Amy Timmer


Associate Dean of Students & Professionalism, and Professor

Bio Timmer

B.A. Michigan State University 1978
J.D., summa cum laude, WMU-Cooley Law School 1988

[email protected]

Amy Timmer was appointed Interim Dean of the law school effective Oct. 22, 2018, and served in that capacity until July 1, 2019. As Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism for WMU-Cooley Law School, she provides direct assistance to individual students with law school concerns at all WMU-Cooley campuses. She also oversees the implementation of WMU-Cooley’s Professionalism Plan, which has gained national acclaim and earned WMU-Cooley the American Bar Association (ABA) Professionalism Award. Through numerous programs, 40 of which are based in pro bono service, that plan helps students learn their professional obligations while internalizing a personal commitment to ethics and service.

Dean Timmer is personally and professionally committed to lawyer and law student professionalism.  She was appointed by ABA President William Hubbard as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism for the 2014-15 year, and was re-appointed for a three-year term. At the state level, Dean Timmer is an appointed member of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) 21st Century Practice Task Force, Modernizing the Regulatory Machinery Committee and serves as a member of the SBM District E Character and Fitness Committee, and is a panelist for the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board. She is a founding member, Executive Committee member, and Chair of the Best Practices Committee of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium. She is also a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and the National Professionalism Consortium. She is a Master and former Board member of the American Inns of Court Mid-Michigan Chapter. Dean Timmer is chair of the WMU-Cooley Faculty Professionalism and Ethics Committee and the Pro Bono Committee.

Her past accomplishments include being named a 2009 Fellow of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and an Honorary Judge for both the Lansing, Michigan Teen Court and the American Lawyers Alliance Law-Related Education Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

Dean Timmer joined the WMU-Cooley faculty in 1992, teaching Torts and Equity & Remedies. In 1996, she became the Associate Dean of Students and in 2000, the Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism. She has published books and articles on law student professionalism and has spoken at programs offered by the ABA, AALS, NALP, Nelson Mullins Center on Professionalism, National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, Council of Bar Admissions Administrators, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, the National Legal Mentoring Consortium, and the National Conference of Bar Executives. From 2008-2013, she taught the professional development course at WMU-Cooley, and later put that course online as a required enrollment-long project for every student. She has received numerous teaching awards, including the Stanley E. Beattie Teaching Award.

After graduating from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1978, and enjoying a 10-year career with the Michigan Department of Commerce in the area of economic development and environmental regulation, she attended WMU-Cooley Law School in the evenings, and graduated summa cum laude in 1988. She joined the law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn and practiced in the litigation department. She is admitted to practice in Michigan courts, the Eastern and Western Districts of the U.S. District Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court.


    Articles (Law Reviews and Law Journals)

    • Eileen S. Johnson, Amy Timmer, Dawn E. Chandler, & Charles R. Toy, Matched vs. Episodic Mentoring: An Exploration of the Processes and Outcomes for Law School Students Engaged in Professional Mentoring,  23 Legal Educ. Rev. 153 (2013). 
    • Amy Timmer, Interference With Prospective Contractual Relations: A Tort Only A Mind Reader Could Plead in the Michigan Courts, 45 Wayne L. Rev. 1443 (1999).
    • Amy Timmer, Are They Lying Now or Were They Lying Then? The Insurance Industry’s Ambiguous Pollution Exclusion: Why the Insurer, and Not the Innocent Insured, Should Pay for Pollution Caused by Prior Landowners, 46 Baylor L. Rev. 355 (1994)..

    Books & Book Chapters

    • Amy Timmer & Matt Cristiano, 60-Minute Mentoring For Lawyers and Law Students:  Small Commitments Big Results, (Attorney At Work 2018).
    • Lori L. Keating & Amy Timmer, "Mentoring:  No App for That"  in The Relevant Lawyer - Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession", edited by Paul A. Haskins, 231-244 (ABA Publishing 2015).
    • Matthew Cristiano and Amy Timmer, Innovative Mentoring for Lawyers and Law Students:  Maximizing Relationships to Become a Successful Lawyer, (Thomson Reuters 2012).
    • Amy Timmer and Nelson Miller, eds., Reflections of a Lawyer's Soul:  The Institutional Experience of Professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Wm. S. Hein 2008).
    • Amy Timmer, "The Professionalism Plan", in Reflections of a Lawyer's Soul: The Institutional Experience of Professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, edited by Amy Timmer & Nelson Miller, 13-64 (William S. Hein 2008).
    • Heather Spielmaker & Amy Timmer, "The Professionalism Portfolio", in Reflections of a Lawyer's Soul:  The Institutional Experience of Professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, edited by Amy Timmer & Nelson Miller, 291-314 (William S. Hein 2008).
    • Amy Timmer, et al., Winning Again:  A Citizen's Action Agenda (1996 Michigan Agenda Project).

    Short Works

    • Amy Timmer, You Can’t Make Me Tell—Or Can You? Can Observing Mentee- and Mentor-Lawyers Be Compelled to Testify About Confidential Client Information?, 24 Prof. Law. 68 (2017).
    • Cooley Law School Professionalism Plan: The Second Decade. (The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2014).
    • Amy Timmer, The Power of Two: Law School and Bar Collaborations, Mich. B.J., Nov. 2010 at 58.
    •  Amy Timmer and John Berry, The ABA’s Excellent and Inevitable Journey to Incorporating Professionalism in Law School Accreditation Standards, 20 Prof. Law. 1 (2010).  
    • Amy Timmer and Heather Rae Spielmaker, Thomas M. Law School Professionalism Portfolio Project, 3 PROFile Spring/Summer 2007, at 2.
    • Amy Timmer, ed. Creating a Culture of Professionalism in Law School:  The Thomas M. Cooley Law School Experience.  The Thomas M. Cooley Law School (2005).


    • David Jaffe, Larry Dubin, Amy Timmer, Tish Vincent, and Diane Van Aken, Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Panel on Best Practices Engaging Law Schools, 21 AM. U.J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 609 (2013).
    • Amy Timmer & Paul Zelenski, The Challenge: Providing 'Principled Administration' to Higher Education Institutions in Today's World, Paper presented at the Higher Learning Commission's 112th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL April, 2007.



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