Amy Timmer

Amy Timmer

Associate Dean of Students & Professionalism and Professor

B.A. Michigan State University 1978
J.D., summa cum laude, Thomas M. Cooley Law School 1988

After graduating from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1978, Amy Timmer went to work for the Michigan Department of Commerce where she worked in the area of economic development and environmental regulation for 10 years. During that time, Ms. Timmer served as a Business Ombudsman for then Governor James J. Blanchard. She also served as Assistant Director of the Michigan Commerce Department in 1988 and 1989. While working in that capacity, she obtained her law degree from Cooley Law School, attending classes in the evenings. She graduated summa cum laude from Cooley in 1988.

In 1989, Ms. Timmer left state government to work as an associate attorney in the Lansing office of the national law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn, where she practiced in the Litigation Department and served on that department's hiring committee. During that time, she was also teaching as an adjunct professor at Cooley.

Ms. Timmer accepted a position at Cooley as a full-time faculty member in 1992, teaching Torts and Equity and Remedies. She has received numerous teaching awards including the Stanley E. Beattie Teaching Award.

In 1996, Professor Timmer became the Associate Dean of Students and began dedicating her career to issues of lawyer and law student professionalism, ethics, and civility. She became a hearing panelist for both the Attorney Discipline Board and the State Bar of Michigan Character and Fitness Committee. Dean Timmer is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan Special Committee on Grievance and the Cooley Inn of the American Inns of Court.

In 2000, her title changed to Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism, in connection with Cooley’s emphasis on creating a culture of professionalism and civility in the school. Dean Timmer helped design and now oversees the implementation of Cooley's Professionalism Plan, which has garnered national acclaim as one of the broadest and most innovative professionalism programs among U.S. law schools.

In 2006, Cooley's professionalism program received the Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Professionalism. Dean Timmer is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Eastern and Western Districts of the United States District Court.



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

David Jaffe, Larry Dubin, Amy Timmer, Tish Vincent, and Diane Van Aken, "Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Panel on Best Practices Engaging Law Schools," JOURNAL OF GENDER, SOCIAL POLICY & THE LAW,  Vol. 21, Number 3 (2013).

Timmer, Amy and Berry, John, "The ABA's Excellent and Inevitable Journey to Incorportating Professionalism in Law School Accreditation Standards," 20 No. 1 PROFLAW 1 (2010).

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).


Timmer & Cristiano, Innovative Mentoring: Maximizing Relationships to Become a Successful Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2012. 

Timmer, Amy and Miller, Nelson, editors and contributing authors, Reflections of a Lawyer's Soul: The Institutional Experience of Professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Wm. S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2008.

Other Writings

Timmer, Amy, Inspiring Pro Bono, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2010.

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

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

Timmer, Amy, Creating a Culture of Professionalism in Law School: The Thomas M. Cooley Law School Experience. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2005.

Timmer, Amy, Committee Chair and Contributor/Editor. Professionalism Plan. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2002.

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

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