WMU-Cooley Law School Michigan Campuses Hold Graduation Ceremony

Don LeDuc, Christine Galustians

WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc presents graduate Christine Galustians with her diploma during the law school’s commencement at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan, on Jan. 22.

WMU-Cooley Law School presented 145 students with juris doctor and Master of Laws degrees during a commencement ceremony for the law school’s Michigan campuses (Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Lansing) on Sunday, Jan. 22. During the graduation, which was held at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan, past State Bar of Michigan President Lori Buiteweg, shareholder of Nichols, Sacks, Slank Sendelbach & Buiteweg PC, presented the keynote and graduate Lori Montgomery of Toronto, Ontario, presented the valedictory remarks.

While serving as president of the SBM, Buiteweg encouraged law firms to consider “widening the path to the boardroom to be more inclusive of lawyers who are motivated to be healthy and have lasting, deeply meaningful family relationships.” As an attorney, Buiteweg focuses on domestic litigation, mediation, arbitration and collaboration. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and law degree from Wayne State University Law School. She spoke to students about accepting responsibility and to change what needs to be changed.

“You have to make bias awareness an integral part of everything you do,” said Buiteweg. “Never will you have the luxury of practicing law in a bubble. You must always be on the lookout for how to improve the profession and ensure your clients receive due process.”

Selected by her fellow classmates, Montgomery told the graduating class to use the invaluable skills learned at WMU-Cooley Law School throughout life.

“We can now see both sides of every story and think critically about different issues we may not agree with,” said Montgomery. “Going forward, don’t ever lose your passion for law and make sure you strive for change.”

Each class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. The winter 2017 graduating class is named after Fred Moore Vinson. Vinson served in the United States legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. President Truman appointed Vinson as the 13th Chief Justice of the United States in 1946.

Lori Montgomery

Lori Montgomery, WMU-Cooley Law School graduate, presents the valedictory remarks during the law school’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, January 22.


Lori Buiteweg

Lori Buiteweg, former president of the State Bar and Michigan and current shareholder of Nichols, Sacks, Slank Sendelbach & Buiteweg PC., speaks during WMU-Cooley Law School’s recent graduation for the law school’s Michigan campuses.

About Western Michigan University Cooley Law School: WMU-Cooley Law School resulted from the 2014 affiliation that combined WMU's status as a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and WMU-Cooley Law School operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.



Lawyers must be on the lookout for ways to improve the profession, speaker says

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