Gary Bauer


Gary Bauer

Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Visiting Professor

B.S. Purdue University 1971
M.S. Central Michigan University 1976
J.D. WMU-Cooley Law School 1988
[email protected]

Professor Gary Bauer has expertise in estate planning, property descriptions, land use, Medicaid and Medicare, medical directives and end of life decision-making.  

Professor Bauer joined the full-time faculty at WMU-Cooley in 1998 as an Assistant Professor. Before that, in 1997, he was hired as a Visiting Professor supervising clinical students at Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic.

Professor Bauer practiced law as a criminal defense attorney with substantial trial court experience developed over several years representing individuals charged with felonies before being hired as the Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic's litigation director, serving in that position 1993-1996.

Prior to law school, Professor Bauer served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force with the rank of Captain. He was a navigator-bombardier on B-52s and KC-135s. After leaving the Air Force, Professor Bauer was employed as a Regional Sales Manager for Mitsui, U.S.A., representing its interests in establishing retail outlets for its diesel powered equipment, with responsibility for sales over five different states.

As a full-time tenured Professor at WMU-Cooley Law School, Professor Bauer has taught Wills, Trusts and Estates, environmental law, and supervised off-site externs, and he currently teaches several clinical courses in the Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic, including the Estate Planning Clinic and the Probate Court Visitorship Clinic. He also teaches a course, Solo by Design which provides students with mentoring and coaching as they prepare business plans for practice after graduation. This course is a spin-off of one of the books he has authored and published by the American Bar Association, "Solo Lawyer by Design," to help law students prepare for the realities of the business of legal representation as a sole proprietor.

He has held numerous leadership positions with the State Bar of Michigan as a member of the Law Practice Management Section and the GPSolo Practice Section of that Bar. He is the past Chair of the Practice Management Section. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education and holds several positions with the American Bar Association, including Chair of the Legal Educator's Committee, Vice Chair of the Senior Lawyers Division of the GP Solo Division of the ABA and also sits on their Planning Committee Board. He also serves as Chair of the GP Solo Concentration at WMU-Cooley Law School and is the Director of the Sixty Plus Elderlaw Clinic.

Professor Bauer has been recognized nationally, in 2017 by the  American Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Division. He was presented with the Solo and Small Firm Division Trainer Award for outstanding service to the profession offering instruction and training for new and established attorneys in service to the profession throughout his career. In addition, in 2018 the State Bar of Michigan recognized Professor Bauer with the Outstanding Achievement Award presented by the GPSolo General Practice Section in Recognition of Professor Bauer's Outstanding Contributions to that Section and the Legal Community at large. Professor Bauer was also recently recognized in August of 2019 by Elder Law of Michigan when he was awarded the Joe E. Sutton Call to Justice Award for his service as an outstanding advocate, educator and service provided for seniors in mid-Michigan. 


Articles (Law Reviews and Law Journals)

* Gary Bauer, The Sixty Plus Estate Planning Clinic—Change Is the Constant, 10 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 107 (2007).
* Gary Bauer, Addressing the Needs of Solo Small Firm Practitioners Through Law School Based Programs to Reduce Stress in Practice - Several Approaches, 6 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 1 (2003).
* Gary Bauer, Translating Clinical Experience into Job Opportunities, 1 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 174 (1997).

Books and Chapters in Books

* Gary Bauer, Hire and Retire, A Plan for a Continuing Income Stream in Retirement (American Bar Association, Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division and Senior Lawyers Division 2019).
* Gary Bauer, Solo Lawyer by Design, A Plan for Success in any Practice (American Bar Association, Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division 2017).

Short Works

* Gary Bauer, Sixty Plus Elderlaw Clinic—An Elder Law Teaching Model, 81 Mich. B.J., Feb. 2002, at 52.
* Gary Bauer, Using the Clinic and the Placement Office to Provide Assistance to Students Starting a Solo/Small Office, AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education Newsletter. (American Association of Law Schools), April 2001, at 31.
* Gary Bauer, Terrence Cavanaugh, Medicaid Analysis in Developing an Estate Plan, 12 Mich. Law. Wkly., June 1, 1998, at 1064.


* Gary Bauer, Speaker, Close (Sell) Your Practice—Studio Seminar, (Ann Arbor, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, January 23, 2019).
* Gary Bauer, Speaker, Upper Michigan Legal Institute, (Mackinac Island, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, June 8, 2018).
* Gary Bauer, Speaker, Next Conference, (Grand Rapids, MI, Institute of Continuing of Legal Education, September 28, 2017).
* Gary Bauer, Moderator, Solo & Small Firm Institute, 13th Annual (Grand Rapids, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education September 22, 2016).
* Gary Bauer, Moderator, Solo & Small Firm Institute, 12th Annual (Novi, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, October 8, 2015).
* Gary Bauer, Speaker, 5th Annual Solo & Small Firm Institute, (Dearborn, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, September 18, 2008).
* Gary Bauer, Moderator, 3rd Annual Solo & Small Firm Institute, (Dearborn, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, October 19, 2006).
* Gary Bauer, Speaker, 2nd Annual Solo & Small Firm Institute, (Dearborn, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Oct. 20, 2005).
* Gary Bauer, Speaker, 1st Annual Solo & Small Firm Institute, (Dearborn, MI, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, June 21, 2004).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Social Security, SSI, Medicare and Disabaility Law, (November, 2003).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Teaching 'Good Lawyering' through Observation of 'Bad' Lawyering, (Association of American Law Schools, Workshop on Clinical Legal Education, May 2003).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Competency Standards, Medical and Legal - What's the Difference? (East Lansing, Michigan State University, Department of Psychiatry, Forensics Seminar, August 2, 2001).
* Gary Bauer, Speaker, A Panel Discussion, (Lansing, MI, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, July 2000).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Incapacitated Adults and Children—Long Term Planning Considerations, (Michigan Cooperative Extension Service - Adult Children / Aging Parents Series, May 1999).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Incapacitated Adults and Children-—Long Term Planning Considerations, (Lansing, MI, Successful Aging Seminar, Aging Parents Series, Sparrow Hospital, April, 1999).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Medicaid Risk Analysis and Long Term Care Considerations, (Livonia, MI, The First Michigan Forum on Long-Term Care, 1998).
* Gary Bauer, Presentation, Life and Death Decision Making, (South Central Michigan Alzheimer's Association, January, 1998).


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