Amy Timmer

As Dean of Students and Professionalism for WMU-Cooley Law School, Amy Timmer provides direct assistance to individual students with law school concerns at all WMU-Cooley campuses. She also oversees the implementation of Cooley’s Professionalism Plan, which has gained national acclaim and earned Cooley the American Bar Association (ABA) Professionalism Award. Through numerous programs, 40 of which are based in pro bono service, that Plan helps students learn their professional obligations while internalizing a personal commitment to ethics and service.

Dean Timmer is personally and professionally committed to lawyer and law student professionalism.  She was appointed by ABA President William Hubbard as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism for the 2014-15 year, and was recently re-appointed for a three-year term. At the state level, Dean Timmer is an appointed member of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) 21st Century Practice Task Force, Modernizing the Regulatory Machinery Committee. She is a founding member, Vice Chair, and Chair of the Best Practices Committee of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium. She serves as a member of the SBM District E Character and Fitness Committee, a Michigan Attorney Discipline Board Hearing Panel, the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, the National Professionalism Consortium, and the SBM Pro Bono Initiative’s Pro Bono Month Working Group. She is a Master and former Board member of the American Inns of Court Mid-Michigan Chapter. Dean Timmer is Chair of the Cooley Faculty Professionalism and Ethics Committee and the Pro Bono Committee.

Her past accomplishments include being named a 2009 Fellow of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and an Honorary Judge for both the Lansing, Michigan Teen Court and the American Lawyers Alliance Law-Related Education Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

Dean Timmer joined the Cooley faculty in 1992, teaching Torts and Equity & Remedies. In 1996, she became the Associate Dean of Students and in 2000, the Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism. She has published books and articles on law student professionalism and has spoken at programs offered by the ABA, AALS, NALP, Nelson Mullins Center on Professionalism, National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, Council of Bar Admissions Administrators, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, the National Legal Mentoring Consortium, and the National Conference of Bar Executives. Since 2008, she has taught the professional development course at Cooley. She has received numerous teaching awards including the Stanley E. Beattie Teaching Award.

After graduating from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1978, and enjoying a ten-year career with the state Department of Commerce in the area of economic development and environmental regulation, she attended Cooley Law School in the evenings, and graduated summa cum laude in 1988. She joined the law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn and practiced in the litigation department. She is admitted to practice in Michigan courts, the Eastern and Western Districts of the U.S. District Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court.


Books & Book Chapters

Amy Timmer, chapter co-author, "Mentoring:  No App for That,"  The Relevant Lawyer - Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession, ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism 2015. Available at the ABA webstore.



Articles & Presentations

You Can’t Make Me Tell—Or Can You? Can Observing Mentee- and Mentor-Lawyers Be Compelled to Testify About Confidential Client Information?, Amy Timmer, The Professional Lawyer, Volume 24, Number 2, March 2017.

Matched vs. Episodic Mentoring: An Exploration of the Processes and Outcomes for Law School Students Engaged in Professional Mentoring,   Eileen S. Johnson, Amy Timmer, Dawn E. Chandler, & Charles R. Toy, Legal Education Review, Vol. 23, No. 1, Fall, 2013. 

Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Panel on Best Practices Engaging Law Schools, David Jaffe, Larry Dubin, Amy Timmer, Tish Vincent, and Diane Van Aken, Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, American University, Volume 21, Number 3, 2013.

The ABA’s Excellent and Inevitable Journey to Incorporating Professionalism in Law School Accreditation Standards, Amy Timmer and John Berry, The Professional Lawyer, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, Volume 20 · #1, 2010.     

The Power of Two: Law School and Bar Collaborations, Amy Timmer, Michigan Bar Journal, November 2010.

Thomas M. Cooley Professionalism Portfolio Project, Amy Timmer and Heather Spielmaker, Profile: The Chronicle of Lawyer Professionalism, University of South Carolina School of Law, Volume 3, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2007.

The Challenge: Providing ‘Principled Administration’ to Higher Education Institutions in Today’s World, Amy Timmer and Paul Zelenski, Paper presented at the Higher Learning Commission’s 112th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL April, 2007.

Interference With Prospective Contractual Relations: A Tort Only A Mind Reader Could Plead in the Michigan Courts, Amy Timmer, Wayne Law Review, Volume 45, Number 3, Fall 1999.

Are They Lying Now or Were They Lying Then? The Insurance Industry’s Ambiguous Pollution Exclusion: Why the Insurer, and Not the Innocent Insured, Should Pay for Pollution Caused by Prior Landowners, Amy Timmer, Baylor Law Review, Volume 46, Number 2, Spring 1994.

Timmer, Amy, "Interference With Prospective Contractual Relations: A Tort Only a Mind Reader Could Plead in the Michigan Courts," 45 WAYNE L REV 1443 (1999).

Timmer, Amy, "Are They Lying Now or Were They Lying Then? The Insurance Industry's Ambiguous Pollution Exclusion: Why the Insurer, and Not the Innocent Insured Should Pay for Pollution Caused by Prior Landowners,"46 BAYLOR L REV 355 (1994).

Other Writings

Cooley Law School Professionalism Plan (2002); Creating a Culture of Professionalism in Law School: The Thomas M. Cooley Law School Experience (2005); Inspiring Pro Bono: The Thomas M. Cooley Law School Experience (2010); and Cooley Law School Professionalism Plan: The Second Decade (2014).  Amy Timmer, Committee Chair and Contributor/Editor/Author. The Thomas M. Cooley Law School.              

Timmer, Amy, Contributor. Winning Again: A Citizens’ Action Agenda. Lansing, Michigan: Michigan Agenda Project (1996) (Ross for Governor Campaign 1998).


Real-World Experience

Experience: Business Ombudsman for former Michigan Governor James J. Blanchard, Assistant Director of the Michigan Commerce Department (1988-89), Associate Attorney at Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn

Specialties: Lawyer and Law Student Professionalism and Ethics

Faculty links

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