September 27, 2010
Fourth Cooley Faculty Member Since 2005 to Receive Major State Bar of Michigan Award
Assoc. Dean John Nussbaumer
Cooley Law School Associate Dean John Nussbaumer will be honored with the State Bar of Michigan's Champion of Justice Award on Sept. 29, 2010. He is the fourth Cooley faculty member to receive a major State Bar of Michigan award since 2005, and the third in the last three years to receive the Champion of Justice Award. Nussbaumer oversees Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus.
In 2005, Associate Dean Nelson Miller, who oversees Cooley's Grand Rapids campus, was honored with the John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award, which recognizes a Michigan lawyer who has made a significant pro bono contribution.
In 2008, Associate Dean Joan Vestrand, who oversees Cooley's Ann Arbor campus, received the Champion of Justice Award, which is given to practicing lawyers and judges who have “exhibited integrity and adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, superior professional competence, and an extraordinary
professional accomplishment that benefits the nation, the state, or the local community in which the lawyer or judge lives." Associate Professor E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., who directs the school’s corporate law and finance masters of law program, received the award in 2009.
The State Bar of Michigan said in announcing the award to Nussbaumer that "increasing diversity in the legal profession and access for the unrepresented are goals that lie at the heart of Cooley Law School Dean John Nussbaumer’s 33-year long career." The State Bar went on to say that he "works passionately and tirelessly to innovate and to make a difference – whether it's mentoring a law student, participating in pro bono or community service projects or overseeing clinics that help domestic violence victims, families, seniors and soldiers."
"This award is really a testament to Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc's leadership in providing access to a legal education to those who are willing to work hard to meet Cooley's rigorous academic standards, and to the culture of ethics, service and professionalism that he has encouraged and supported," said Nussbaumer. "It is also a testament to the hard work of the Cooley faculty members and staff who have worked hard to implement the programs that I've been fortunate to lead."
"John encompasses the qualities that every lawyer should aspire to possess," said LeDuc. "In addition to being a skilled practitioner, John seeks to better his community and the profession through numerous initiatives, including many focused on diversity in the profession and free legal services for those in need."
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has nearly 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.