Public Defender Clinic Receives Cornerstone Award
May 22, 2014 - Grand Rapid’s LINC Community Revitalization (LINC) recently honored Cooley Law School’s West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic during the organization’s annual Community Spirit Award winners ceremony. The Public Defenders Clinic was presented with the Cornerstone Award, which honors an organization that best exemplifies the model of capacity building and demonstrates impact in a specific area.
In 2008, Cooley Assistant Dean Tracey Brame identified a need in the community involving indigent defendants and a high case load amongst Kent County’s public defenders. Brame spent many hours working with public defenders to create a solution and partnered with the Kent County Office of the Defender to form the Kent County Public Defenders Clinic. The clinic allows Cooley students, under the direct supervision of public defenders, to practice law under Michigan court rules, which helps public defenders build stronger defense cases. Cooley professors provide academic oversight to students during their experience working in the clinic. In 2014, the program expanded to other areas of West Michigan and was renamed the West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic.
“I’m honored that Cooley’s students are being recognized for their work helping defend individuals who can not afford a defense attorney,” said Brame. “The clinic is creating capacity building in the community and impacting the lives of individuals charged with crimes by allowing those individuals to have a greater understanding of their rights.”
Each year LINC honors individuals who devote their time, energy and skills to the community, or organizations that are making an impact in the community. LINC engages in community revitalization through partnerships and collaborations with numerous community-based organizations and other neighborhood stakeholders.
About Cooley Law School: Celebrating 40 years of excellence, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 18,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and in Tampa Bay, Florida.