly into our thinking about the importance of doing pro bono work and of creating incentives for lawyers and opportunities for students to do more of it, and preparing our students for the job market. Pipeline programs that expose high school and undergraduate students to the possibility of law school are of particular importance to and highly valued by Cooley, and we already work with many schools for that and other purposes. 15


The second decade

The Second Decade Professionalism Programming cont. At each of our campuses, we partner with local public and private schools to bring mentoring and other support to high school students and, in some cases, their parents. Those efforts, in turn, allow our students to be mentors, teachers, and counselors. While current economics restrict our ability to travel to national conferences, we hope to draw attention to our programming by participating in many national associations such as the Professionalism Consortium and the National Legal Mentoring Consortium,

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of which we are members. While we cannot forgive law school debt because we are not a lender, we certainly offer and will continue to offer to the extent possible, generous scholarships. In order to focus students on careers in public interest law, we are considering establishing fellowships that would cover tuition in our LL.M. programs and provide a stipend for related access to justice work. Our professional development program for the next decade will focus on the following initiatives:


Programming

Students must understand and internalize the professional rules of conduct as a minimum standard of behavior for lawyers ...

Professional Identity Development Students must understand and internalize the professional rules of conduct as a minimum standard of behavior for lawyers, and take personal responsibility for one’s character and morality development, including acting with integrity and civility. Students must be provided with the tools and skills to regularly self-assess, re-evaluate, and adjust their plans for improvement. 1. We will review current literature and studies on professional identity formation and development to keep professional development programming current. 2. We will consider combining the Professionalism Portfolio Project and Pathway to Success course — both of which are professional development cocurricular and curricular programs — and require all students to complete this new professional development program spanning two-three years. 3. In our professional development program, and through our practices, we will help students learn to accept personal responsibility for themselves, their education, and their conduct as individuals and lawyers, and hold them accountable for choices they make. We will encourage the faculty to address personal responsibility in their teaching throughout the curriculum. 4. We will incorporate self-assessment and continuing re-evaluation of plans for self-improvement in the professional development program, as we survey character changes throughout enrollment. 5. We will continue to weave ethics and civility teachings into the Personal and Professional Responsibility course in particular, but also into all courses. 17


The second decade

The Second Decade Professionalism Identity Development cont. 6. In hiring faculty and staff, we will explore candidates’ views on professionalism so that we employ people who share Cooley’s commitment to ethics and integrity and can help our students explore and form their professional identities. 7. We will expand and intensify our wellness programming through awareness campaigns and in conjunction with state bar lawyer and law student assistance programs. Civic Professionalism Obligation A commitment to serve the public and an interest in individual and social justice. 8. Through teaching, publishing, speaking, and leadership, faculty and staff will continue to help law students and members of the profession appreciate that the profession will be better served through diversity, and that they are responsible to do their part to help make the profession more diverse. 9. Through teaching, publishing, speaking, and leadership, we will continue to help members of the public understand the law. 10. We will continue to grow our pipeline programs in the local high schools with which we are already closely aligned, and increase our efforts with undergraduate schools, especially through the Pre Law Summer Institute offered through the Council on Legal Education Opportunity. 11. We will involve more students in pro bono work — free legal assistance offered to the indigent, underserved, and deserving, for no academic credit, under the mentoring and supervision of attorneys — and address access to justice needs in teaching students about our profession. 18


Programming

[W]e will help students learn to accept personal responsibility for themselves, their education, and their conduct as individuals and lawyers, and hold them accountable for choices they make.

12. Our pro bono work will continue to help the deserving and underserved, including the working poor, along with the indigent. 13. We will expand our professionalism and pro bono mentoring with attorney mentors. Business, Management, and Professional Skills Training 14. Through the curriculum, technology, and speaker events, we will put greater emphasis on teaching business and management skills so that students have a good grasp of the challenges of serving clients, running a practice, and making a living. 15. We will articulate the skill set required of new lawyers, as a professional and educational challenge, and design a curriculum to effectively teach those skills. 16. We will ask our faculty to consider devoting more of the curriculum to practical training and, as financially practical, increase access to our clinics or to simulations. 17. We will ask our faculty to continue to devote their publication and speaking efforts to meeting the needs of practitioners, courts, law schools, and businesses. 18. We will ask our Personal and Professional Responsibility faculty to address in that course some of the professionalism issues that arise in law practice, including those related to the use of technology.

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The second decade

Improving and Tightening Relations with the Legal and Business Communities 19. We will remain actively partnered with the State Bar of Michigan, expand relationships with The Florida Bar and its Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, and develop or continue relationships with local bar associations, contributing our services, involvement, and membership, and asking members to contribute as mentors and evaluators of our students. 20. We will begin discussions with the State Bar of Michigan, and perhaps The Florida Bar, about allowing “pro bono credit” for lawyers who mentor, and with law firms about giving “billable credit” for mentoring time. 21. We will begin discussions with the State Bar of Michigan, and perhaps The Florida Bar, about allowing “pro bono credit” for attorneys who offer free legal assistance to the working poor and other underserved, but deserving, clients who may not meet the Bars’ indigent definitions. 22. We will support the efforts of civil law firms and others in the legal profession to evaluate whether the student appearance court rule could be extended to allow students to appear under the supervision of a practicing attorney in pro bono matters (not just in legal aid programs, law school clinical programs, and public defender and prosecutors’ offices). 23. We will consult with leaders of the business community who employ law school graduates as we plan our curriculum and co-curriculum. 24. Along with members of the legal community, we will include members of the business community as mentors and evaluators of our students and as partners in our professionalism training. 25. We will, as budget allows, increase Cooley’s national presence at legal professionalism-related conventions and meetings. 20


2012 committee report

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The first plan 2002-2013

The original Professionalism Plan established Cooley’s Professionalism Principles, to which we continue to adhere today.

The First Professionalism Plan 2002-2013 Professionalism Principles Be Accountable:

Acknowledge that each member of the Cooley community is accountable for their own development as a professional and for establishing and maintaining a professional school environment.

Be Professional: Strive to adopt the characteristics of a professional:

Take responsibility for your own actions and words.

Correct misunderstandings and misinformation.

Pay attention to detail.

Don’t criticize without offering a solution.

Volunteer to fix what is broken.

Try to figure it out yourself, first.

Follow appropriate channels in an appropriate manner.

Treat others with respect and dignity.

Work toward improvement, not destruction or the status quo.

Anticipate the effect of your behavior.

Behave in a way that will get a positive result.

Take into account the demands on, and limitations of, others.

Commit to personal growth and learning. 23


The second decade

The First Professionalism Plan 2002-2013 Professionalism Principles cont. Serve the Community: Acknowledge that affiliation with the law profession entails public service as its primary purpose. That the profession may provide a means of livelihood makes it no less a public service (with credit to Dean Roscoe Pound, Harvard Law School). Know that professionalism requires providing excellent quality service to clients and participation in the work and service of the legal community.

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Focus on Students:

Acknowledge that all of us — staff, students, faculty, alumni, and community members — have a stake in educating the law student in the ways of professionalism.

Promote an Ethical School Community:

Acknowledge that the school community is us — it is nothing more than a composite of all the people who associate with it and in it. Creation of an ethical community can only be accomplished through the ethical acts of its stakeholders.


the first plan 2002-2013

The plan also set out 18 initiatives that have been accomplished: 1. Reshape the class on Professional Responsibility. 2. Offer students a first-year professionalism and career review. 3. Urge students to build a portfolio reflecting their professional growth and activities throughout their three years in law school. 4. Consider further refinements to the curriculum to infuse professionalism themes. 5. Expand the role of lawyer/mentors in each student's development. 6. Monitor professionalism of students. 7. Create an elective course on professionalism and issues in the practice. 8. Fill the new PR/Professionalism faculty position. 9. Create a student ethical oath and standards of professionalism. 10. Bring legal professionals’ influence into the school and the lives of each and every student. 11. Bring State Bar Character and Fitness Committee, Attorney Discipline Board, and Attorney Grievance Commission influences into the School. 12. Create a student-run mediation board to address conflicts between students. 13. Continue to emphasize professionalism among faculty, staff, and administrators, and ensure that there are systems in place to review and address unprofessional conduct. 14. Establish a standing Professionalism Advisory Committee. 15. Create a center for public service and professionalism in the classroom building. 16. Create a place for student social interaction with staff and faculty. 17. Adopt the Association of American Law Schools’ recommendations on commitment to public service. 18. Create an institute for principled administration in higher learning. 25


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1 st decade - accomplishments

Within about four years of adopting the Plan, we had made tremendous progress toward full implementation (as was recognized by our receipt in 2006 of the ABA Professionalism Award).

First Decade Accomplishments in Addition to the 18 Professionalism Plan Initiatives The 18 initiatives of the Professionalism Plan were accomplished in relatively short order: Within about four years of adopting the plan, we had made tremendous progress toward full implementation (as was recognized by our receipt in 2006 of the ABA Professionalism Award). And then we experienced a wonderful synergy that came from having those immediate goals accomplished. Our students, staff, faculty, and local attorneys kept doing more — creating more pro bono programs and taking on more pro bono cases, devising better ways to connect lawyers to the school, providing innovative mentoring techniques, and so on. What started as 18 initiatives grew into 70 separate programs, including over 40 pro bono programs, as follows: Application Reviews and Updates Our students receive regular reminders about the importance of updating the answers on their applications to Cooley. Students may be sanctioned for failing to timely disclose. They are also informed of their similar obligations to their state bars. 27


The second decade

First Decade Accomplishments cont. Center for Ethics, Service, & Professionalism Staff (expansion) Cooley’s Professionalism Plan is brought to life through the people in our Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism. The Center’s assistant directors at each campus serve as the students’ personal connections to the portfolio program, mentoring and pro bono opportunities, exam proctoring, and the speaker series that are the hallmarks of our professionalism program. Commitment to Our Communities/Cooley Cares Students, staff, and faculty serve the communities where Cooley lives by supporting the activities of numerous organizations. The Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism encourages community service among Cooley employees by identifying service opportunities and matching employees who want to serve with agencies needing help. Each year, a Cooley employee from each campus is publicly recognized for outstanding community service and receives the Great Deeds Award. Cooley Student Mediation and Advisory Boards (expansion) Cooley students trained in mediation under the Michigan Court Rules volunteer their time to help confidentially resolve personal conflicts between students and practice their mediation skills. Cultural Competence Training Through the professionalism development course, professional development in cultural competency is offered to Cooley students to expose them to and teach them to advise and counsel a diverse clientele in a sensitive, supportive, and effective manner. Students learn to recognize their own professionally influenced and their clients’ culturally influenced habits, viewpoints, capacities, and practices so as to be able to adjust and adapt and thereby provide more professional counsel.

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1 st decade - accomplishments

Enforcing Student Conduct Codes (expansion) Although we have always had an Honor Code and Disciplinary Procedures to address unethical and criminal or disruptive conduct, respectively, we made more robust our enforcement and sanctioning process by adding, at each campus, Honor Council student and faculty members and investigating deans who counsel students. By undertaking a significant rewrite of the Honor Code, we have also included more procedural provisions. Ethics and Professionalism Library Cooley’s Ethics and Professionalism Library maintains over 4,600 volumes of ethics materials. This library is open to students, faculty, and attorneys to promote the research and study of ethics and professionalism. Ethics in the Curriculum (expansion) The Center works with Cooley faculty to find interesting and probative methods of incorporating ethics into the required and elective courses in both the J.D. and LL.M. programs. In addition to working ethics and professionalism into our 63 credits of required courses, we have also added classes with significant content on ethics, professionalism, and pro bono work to our elective course offerings, including: Advanced Professional Ethics, Ethics in Advanced Appellate Techniques, Cultural Competency in the Legal Profession, Ethics in Criminal Law, Facilitative Mediation, Negotiation and Confrontation, Negotiation National Team, Advanced Business Mediation, Advanced Practice Skills – Mediation Training, Advanced Practice Skills – Domestic Mediation, Advanced Practice Skills – Multiple Party Dispute Resolution, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Facilitative Mediation Directed Study, Law Practice: Technology for Solo and Small Firms, Standards and Ethics of Tax Practice, Client Counseling Competition, Interviewing and Counseling, Access to Justice Clinic, Sixty Plus Elderlaw Clinic, Cooley Innocence Project, Public Sector Legal Clinic, Kent County Public Defender Clinic, Family Law Assistance Program, Estate Planning Clinic, Washtenaw Public Defender Clinic, and Immigration Rights and Civil Advocacy Clinic.

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1 st decade - accomplishments

First Decade Accomplishments cont. Ethics Speakers’ Bureau Cooley faculty and ethics experts from outside the school make themselves available to train and educate groups interested in ethics and professionalism, such as lawyers, paralegals, students, business owners and executives, local governments, and public interest groups. 40+ Pro Bono Programs (expansion) Cooley operates over 40 programs that offer free legal assistance to people who cannot afford or who would not otherwise fund such work, including the elderly, the poor and working poor, hurricane and superstorm victims, immigrants, soldiers and veterans, the homeless, troubled teens, lawyers defending indigents in criminal matters, foreclosure victims, and many more of the underserved and deserving. Cooley faculty and students regularly contribute hundreds of thousands of hours of free legal service per year to pro bono projects and through externships and clinics. The breadth and quantity of free legal assistance

offered by dedicated faculty who are not required to do such work and are not compensated in any way for doing it, and by students who undertake such work in many cases for no academic credit, through creative partnerships with agencies, shelters, courts, and bar associations, distinguish Cooley’s efforts. Integrity in Our Communities Speaker Series We bring lawyers who are recognized as leaders nationally, statewide, and locally into the school every term to present their thoughts on personal and professional ethics, professionalism, service, and legal cases that hinge on ethical issues, inspiring students to see the connection between ethical conduct and good lawyering. Students, faculty, and staff gather to hear speakers talk openly about challenges they have faced, and their personal and professional ethics that guided them through. Leadership in the Law The faculty and staff of the Center hold leadership positions in our communities to promote competence and 31


The second decade

First decade - 18 initiatives

First Decade Accomplishments cont. ethics in the practice of law. For example, in Michigan we hold seats on the Attorney Grievance Commission, hearing panels for the Attorney Discipline Board, and the Sections and Committees of the State Bar of Michigan on Character and Fitness, Law Practice and Management, Client Protection Fund, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Pro Bono Month, and Equal Access Initiative. In Florida, we sit on the Florida Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity, The Florida Bar’s Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono and Professionalism Committees. In both states we hold leadership positions with local bar associations and Inns of Court. Pathway to Success This two-credit elective professional development course, called Pathway to Success: Your Career and Portfolio, is the classroom component of the Professionalism Portfolio (see below) for those who prefer the structure of a classroom. The course requires students to complete all professionalism portfolio exercises, plus additional exercises in professional identity development, and understanding themselves and their career options. The course runs over five terms so that the deans can develop and maintain close relationships with the students. Personal and Professional Responsibility This three-credit required course explores both the rules of professional conduct that govern attorneys and judges, and the personal responsibility students have to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity in all aspects of their lives. Personal Code of Conduct In the Personal and Professional Responsibility course, and in the Professionalism Portfolio, students are asked to reflect on and then write their personal values and expectations for their lives and their conduct, inside and outside of law school. They consider family relationships, conduct, friendships, faith, personal ethics, and anything else they deeply value and want to commit to. 32


1 st decade - accomplishments

Pro Bono Pledge In their second year and beyond, students are invited to take Cooley’s voluntary pro bono pledge, along with local attorneys, to make a lifetime commitment to serving the underserved. Pro Bono Junior Associates and Pro Bono Mentoring Students have the chance to work side-by-side with local lawyers handling pro bono cases and will be encouraged to take on as much of the legal work as they are able, as they are mentored in professionalism in lawyering and build their network of attorneys. Professional Development and Mentoring (expansion) Cooley employs the concept of episodic mentoring for professional development through its Professionalism Portfolio project. Rather than match individual student protégés with one lawyer for an extended period of time, Cooley encourages students to be mentored by many different lawyers and for short periods of time. This concept offers students the advantages of knowing many lawyers, learning the skill of self-mentoring, that is, learning to ask questions that will assist in one’s professional development, getting many viewpoints about issues, avoiding an unproductive or incompatible pairing, sharpening communication skills, learning to approach people without an introduction in a way that is welcomed, and attending social and professional events where lawyers are present. In our 60-Minute Professionalism Mentoring program, local attorneys offer to spend an hour mentoring students on professionalism and ethical issues they may encounter in practice and in life. Professionalism Orientation Dean’s Speech on Honor Code Students learn about our Honor Code that prohibits lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and tolerating those who violate the Code. Commitment to Honor Students raise their right hands and swear before a robed judge that they promise not to lie, cheat, steal, plagiarize, or tolerate those who do. 33


The second decade

First decade - 18 initiatives

First Decade Accomplishments cont. The Professionalism Portfolio and Pathway Course Students are introduced to this six-term program and five-term course geared toward helping them develop their professional identity and connect to Cooley’s resource offices at the right time in their enrollment. Professionalism Plan Students learn about Cooley’s nationally recognized and awarded Professionalism Plan, operating in the school since 2002. Professionalism in Action Volunteer attorneys meet with small groups of students during orientation to talk about ethics and professionalism in their careers and why it will be so important in the students’ careers. Professionalism Portfolio Every student at Cooley is offered the opportunity to create, throughout enrollment, a Professionalism Portfolio that requires self-reflection and training in personal responsibility, ethics, and service, documents the student’s professional identity development and personal code of conduct, encourages episodic mentoring with lawyers, connects students to the resource offices at Cooley at the right time during their enrollment, and ultimately offers employers insight into an applicant’s knowledge, skills, ethics, and character. Students’ portfolios may be web-based, or presented on a flash drive, DVD, or in hard copy. Public School Mentoring, Assistance, and Pipeline Programs We encourage our students, under our guidance, to volunteer with local public schools to teach conflict resolution and peer mediation skills, to establish and operate student courts based in restorative justice, and to interest high school students in continuing their education and even consider law school. In their work with public schools, Cooley students mentor, teach, tutor, and offer their support and encouragement through personal relationships and fund-raising. 34


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1 st decade - accomplishments

First Decade Accomplishments cont. Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program Thomas Cooley’s Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program has been offering free legal assistance to Michigan and Florida military personnel, since 2007 and 2009, respectively, who are deploying to, serving in, or recently returning from deployment and are experiencing civilian legal concerns. This program is offered state-wide to servicemembers of E5 rank or below in Michigan and Florida, and works cooperatively with other veteran and military assistance programs throughout Michigan and Florida. Student Exam Proctors | Office of Student Assistance | Honor Council Our students enforce our Honor Code by proctoring exams. Student exam proctors are then eligible to serve in the office that counsels suspected Honor Code violators, and that service qualifies them to be considered for a coveted position on Cooley’s Honor Council, which decides cases involving student unethical conduct and imposes disciplinary sanctions. Team of Deans and Coordinator of Student Professionalism Campus assistant deans along with central administrators Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism Amy Timmer, Assistant Dean of Students Cynthia Ward, and Coordinator of Student Professionalism Lisa Davis, all help students understand their ethical obligations under the Honor Code and Disciplinary Procedures and counsel them about appropriate and inappropriate conduct. Web Site for the Center for Ethics, Service, & Professionalism Updated regularly, this website features ongoing programs, past successes, and future plans for Cooley’s ABA Professionalism Award-winning program. Visit cooley.edu/ethics for more details regarding these programs. Wellness Programs Attorney misconduct often correlates with poor health. Cooley’s approach to wellness programming is holistic and addresses wellness in all aspects, including social, spiritual, financial, physical, emotional, and career. In addition to our own programming, we coordinate with the state bar lawyer and law student assistance programs to provide low- and no-cost counseling in many of these areas. 37


The second decade

2012 Report of the Cooley Law School Professionalism Advisory Committee We began our planning for the next decade with the recommendations of the Professionalism Advisory Committee. The Committee’s reported recommendations follow, and a list of Committee members appears at the end of the document.

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2012 committee report

Background Cooley Law School established its Professionalism Advisory Committee in 2012 to help guide the school into its second decade of professionalism programming. Committee membership comprises judges, lawyers engaged in the practice of law, lawyers in law-related careers, lawyers recognized for their national leadership in lawyer professionalism, bar association leaders, and leaders of Michigan universities and colleges that are Cooley’s educational partners. We sought out members who could help us understand professionalism issues arising after law school in the practice of law and in law-related careers, and the professionalism issues our law school applicants may be bringing to law school, as observed by undergraduate institutions. The Committee is chaired by Ed Pappas, Chairman of the Dickinson Wright law firm and Past President of the State Bar of Michigan. This condensed report contains an executive summary of the 20 recommendations made by the Committee, and, of those, the six that Committee members felt were the most important for us to address. This report of the Professionalism Advisory Committee formed the basis for a second professionalism plan (the first plan having been adopted in 2002 and accomplished by 2013) that will guide Cooley’s programming as we continue to enhance programs and courses to help graduates prepare to practice law with professionalism and good character; use a comprehensive assessment system that measures the success of our students and graduates in mastering practice and analytical skills, passing bar examinations, and embracing professional responsibility; expand through strategic partnerships and alliances; create new programs and classes to prepare students for practice; and introduce new ways to deliver legal education — all goals of Cooley’s strategic plan. 39


The second decade

Executive Summary of Recommendations of Cooley’s Professionalism Advisory Committee *Asterisked entries indicate Committee’s top six priorities.

Ethics and Professional Development *1. Professional Identity Formation. Review current literature and studies on professional identity formation to keep professional development programming current. *2. Third-year professionalism program. Institute a pre-graduation/ third-year program on professionalism issues. 3. Diversity. Help law students appreciate that the profession will be better served through diversity, and that they are responsible to do their part to make the profession more diverse. 4. Wellness. Expand wellness programming to address the potential significant illegal use of so-called “study drugs” such as Adderall. Involve students themselves in awareness campaigns. 5. Pathway to Success. Consider ways to expand the Pathway to Success professional development course to all students and use this as an example for other law schools. 6. Ethics School. Consider development of an “ethics school” or special program to help students found to have early problems of attitude or professionalism issues not deserving of suspension or more serious action. *7. Mentoring. Continue and expand mentoring for students and alumni: • Provide information to, and educate mentor lawyers about what to teach mentees, and mentees about what to expect. • Establish a helpline (in conjunction with State Bar Ethics Helpline) for alumni counseling on ethics and law practice management. • Expand a mentor program matching students with lawyers who are taking pro bono cases or who would take pro bono cases if they had someone to assist them. Work with pro bono coordinators at large law firms. 40


2012 committee report

»» Include areas that will appeal to lawyers with various skills, such as family law, collection, expungement, landlord tenant, immigration, bankruptcy, and transactional law. »» Reach out to senior lawyers/master lawyers from state and other bar associations to mentor students in their field through pro bono. »» Expand student involvement to “quasi pro bono cases” — those lower/middle class clients who do not qualify for legal aid but cannot afford an attorney. »» Provide as much contact as possible between the students and personal advisors along the way, and consider a greater mentoring role for more experienced students with the newer students. *8. Teach Ethics and Civility in the Curriculum. In the professional responsibility course in particular, but also in all required courses and electives, weave in teachings about ethics and civility. 9. Faculty Hiring. When hiring faculty, find out their take on professional identity development to avoid cynics and emphasize the important mission of formation of professional identity. 10. Lecture Series. Create an ongoing lecture series on professional responsibility issues, including demonstrations of real-life issues and resolutions. 11. Assessment. Establish assessment methods to determine entering character of students, to learn what impacts students’ behavior, and to measure character changes near the end of their legal education. 41


The second decade

2012 committee report

Executive Summary Advisory Committee’s Recommendations cont. Skills *12. Business and Management Skills. Put greater emphasis on business and management skills so that students have a grasp of the challenges of running a practice and making a living. 13. Skills Curriculum. Articulate the skill set required of new lawyers, as a professional and educational challenge. Design a curriculum that is proven effective in obtaining the desired outcomes. 14. Practical Training. Consider devoting the third year to practical training or conditional licensing (like articling in the Canadian system or internship in the medical model). Address access to justice needs in teaching new lawyers how to practice. 15. Clinical Experience. When financially practical, increase access to clinics or simulations. 16. Faculty Publishing. Integrate higher practical skills into the process of becoming a law school professor — evaluate academics by publishing, but require that the publication meet some need of practitioners (advance the practice, like medical publishing). Legal Community *17. State Bar of Michigan and The Florida Bar. Remain actively involved with the State Bar of Michigan and expand involvement with The Florida Bar. • Begin discussions with the State Bar of Michigan, and possibly The Florida Bar, about allowing “pro bono credit” for lawyers who mentor, and with law firms about giving “billable credit” for mentoring time. 42


2012 committee report

• Coordinate with State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Resource Center and The Florida Bar’s Law Office Management Assistance Service to expand Law Office Management/Practice program to include a “Graduation Kit” with essential items for practice. • Evaluate whether the court rules for student appearance in court could be extended to allow students to appear under the supervision of a practicing attorney in pro bono matters (not just legal aid programs, public defender, and prosecutors). 18. Pipeline Programs. Increase our pipeline programs. In college, high school, and junior high years, match promising students with law students so that they may lay the educational foundation to enter law school if they choose. Encourage outreach of Cooley students within the communities where the law school is located, to meet kids, get them engaged in a pipeline project, and demonstrate that law is a possibility for them and their futures. 19. National Presence. Increase Cooley’s national presence at seminars, conventions, and meetings of ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, and similar groups, so that the latest in innovations can be learned and the good work of Cooley can be showcased and spread. 20. Public Interest Law. Address the costs of legal education through a more institutionalized, systematic way of forgiving law school debt for those pursuing public interest law practice after graduation.

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The second decade

Cooley Law School Professionalism Advisory Committee Membership and Titles (as of July 2012)

Robert Agacinski

Hon. James Alexander

John Allen

Hon. Steven Andrews

John Berry

Past Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism

Terry Blakely

Executive Director, Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith

Scott Brinkmeyer

President, Federal Bar Association, Western District of Michigan Of Counsel, Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones

Dr. Karen Chaney

Professor, Olivet College

Patrick J. Conlin, Jr.

Hon. Timothy P. Connors

Hon. Julian Cook

Bruce Courtade

Grievance Administrator, Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission Member, Michigan Judges Association, Oakland County Circuit Court Varnum Riddering Retired, Oakland County Circuit Court

Keusch, Flintoft & Conlin, PC 22nd Circuit Court U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan Rhoades McKee Law Firm, President-Elect - State Bar of Michigan

Nancy J. Diehl

Attorney, Past President - State Bar of Michigan

Dr. John Dunn

President, Western Michigan University

Eric Eggan

Elias J. Escobedo, Jr.

Dawn M. Evans

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Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn Elias J. Escobedo, Jr. PLLC Director, Professional Standards Division, State Bar of Michigan


Advisory committee

Our goal was to create a culture of professionalism in the school, and the positive change in our culture is palpable.

Peter Falkenstein

Hon. Joseph Farah State Board of Law Examiners, 7th Circuit Court

President, Washtenaw County Bar Association Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC

Art Garwin Deputy Director, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Jennifer M. Grieco

Neuman Anderson, Past President Oakland County Bar Association

Douglas Hampton

Hampton Law Group, Past President - Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association

Michael Hartmann

CEO, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC

Carol L. Isaacs

Mark Jane Attorney W. Anthony Jenkins

E. Christopher Johnson Susan Keener

Chief Deputy Attorney General, Michigan Department of Attorney General

Katherine Smith Kennedy

Dickinson Wright PLLC, Past President State Bar of Michigan Professor, Thomas M. Cooley Law School Attorney, Past President - Grand Rapids Bar Association Pinsky, Smith, Fayette & Kennedy, LLP, Past President - Federal Bar Association, Western District of Michigan

Justin Klimko

Dr. Brent Knight

President, Lansing Community College

Don LeDuc

President and Dean, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

President and Managing Shareholder, Butzel Long

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The second decade

Membership and Titles Advisory Committee Cont.

John Logie

Neil MacCallum

David S. Maquera

DTE Energy, President - Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan

Dr. Susan Martin

President, Eastern Michigan Unversity

Hon. Kathleen McCann

Brigadier General Michael McDaniel

Of Counsel, Warner Norcross & Judd Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff

Chief Judge, 16th District Court, Michigan District Judges Association Judicial Conference Assistant Adjutant General (ATAG) for Army Future Missions, Professor, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Janene McIntyre

Thaddeus Morgan

Dr. virinder Moudgil

Cheryl Niro

Robinson Niro, PC, Past President Illinois State Bar Association

Dean Pacific

Warner, Norcross, and Judd

Gail Pamukov-Miller, Esq.

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President - Davis Dunnings Bar Association President - Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap PC President, Lawrence Technological University

Law Offices of Gail M. Pamukov, Past President - Macomb County Bar Association


Advisory committee

Hon. Daniel Patrick O‘Brien

6th Circuit Court, Oakland County

Edward H. Pappas

Chairman, Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dr. Richard Pappas

Anthony Patti

Hon. Michael J. Riordan

President, Davenport University Hooper Hathaway Price Beuche & Wallace PC Michigan Court of Appeals, President - Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan

Hon. Richard Suhrheinrich Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Daniel Swanson

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sommers Schwartz

Amy Timmer Associate Dean, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Charles Turnbull

Carl Ver Beek

Douglas Wagner

Melvin Wright, Jr.

Paul Zelenski

O’Reilly Rancilio, PC Of Counsel, Varnum Riddering Bridgewater Place Managing Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd Executive Director, North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, Past Chair - ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism Associate Dean, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

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Center for Ethics, Service, & Professionalism 300 S. Capitol Avenue | Lansing, MI 48933 | 517.371.5140 | cooley.edu


Professionalism Plan - The Second Decade