Monthly Archives: March 2015

When It Comes To Your Job Search, One Thing Stands Out – NETWORK!

2013 WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Jacqualine Lombardo

2013 WMU-Cooley graduate Jacqualine Lombardo

My name is Jacqualine Lombardo and I am a May 2013 graduate of Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  I started my time in higher education with the hopes of becoming a social worker, but decided early on that I wanted to do more. I wanted to follow a path of legal advocacy so I could help those who could not help themselves. In 2009, I sat for the LSAT, then applied to law school. WMU-Cooley gave me the opportunity to fulfill my greatest potential. 

My time at WMU-Cooley allowed me to really find myself and to figure out my strengths.  My experience with their Access to Justice Clinic, along with the helpful guidance of the professors along the way, really solidified for me what I wanted to do in my legal career.  I couldn’t have done it without them. WMU-Cooley’s externship program also gave me the opportunity of a life time. I was able to work directly with the American Civil Liberties Union in Honolulu, Hawaii for my externship. It was the most incredible experience, professionally and personally, that I have ever had! I attended legislative committee hearings almost every day, sat with the governor, and met with elected officials on a regular basis, giving me exposure to progressive legislative campaigns and the opportunity to advocate for civil rights throughout the state government.

When I came back home to Albany, New York, in April of 2013, I knew that I had to study for the bar exam and studied every single day.  I used the tools and study skills I had learned from my experience at WMU-Cooley.  I am proud to say I passed on the first try and shortly thereafter became a licensed attorney.

As far as my job search, I can tell you only one thing: NETWORK! Join as many organizations, groups, and bar affiliations as possible. Form relationships. People will get to know you, your passions and your personality. By networking, I was able to secure my very first job as a real estate attorney – a position I held for over a year before another networking opportunity brought me to an estate planning firm.

Currently, not only am I practicing law at an incredible firm with amazing people, I also get to utilize every skill I learned at WMU-Cooley.  My area of focus is estate planning, administration and guardianship petitions. It is an incredibly rewarding experience.  I feel that my law school experience at WMU-Cooley gave me the confidence and courage to always seek out what I want in an intelligent and strategic way.
From the bottom of my heart, I hope every person who enters WMU-Cooley Law School has the experience I had. They have such incredible professors willing to guide you and help you.  My education at WMU-Cooley gave me everything I needed to confidently go out in the workforce and find the career of my dreams.

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Lawyer Employment Jumps By 40,000 in 2014!

Cooley President and Dean, Don LeDuc

Cooley President and Dean, Don LeDuc

Now Is the Time to Fulfill Your Dream of Becoming a Lawyer!

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s President and Dean, Don LeDuc, publishes commentaries on our website about the Law School, legal education, legal employment, and related topics.  This post summarizes President LeDuc’s commentary highlighting the recent surge in lawyer employment in the U.S.

Football Coach George Allen famously said, “The future is now.”  Those considering law school should listen to Coach Allen.  Here’s why.

In 2014, the number of employed lawyers increased by 40,000, or 3.66 percent, compared to 2013, according to a just-released U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.  Conversely, the number of unemployed lawyers fell by 8,000.

This means that improving economy in 2014 clearly supported not only the increased number of law school graduates, but also reduced the number of lawyers previously unemployed by one-third.  The unemployment rate among lawyers is now 1.2%, far below the national unemployment rate of 5.5% and likewise the lowest lawyer unemployment rate since before 2008.  And the unemployment rate for lawyers in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 0.6%.

Summer 2015 will see about 3,000 fewer law school graduates entering the job market than did so in 2014.  At the same time, increasing numbers of lawyers will retire due to aging and the recovery of retirement portfolios.

The combined trend of fewer graduates and more retirements will continue for at least another three years, creating an increasingly favorable employment outlook.

Now is the time for those whose dream is to become a lawyer to disregard the blog-fog and look at the clear employment picture that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has painted.  That dream’s future is now.

Read this commentary in full.       

Click here to see all of President LeDuc’s commentaries.

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See us on the web at wmich.edu/law.

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WMU-Cooley Foreign Study Student Shares Texan Culture in Toronto and Oxford

“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life” says WMU-Cooley law student Katy-Marie Lyles.

Katy-Marie participated in both the Toronto and Oxford programs, which allowed her to spend the entire summer abroad taking in the best of everything offered in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Digital Camera

Katy-Marie enjoying a river boat ride with friends!

One of this proud Texan’s “favorite” things was teaching everyone participating in the programs about Texan culture and law, and “why it is the way it is!”

Katy-Marie enjoyed the “incredible staff and professors” in the programs.  Studying outside of the United States in a different legal system was an incredible experience for Katy-Marie. She loved learning about other cultures and their legal systems. Visiting a courtroom really allowed her to see an entirely different legal system in action and gaining a civil law perspective.

She enjoyed it so much, she’s ready to do it again – real soon!

What about you? Do you want to study abroad? Learn about different cultures and legal systems? 

Find out more about WMU-Cooley’s Toronto and Oxford programs and start exploring today!

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WMU-Cooley Graduate and First Lieutenant William Milzarski is Awarded the Purple Heart

Lieutenant William Milzarski (left) with Major Gen. Gregory Vadnais, Adjutant General & Director, Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs

First Lieutenant William Milzarski, a 2002 WMU-Cooley graduate, received the Purple Heart on Thursday, March 12, 2015, for injuries he suffered in his service to his country.

As a platoon leader, Lt. Milzarski led 24 soldiers in Afghanistan on 244 combat missions and 43 engagements with the enemy. During a firefight in Afghanistan on May 27, 2011, Lt. Milzarski was struck in the face by an enemy bullet that ricocheted. Courageously, he stayed on the battlefield.

milzarski

Left to right: Congressman John Moolenaar, First Lieutenant William Milzarski, WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc

 

U.S. Representative John Moolenaar (Midland) presented the Purple Heart to Lt. Milzarski on Thursday in Michigan’s Capitol rotunda. State Senator Rick Jones (Grand Ledge) and Speaker Pro Tempore Tom Leonard (DeWitt) also attended the medal presentation.

 

More stories and news about First Lieutenant William Milzarski

WLNS Channel 6 News: Purple Heart Awarded To Soldier From Michigan:

First Lieutenant Milzarski’s story of adversity and recovery was featured in the U.S. Army’s “I know how it feels”campaign.

Lansing State Journal:  Bath Township Resident Awarded Purple Heart

 

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Top 5 reasons to tour a law school before attending

WMU-Cooley student Jenn Gallardo

WMU-Cooley student Jenn Gallardo

About the author: Jennifer Gallardo is a WMU-Cooley Law School 2016 J.D. candidate. She is a Student Admissions Counselor, assisting and giving tours to visitors interested in attending law school. She is president of the Hispanic-Latino Law Society, a community outreach coordinator for Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic, a Student Bar Association senator, Grade Appeals Board member, graduation marshal, Honor Council member, and has made the Dean’s List and Honor Roll every term.

Decked out as Marshals for Graduation.

Decked out as Marshals for Graduation.

Jennifer gives her top five reasons why she thinks you should tour a law school before you make a decision on where you plan to attend. 

(1)   Reduce orientation/first day jitters. It’s nice to know where you are going, and you don’t want to be late on your first day because you got lost.

(2)   Get an idea of what you are getting for your hard-earned money. Law school is expensive. Go check the place out. Is the campus nice? Are there computers available for use? Are the classrooms modern and comfortable? What’s the library like?

The Hispanic-Latino Law Student society serving up lunch at a local soup kitchen.

The Hispanic-Latino Law Student society serving up lunch at a local soup kitchen.

(3)   Check out the amenities because you are going to spend a LOT of time on campus. Things to take into account: Is there food and coffee available on or near campus? Is there parking near campus and how much is it? What is the commute like? Or is there a bus stop near campus? How often does the bus run? What kind of neighborhood is the school located in? How are the classrooms laid out? What is the typical class size? Where is the bookstore and what kinds of things do they sell? An Open House allows you to get many of your questions answered, all in one place.

(4)   Feel out the school’s vibe. Time is precious in law school. Make sure that the administration is there to serve you. Meet the Admissions, Registrar and Financial Aid staff. Are they friendly? Easily accessible? Visit the Career Office and find out what services they offer to students and alumni. The point of law school is to get a job. Make sure your school is going to be there for you when you need it.

Taking a well deserved ski trip with my WMU-Cooley friends during break.

Taking a well-deserved ski trip with my WMU-Cooley friends during break.

(5)   And most importantly, see what the student life is like. Law school is hard. And stressful. And time-consuming. You are going to spend more time over the next three years with your classmates than you will with your significant other, family, or friends. The thing that most impressed me when I toured WMU-Cooley was that Christian, the student admissions counselor who showed me around, knew everyone we passed. They were lots of smiles, jokes, and handshakes, and everyone was happy to meet me as well. It was very welcoming. Now, two years later, I am a student admissions counselor, and the most frequent comment from guests taking a tour with me, is that everyone seems to know and like each other. If you watch How to Get Away with Murder, you know that law school is portrayed as a cut-throat atmosphere, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dressed up and ready to party at the Barrister's Ball.

Dressed up and ready to party at the Barrister’s Ball.

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What is Net Neutrality Anyway? WMU-Cooley Professor David Tarrien explains.

Professor David Tarrien

Prof. David Tarrien

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed regulations last week that are designed to guarantee open, equal access to the internet – so-called “net neutrality.”  Prof. David J. Tarrien, who has been interviewed in the media all around the nation on this topic, shares some of his thoughts with us.  You can hear one of Prof. Tarrien’s recent radio interviews here, plus you can check other sources below.


Specifically, they prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, throttling (slowing down the transmission of), or creating paid prioritization (fast lanes) to, the internet. The regulations apply to all providers of dial up, broadband, and for the first time, wireless, internet access. While the idea of an open internet as a place for free expression of ideas and innovation is not in and of itself controversial, government enforcement of that idea has been. There has been much discussion in the media and political forums about the proper role of government.

Proponents of the regulations say that the government is the best guarantor of and referee for net neutrality. They point to specific instances of purported bad behavior by the ISPs, such as Verizon blocking wireless access to Google Wallet in 2011 and Comcast slowing down the BitTorrent file-sharing website in 2008.

Opponents of the regulations object to the government interjecting itself into the free market. They state that this will stifle creativity and innovation in how internet service is provided to the consumer. They also state that the industry has done a good job of regulating itself, that specific instances like those above have not been repeated, and that there is no real threat that the scenarios that are ostensibly prevented will come about, because doing so would unnecessarily alienate client bases.

Legally, net neutrality has a history with roots in the 2002 decision by the FCC to identify internet service provision as an information service, like broadcasters, rather than a telecommunication service, like telephone service. Information service, because of its relationship to free speech principles, is harder for the government to regulate than is telecommunications services, which are seen more as utilities.

The FCC chose the information services designation to allow ISPs to develop their products and establish themselves competitively in the marketplace. Several years later, when the FCC felt that market space had been established it put forth its initial net neutrality regulatory scheme. This was challenged in the courts and in the DC Circuit appellate court decision from 2010, Comcast v. FCC and in its 2014 decision, Verizon v. FCC, the FCC was deemed to have exceeded its regulatory authority, largely because it was applying the rules to information services.

This led to the decision to put forth rules under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, designating ISPs as common carriers providing a utility, for which there is a long history of successful regulation.

In the short term, it will mean very little; regulatory review and lawsuits will prevent the enforcement of the rules until summer at the very earliest and probably for much longer than that. Over the long term, it will depend on whether the courts accept the designation of the ISPs as a utility; regardless, this is undoubtedly not the last time we will hear about net neutrality.


WMU-Cooley Professor David J. Tarrien teaches Introduction to Law, Advanced Writing, Research and Writing, Federal Disability Law, Law of Cyberspace, Education Law, and Special Education Law. He is a national media expert on the topic of Net Neutrality.

David’s appearance on WXMI TV (FOX 17) in Grand Rapids
David’s appearance on WZZM TV (ABC) in Grand Rapids
David’s appearance on WFLA NewsRadio (AM 970) in Tampa
Michigan Radio Network
WDBO 96.5 (Orlando)
David’s appearance on Newstalk Florida (AM 820 News in Tampa and 1190 News in Orlando)
Steve Gruber Show (on 12 station in Michigan  WJIMWJRWWKMIWLBYWBCHWMKT-AM, WMKT-FM,WATTWMIQWDMJWIAN & WKLQ)
Michigan’s Big Show (10 stations; WQTX, FOX47, WTKG, WKZO, WKBZ, WSJM, WMMI, WBRN, WJNL, WJML)
David’s appearance on WGVU in Grand Rapids
WJRW
Michigan Big Show

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