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Past Events


A Night on the Serengeti: 2023 Barrister's Ball in Tampa

Join us for an unforgettable evening of elegance and excitement at this year's Barristers Ball, A Night on the Serengeti, where elegance meets adventure! 

Friday, Nov. 10, 2023
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa, Florida

The dress code is black-tie optional but allows for a touch of creativity in line with our theme. Hors d'oeuvres, dinner, and dessert are included with your ticket purchase. An open cash bar will be available, offering a selection of beverages and specialty cocktails. As the night unfolds, dance to the beats of our DJ, celebrate our award recipients, and revel in a night of enjoyment. Secure your tickets now and join us for an unforgettable adventure under the starlit Serengeti sky!


Barristers' Ball at ZooTampa

Expungement Fair

You're invited to join Michigan Representative Emily Dievendorf at an Expungement Fair on Friday, 10/27.

The In-Person Expungement Fair will be held:

Friday, October 27, 2023 from noon-5:00 p.m.

Cooley Law School
Cooley Center
300 S. Capitol Ave. 
Lansing, Michigan

Limited walk-in appointments will be accepted on the day of the event.

Expungement Fair



Affirmative Action Law Review Symposium

WMU-Cooley Law School’s annual Law Review Symposium will feature an in-depth look at affirmative action. Experts will discuss the current and future consequences of the most recent Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. The Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and overruled 45 years of precedent established in prior Supreme Court decisions. The Court’s ruling continues to allow colleges to consider how race has affected a student’s life and their ability to contribute to the educational institution. 

The annual event, which explores current relevant legal topics, will take place:

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.



Professor Michael C.H. McDaniel

Professor Michael McDaniel

Ret. Brig. General and Professor Michael C.H. McDaniel joined the WMU-Cooley Law School full-time faculty as a professor in the Constitutional Law Department in 2010 and developed an LL.M. program in Homeland and National Security Law. Before joining WMU-Cooley full-time, Professor McDaniel served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Strategy, Prevention and Mission Assurance. He was also appointed by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as her Homeland Security Adviser while simultaneously serving as the Assistant Adjutant General for Homeland Security, Michigan National Guard. During his time in the military, he served as the State Judge Advocate as a member of the Michigan National Guard for over 27 years, and he was promoted to Brigadier General in 2007. McDaniel has written extensively on a number of Constitutional issues.

Professor Juan F. Perea

Juan Perea

Professor Juan Perea joined Loyola University Chicago’s full-time law faculty in 2011. Prior to joining Loyola, he taught at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Harvard Law School, Boston College Law School, and the University of Colorado School of Law. 

Perea has written extensively on racial inequality, the legal history of race relations in the United States, and the civil rights of Latinos. His articles have appeared in Harvard Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and many others.

Attorney Elina Robinson

After graduating from WMU-Cooley Law School, Ms. Robison has spent her career providing assistance to County residents who believe they have been discriminated against because of race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. She is an Investigator and Mediator Specialist, Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Certified Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator & Counselor, and on the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.




Wrongful Conviction Day Panel

On Monday, Oct. 2, the Cooley Law School Innocence Project, in partnership with Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, will recognize National Wrongful Conviction Day with a free panel discussion featuring Innocence Project exonerees. 

Panelists will include exonerees Kenneth Nixon, Gilbert Poole, George DeJesus, and his brother, Melvin DeJesus. Nixon and Poole were exonerated in 2021, while the DeJesus brothers were exonerated in 2022.

The event will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Warner’s Grand Rapids office, 150 Ottawa Ave. NW. Seating is limited. Attendees must register in advance online.

“Our commitment to helping those wrongfully convicted has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of our work,” said Tracey Brame, director of Cooley Law School’s Innocence Project. “It is important we work within local communities to raise awareness for the estimated 975 innocent individuals who are locked up every year.”

Established in 2001, the Cooley Law School Innocence Project is the only post-conviction DNA innocence organization in the state. Since its inception, the office has screened over 6,000 cases and is responsible for the exoneration of eight individuals: Kenneth Wyniemko (2003), Nathaniel Hatchett (2008), Donya Davis (2014), LeDura Watkins (2017), Corey McCall (2021), Nixon, Poole and DeJesus. It also helped to exonerate Lacino Hamilton and Ramon Ward, both in 2020, and Terance Calhoun and Melvin DeJesus, both in 2022.

“We are proud to host this event and support the work of Cooley's Innocence Project to create change and impact the lives of those our justice system has wronged,” said Warner Partner Christopher E. Tracy. “We look forward to the experiences and insights the panelists will share as we collectively strive to raise awareness and create a lasting impact on the lives of those who have been wrongly convicted.”

The project is staffed by Cooley Law School students, who work under the supervision of Cooley Innocence Project attorneys. Those interested in donating and supporting the work of the Cooley Innocence Project can do so at In its 10th year, Wrongful Conviction Day began as an effort of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro-bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions and supporting the exonerated after they are freed.

Seating for this in-person event is limited. Attendees must register in advance for this event. 

This event is funded in part by a grant from PNC Bank. 


Exoneree Panel

Wrongful Conviction Day

33rd Annual Barristers' Ball

Get your tickets to Cooley's 33rd Annual Barristers' Ball today. The Ball is a great opportunity to network and socialize with students, staff and outside attorneys in our community. We hope to see you there. 
What: Cooley's 33rd Annual Barristers' Ball
Where: Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing
When: September 30, 2023 at 6 pm

Barrister's Ball

Constitution Day - The Early Supreme Court & the Legacy of John Marshall

Join Cooley Adjunct Professor Timothy Innes for a Constitution Day discussion about the early years of the U.S. Supreme Court and the most influential Chief Justice in its history, John Marshall. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 

Profession Innes will examine in detail what is considered the most famous case in American legal history, Marbury v. Madison (1803). He will also explore the origins of judicial review, the power of the court to determine if a statute, case, or treaty comports with the Constitution. He will also examine how Marshall and the United States Supreme Court were able influence nearly every important political issue of the first half of the nineteenth century. In addition, he will examine the most important cases decided in the period between 1810 – 1823, the most productive period in Supreme Court history. During this time Marshall and his fellow justices, were at the height of their intellectual and persuasive powers. Cases discussed include: Fletcher v Peck; United States v. Hudson and Goodwin; Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee; United States v. Coolidge; McCulloch v. Maryland; Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodard,  and Gibbons v. Ogden.



Inclusion & Belonging Book Club Discussion

Join the "Coffee and Conversations: Inclusion and Belonging" Book Club Discussion with Zenell Brown. Feel free to join one or both of the sessions. The Day of WebEx links are below. 

Book club Sessions

Inclusion and Belonging Book Club Discussion

Here is your guide to getting beyond the racial and economic chasm that has separated humans for far too long. Brown suggests we put down the protest signs, stop marching, and just sit down with a cup of coffee and have an honest conversation while following her guidelines that lead to genuine change. #YLDisMe


Inclusion & Belonging Book Club Launch

Join the WMU-Cooley Community Conversation featuring "Coffee and Conversations: Inclusion and Belonging" Book Club Launch with Zenell Brown. #FlaYLD #Grants #YLDisMe

Thursday, June 22, from noon-1:00 p.m. (ET)

Inclusion and Belonging Book Club Discussion

Here is your guide to getting beyond the racial and economic chasm that has separated humans for far too long. Brown suggests we put down the protest signs, stop marching, and just sit down with a cup of coffee and have an honest conversation while following her guidelines that lead to genuine change.


Need a copy of the book? There is a limited supply available for us to send out. Please email Jacqueline Freeman, Senior Director and Special Advisor to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to request a copy at [email protected]. Include BOOK REQUEST in the Subject line. 

Make sure to join the Book Club Discussion - 2 sessions!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Noon- 1:00 p.m.

5:00-6:00 p.m.

Attend one or both sessions. Just click on the button day of the event!