Julie Clement

Julie Clement


B.S. Central Michigan University 1979
J.D., cum laude, Thomas M. Cooley Law School 1998


Professor Clement began her legal career as a research attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals before serving as a judicial law clerk to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Markman. She later returned to the Michigan Court of Appeals where she served as the supervising attorney for the Lansing office of the Court’s Research Division.

As a student, she was an assistant editor of the Law Review, senior research editor for the Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, and research assistant to professors Gerald Boston and Cheryl Lee. She also worked in the Legal Research Division of the Michigan Legislative Service Bureau, and was a law clerk for the Hon. Charles Corwin of the Wexford and Missaukee Circuit Courts.

Before joining Cooley’s full-time faculty, Professor Clement taught Introduction to Law and Advanced Writing as an adjunct. Professor Clement was awarded tenure in 2014, and now teaches both Research & Writing, and Advanced Writing. She regularly supervises students in the law school’s externship program, as well as directed study students.

Professor Clement’s focus is plain legal language. She is on the board of directors for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Plain Language; since 2005, she has been editor in chief for Clarity, the journal for the international association promoting plain legal language. She also served on the board of directors for the Plain Language Association InterNational for three years.

Professor Clement is an active community volunteer. In addition to serving on the Portland, Michigan, City Council — two years as Mayor Pro Tem — she is also on the Portland Planning Commission (vice chair), Economic Development Association (chair), and arts council (founder and president). She has served in a variety of other local positions, including on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Main Street board, and Cool Cities Committee.

In 2010, Cooley’s Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism honored Professor Clement with its Great Deeds Award for her service to the law school, the legal community, and her home community.

Currently, Professor Clement is leading the Research & Writing Department in creating an online writing center: The Cooley Writing Studio. When completed, this virtual resource will provide students with abundant opportunities to build and practice their writing skills, including both core skills —grammar, punctuation, etc. — and skills necessary for law school, bar exam, and practice success. Professor Clement plans to launch the Cooley Writing Studio to the full student body in September 2014.



Clement, J.A., A community of writers: building a virtual legal-writing center. Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, 2014 (forthcoming).

Clement, J.A., and Cooney, M., Do you Know Your Reader? Trial, May 2007 and in the “Plain Language” column of the Michigan Bar Journal, June 2007.

Clement, J.A., Strengthening autonomy by waiving sovereign immunity: why Indian tribes should be "foreign" under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Thomas M. Cooley Law Review v. 14 no. 3 (1997) p. 653-83.

Other Writings

Clement, J.A., Drafting Consultant to the Sixth Circuit Advisory Committee on Rules, 2009-2010 plain-language revisions (adopted by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, August 2012). (This project earned 2014 ClearMark Award of Distinction from the Center of Plain Language.)

Clement, J.A., The Michigan Civil Rights Amendment’s Potential Impact on Existing Michigan Statutes, prepared for Michigan Law Revision Commission, October 2006, available online at http://elibrary.mel.org.


Clement, J.A., Facilitator: Teaching Plain Language that Sticks, international roundtable discussion, PLAIN2013, Vancouver, Canada, October 2013.

Clement, J.A., Moderator: Writing and Rewriting the Law, panel discussion with panelists from Sweden, Finland, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, Clarity2010, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2010.

Clement, J.A., Presentation, Let Me Entertain You, Legal Writing Institute 2010 Conference, Marco Island, Florida, June 2010.

Clement, J.A., Panelist, International Roundtable on Plain Language Advancements, PLAIN Conference, Sydney, Australia, October 2009.

Clement, J.A., And Christopher Trudeau, Presentation, Using Portfolios to Enhance Student Learning, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, March 2007.

Clement, J.A., Presentation, Teaching Legal Writing through the Flowers Paradigm, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, University of Arizona, March 2005.


Real-World Experience

Experience: Former supervising attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals' Lansing research office, Legal Research Division of the Michigan Legislative Service Bureau, Research attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals

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