Heather Garretson

Heather Garretson


B.A. Calvin College 1993
J.D., cum laude, Creighton University School of Law 1996


An experienced litigator and former Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) for the Western District of Missouri, Professor Garretson now teaches Contracts I, Contracts II, and Sales & Negotiable Instruments at Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus.

Professor Garretson came to Cooley in 2007 from Kansas City, Missouri where she was an active member of the federal bar. As a SAUSA, she facilitated joint local and federal law enforcement investigations, prosecuted violations of federal narcotics law, and successfully argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her litigation practice in Kansas City also included white-collar criminal defense work and commercial litigation for a large international law firm where she represented businesses and individuals in commercial disputes and investigations, and employers in complex commercial and employment matters.

Professor Garretson has served as a law clerk at both the federal and state level. Upon graduation from law school, Professor Garretson served as law clerk to the Honorable Kenneth Stephen, Nebraska State Supreme Court. Professor Garretson then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gary Fenner, United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Professor Garretson was an associate editor of the Creighton University Law School Law Review. She is a member of the State Bars of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Michigan and has been admitted to practice before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.



Heather Garretson, Tonya Krause-Phelan, Jane Siegel and Kara Zech Thelen, The Value of Variety in Teaching: A Professor's Guide, 64 J. Legal Educ. 65 (2014).

Heather Garretson, Sales Pass Activity, 18 The Law Tchr 26 (Spring 2012).

Nelson P. Miller and Heather J. Garretson, Preserving Law School’s Signature Pedagogy and Great Subjects, 88 Mich. B.J. 46 (2009).

Heather Garretson, Federal Criminal Forfeiture: A Royal Pain in the Assets,18 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Soc. Just. 45 (Fall 2008).

Books and Chapters in Books

Garretson, Heather J. "Collaborating Across the Curriculum." In Teaching Law Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers, edited by Charles Cercone, Nelson P. Miller, and Christopher Trudeau, 42-52. Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Pub. Co., 2013.

Garretson, Heather J., "Forfeiture", in Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, edited by Tracey Brame, Ann Arbor, MI: ICLE 2012.

Other Writings

Heather Garretson, Michigan Takes Baby Steps on Criminal Justice Reform, Collateral Consequences Resource Center (Jan. 9, 2015), http://ccresourcecenter.org/2015/01/09/michigan-takes-baby-steps-criminal-justice-reform/.

Heather J. Garretson, Repairing the Disconnect Between the Classroom and the Bluebook: An Interdisciplinary Method, The Learning Curve (newsltr. of the AALS Section on Academic Support) 29 (Winter 2013).


Applying the Law: Examples and Exercises that Bridge Legal Writing and Doctrine, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference, Topeka, KS, June 2013.

"I Paid My Debt, but Can’t Pay My Rent: The Devastating Consequences of a Conviction on Employment", 2012 Midwest Law and Society Retreat, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI.

The Greeks Go Back to Law School: A Guide to Integrating Collaborative Learning, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference, New York Law School, New York, New York, June 2011.

Teaching Law Practice Across the Curriculum, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference, Washburn Law School, Topeka, Kansas, June 2010.

Bias in Exam Writing, Conference on Diversity: Pedagogy and Scholarship Across the Disciplines, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September, 2009.


Real-World Experience

Specialty: Commercial Litigation, Criminal Law

Courses: Contracts I, Contracts II, and Sales & Negotiable Instruments

Faculty links

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