On Wednesday, Sept. 23, incoming students to Western Michigan University Cooley Law School participated in the school’s Professionalism in Action Orientation Program. WMU-Cooley President James McGrath welcomed those in attendance and provided opening remarks. Attorneys who spoke to students in small groups to discuss and find resolution to various ethical issues included: Kellen Dotson, Kent County Office of the Defender; Joseph Muha, corporate counsel, Discount Drug; and Philip Strom, deputy city attorney, city of Grand Rapids.
Dotson is a public defender at the Kent County Office of the Defender, where he represents indigent defendants in felony and misdemeanor offenses. Kellen graduated from WMU-Cooley in 2015, and started at the Defender’s Office the next year. Kellen is also a graduate of Gideon’s Promise, a nationally recognized public defender training program; faculty for the Grand Rapids Bar Three R’s program; provides trial training to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission; and is an adjunct professor at WMU-Cooley.
Muha has over 30 years of retail experience with background in pharmacy, law, compliance, purchasing, negotiation, business development, and team building. He has extensive relationships with pharmaceutical executive leadership in the compliance, manufacturing, and sales spaces. Muha is a pharmacist licensed in five states, is admitted to the Ohio Bar as a Corporate Counsel, a licensed attorney in Michigan and is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States Bar. He earned a bachelor’s in pharmacy from Duquesne University, master’s of business administration from Webster University, juris doctor and LL.M. from WMU-Cooley.
Strom, a fourth-generation attorney graduated from WMU-Cooley and earned a bachelor’s degree from WMU. He started his legal career in private practice in Escanaba and joined the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office in 2011 as an assistant attorney. In 2015 Strom was appointed to the elected prosecutor position in Delta County and was elected to that position in 2016. In 2019, he joined the law department for the city of Grand Rapids as deputy city attorney where he manages a staff of 17 professionals.
The program was moderated by Legal Ethics Professor Victoria Vuletich, who spoke about the importance of ethics in the profession.