August 1, 2011
Retired Judge Betty R. Widgeon Joins Cooley Law School’s Ann Arbor Campus Leadership
Betty R. Widgeon
The Honorable Betty R. Widgeon (retired 1999) has been named assistant director of ethics, service and professionalism at Cooley Law School's Ann Arbor campus. In this position, Judge Widgeon will bring to the Ann Arbor campus programs focusing on ethics and professionalism, conduct workshops concentrating on the same and continue to teach alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which she has been teaching at the campus as an adjunct professor. She will also encourage students to get involved in pro bono and other legal services under the supervision of practicing attorneys and in outreach services to the local schools and communities.
Judge Widgeon was appointed to the 14A District Court bench by Governor John Engler in March, 1994, to complete the term of then retiring Judge Thomas Shea. She was elected to that seat in November of the same year. Widgeon has worked extensively in the field of alternative dispute resolution since leaving the bench in 1999, and has established an expansive and diverse network of collaborators in this area. She has 30 years of experience handling and resolving civil and criminal disputes as an attorney, judge, visiting judge, mediator, arbitrator and fact-finder. She serves on the Board of Directors and volunteers as a community mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center for Washtenaw and Livingston counties. Judge Widgeon occasionally accepts visiting judge appointments in Michigan as well as arbitration, mediation, and fact-finding cases in Michigan and Ohio.
"We are incredibly excited to have Judge Widgeon join our leadership team," said Joan Vestrand, associate dean and professor at Cooley’s Ann Arbor campus. "She brings a great deal of real-world knowledge with her, is admired and respected within the community and will be a great resource for our students."
Cooley’s Ann Arbor campus is currently involved with a number of community service projects from building a sustainable vegetable garden for low-income housing residents to participating in Cooley’s Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program.
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 more than 15,000 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.