WMU COOLEY LAW SCHOOL

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Blog

Hardam Tripathi: Diversity, culture and a passion to help others

July 25

WMU-Cooley is a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School. This month’s military blog feature is recent WMU-Cooley graduate Hardam Tripathi. Learn about his law school journey and his new position as an Officer and Judge Advocate with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.

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Weekend law student Stephanie Samuels: Never too late to start a new life

July 18

Stephanie Samuels was almost 60 years old when she finally discovered she could make her life dream of going to law school a reality. Up until then, “life sort of just happened,” and it was never really an option – until she heard about WMU-Cooley’s weekend program.

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How a Small Firm, in a Small Town, is Making a Big Impact

June 30

Before Jeanne Reed decided to go to law school, she was deep into the building construction industry. Since receiving an associates degree in Building Construction Technology, she had spent seven years working in a business as a construction estimator.  Then one morning she woke up and thought, “this isn’t enough.” “I realized I just wasn’t happy and felt like I’d maxed out in what I was doing and where I was going in this line of work,” recalled Jeanne. “Going to law school was a total leap of faith. I had never once in my life thought of myself as lawyer until I found myself listening to my friend talk about how excited she was about going to law school. It had always been her dream.  It hit me that moment that law school might be right for me too. It’s funny, but I saw it                                                                                                           as a sign.”

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Debra Steele: You are only as strong as you believe yourself to be.

June 16

“The defining step in the journey to where I am today is the time I served in the United States Marine Corps where I was taught discipline, leadership, and the value of team work. The Marine Corps’ motto is Adapt, Improvise and Overcome. I have lived by that code for most of my adult life and it has brought me much success.” – WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Debra Steele  

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Meet the Devolders: Florida couple make law school work for them – and succeed.

June 06

Going to law school was a hard decision, but really, it was the right one for Tampa Bay area couple Bryan and Elizabeth Devolder. The easy part was recognizing and knowing that a legal career was something they both wanted to do. The hard part was making sure it could work for them; given that they both came from management positions, making good salaries, and working around family life and the day-to-day responsibilities that go along with it.

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Maryam Saleh: Exceptional Work Is Impossible Unless We Are Good People Too

June 05

Traditionally, each court hosting an induction ceremony for new attorneys asks the individual performing highest on the Bar exam to speak. This spring, The Hon. Craig C. Villanti, chief judge of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, invited Maryam Saleh, a recent Western Michigan University Cooley Law School graduate and top Bar performer in the district, to speak on behalf of the attorneys being sworn in that day. The Second District covers 14 counties in five judicial circuits. There are five total District Courts of Appeal in Florida.  We are proud and honored of Maryam and her accomplishments. Below is her speech from May 9, 2016, along with video excerpts about her journey in life, in law school, and what drives her going forward.

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Devolder Law Firm: New Grads Find Success Right Out of the Gate

May 31

Less than six months ago, Bryan and Elizabeth Devolder opened their own business, The Devolder Law Firm, in suburban Tampa. In the words of  Elizabeth Devolder, “We are very pleased. It’s been doing even better than we expected. We just had our third profitable week!” The fact that Elizabeth and Bryan Devolder have been able to create a successful law business right out of the gate is of no surprise to anyone else, especially WMU-Cooley’s Tampa Bay campus.  As students, both Bryan and Elizabeth were committed, exceptional law students. As attorneys, they are equally involved and dedicated to their new venture.

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WMU-Cooley Couple Brandon Moultrie and Liesl Griffin Talk Love in Law School and Beyond

May 30

Brandon Moultrie and Liesl Griffin are two of our latest WMU-Cooley Law School lovebirds who met during law school and decided to tie the knot! They plan to marry in Clearwater Beach, Florida, in November 2017.    

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Little Girls in Africa Project Inspires Judge and Law Student to Sew Dresses

May 29

“We made more than 34,000 dresses in total … our chapter here in Tampa made almost 1,000 … with the help of  people from the community such as Eula Bacon … I do a lot of things here at the court – currently I work with children – but in my life, touching children and families to me has been so important to what I have always worked for.  I will probably never meet one of the little girls who will wear one of the dresses, but the ability to touch someone’s life in a meaningful way, to let them know that there are people who care about them and who are invested in their success and interests, is important to me.” – Hon. Barbara Twine-Thomas, 13th Judicial Circuit Judge, Hillsborough County.

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Weekend Student Jason Puscas: At the end of the day, law school is an investment

May 08

Jason Puscas doesn’t believe you should have to choose between a stable family life, post-secondary education and a prospering career in public policy. A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Puscas is determined to be successful at all three aspects of his life.  

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