Michigan Soldier in Iraq to be Sworn In as an Attorney Via Live Video Conference
Long-distance ceremony for Army Major Miles Gengler of Grand Blanc is cooperative effort of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, National Guard, and Michigan Supreme Court
A recent law school graduate serving in Iraq will be sworn in as a new attorney this week – with over 6,300 miles between him and the chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, who will preside at the swearing-in ceremony.
A live video conference arranged by Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the Supreme Court, and the National Guard will make it possible for Army Major Miles Gengler of Grand Blanc to take the lawyer’s oath and be formally admitted as an attorney licensed to practice in Michigan.
Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly of the Michigan Supreme Court will administer the oath while Gengler’s family and friends look on; the July 2 ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, located at 3411 N. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Lansing. The National Guard will provide video conferencing services.
Gengler, a recent Cooley graduate, nearly missed being able to take the bar examination in February 2009. Originally slated to be deployed about 10 days before the exam, he was able to postpone his departure until two days later.
John Nussbaumer, dean of Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus, began work on the long-distance ceremony shortly after learning that Gengler had passed the exam.
“I promised Miles that if he passed the bar exam, I would find a way to get him sworn in even though he would still be in Iraq,” said Nussbaumer. “Miles is putting his life on the line for our country; arranging for his swearing-in is the least we can do to show our appreciation for his service.”
Chief Justice Kelly noted that the lawyer’s oath includes a promise to uphold the constitutions of the United States and state of Michigan. “In fact, Major Gengler is already living that promise through his military service,” she said. “As an attorney, he will serve the Constitution in a different but no less important way: all attorneys are called to uphold the Constitution’s promise of ordered liberty and a nation governed by laws. I feel privileged to take part in his admission to the bar.”
Attending the ceremony will be Bloomfield Hills attorney John Stockdale, a friend of Gengler and Cooley graduate, who will move for his admission to the State Bar of Michigan. Family members will include Gengler’s wife Heather and their children Hayden, Carson, and Amory; also present will be Dean Nussbaumer, representatives of the National Guard, and Supreme Court staff.
Following the ceremony, the videoconference will continue so that Gengler’s family and friends can visit with him.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the country. Founded in 1972, it operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Lansing. Today, Cooley Law School has more than 13,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley Law School ranked second in total minority enrollment in 2007 among the 195 ABA-accredited law schools, according to information included in the American Bar Association's Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools (2008 Edition). Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.
Part Four: "Tribute to Our Troops." Wednesday, 11 Nov 2009,
Army Reserve Maj. Miles Gengler of Grand Blanc, MI, who is currently serving in Iraq, was sworn in as a lawyer this morning by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly via a live videoconference from a ceremony at the Michigan National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Lansing.
Maj. Gengler, 35, was deployed to Iraq shortly after taking the February 2009 Michigan bar exam. Maj. Gengler, a recent graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, is believed to be the first attorney in the country to be sworn in via videoconference.
Ingham County Legal News; Michigan Soldier in Iraq sworn in as Attorney (July 9, 2009)
Oakland County Legal News; Sworn in via satellite--New attorney takes oath while serving in Iraq (July 9, 2009)
Flint-Genesee County Legal News; Michigan soldier in Iraq sworn in as an attorney by Supreme Court's Chief Justice Kelly via live video conference (July 8, 2009)
Detroit Legal News; Miles from home Major Miles Gengler is sworn in as new attorney while serving in Iraq (July 7, 2009)
An independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. The Law School, as an independent institution, is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. The Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and in Tampa Bay, Fla. The Law School presently operates in Florida under the name Thomas M. Cooley Law School. It has applied to the Florida Commission on Independent Education for permission to use the Western Michigan University name in Florida and hopes for approval in the fall of 2014.