Each year, on May 1, WMU-Cooley Law School and the Grand Rapids Bar Association come together to celebrate Law Day, a day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day provides an opportunity to understand how law and the legal process protect our liberty, strive to achieve justice, and contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. During this year’s event, held at the University Club in downtown Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association (GRVBA) was presented with the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award.
The Marion Hilligan Public Service Award is presented to lawyers who reflect greater individual responsibility in promoting public health and welfare through law. It is given in honor of WMU-Cooley Grand Rapids campus former Associate Dean Marion Hilligan, who passed away in 2007.
Pictured: WMU-Cooley Associate Dean Tracey Brame (left) presents Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association Acting President Ed Perdue (center), and member Thomas L. Dorwin (right) with the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award, an award given in honor of WMU-Cooley Grand Rapids campus’ former Associate Dean Marion Hilligan, who passed away in 2007.
The GRVBA was informally founded 10 years ago by Ed Perdue, Joe Rossi and Brian Lennon and its members were originally comprised of U.S. Marine Corps lawyer veterans. It has since evolved into a networking and service organization for local veteran attorneys with veterans from all branches of the military represented, and includes judges, prosecutors, defense counsel and civil attorneys. Perdue, an attorney with Dickinson Wright, serves as the organization’s acting president.
Members of the GRVBA participate in multiple community service activities each year. Activities include providing holiday gifts to residents of the Michigan Home for Veterans, staffing two clinics monthly for the Wills for Vets Project, and providing pro-bono services for veterans.