Category Archives: Alumni Stories and News

Graduates share their success stories about attending law school and achieving their dreams.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Puts WMU-Cooley Grads to Good Work

From offices towering more than 30 floors above the heart of downtown Detroit, four WMU-Cooley Law School graduates practice their skills at the second largest professional services firm in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). READ MORE in the Winter 2016 Benchmark Alumni Magazine (pages 8-11). 

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PwC is a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 200,000 employees. In Michigan, PwC has over 800 employees working in three core lines of service: tax, assurance, and advisory. When PwC’s Detroit office needs to fill the ranks in its tax division, Tim Pratcshler, principal in PwC’s state and local tax group, focuses his attention on recruiting top talent from colleges and universities, including law schools.

Tim Pratcshler, principal in PwC’s state and local tax group, talks about the qualities he looks for when hiring an attorney.

Justin Call (Coleman Class, 2009), Andrew Lane (Sharpe Class, 2008), Jennifer Paillon (Trimble Class, 2015), and Albert (A.J.) Robison (Johnson Class, 2013) are among the nearly 200 professionals who make up PwC’s tax practice for the company’s greater Michigan market.

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Justin Call (Coleman Class, 2009), talks about WMU-Cooley’s rigorous, but confidence building, legal education.

Andrew Lane (Sharpe Class, 2008), talks about the experience and quality of the professors.

Jennifer Paillon (Trimble Class, 2015), talks about the non-traditional path she took before she was able to fulfill her dream of being an attorney.

Albert (A.J.) Robison (Johnson Class, 2013), talks about how WMU-Cooley’s well-connected professors led him to a job at PwC.

 

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Military Feature Zaneta Adams: Disabled Iraqi War veteran gives back to veterans in law career

WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. January 2017’s feature is WMU-Cooley graduate Zaneta Adams, a U.S. Army Retired PFC. She served eight years in the military, including her time with the U.S. Army National Guard, the Army Reserves, and Active Duty. After being severely injured during active duty, she made it her purpose to get a legal degree and serve her fellow brothers and sisters get the veteran benefits they so deserve. 

Military rank and title: U.S. Army Retired PFC

Why did you decide to go to law school: I decided to go to law school because I wanted to right injustices and help veterans fight for their VA benefits. I made the decision to attend WMU-Cooley because of its amazing scholarship programs, the fact that it is a yellow ribbon school (which saved me money), and its ideal location close to my home and work.

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Tell us about your military experience: I went into the Army because I loved the values that the Army had and I thought it would make me a better person.  I also wanted to give back and be of service to my country. I started in the Army when I was a junior in college.  I served eight years between my time with the U.S. Army National Guard, the Army Reserves, and Active Duty.

Career and future goals: I represent and do all my law-related duties at Williams Hughes Law firm in Muskegon, Michigan. My responsibilities include prosecuting and defending criminal cases, handling Family Law cases, processing Department of Veterans Affairs’ claims and appeals for veterans, and interviewing clients. My sincere hope is to educate, assist, and help veterans get their well-deserved benefits. I want to make Michigan the number one state where veterans receive their benefits. In addition, I work as a contractor with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office doing OKAY-2-SAY school and community presentations to help raise awareness of cyber bullying, child pornography, sexting, and cyber safety. My ultimate aspiration is to one day be a Michigan or U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Tell us a little about you: I have been married for 18 years and have six children (two sets of twins). I am a disabled Iraqi War veteran (served in support of the war) who was severely injured after falling 10-11 feet from a deuce and half truck. At the time, I never would have imagined after my injury that I would have been able to successfully complete law school and serve my fellow brothers and sisters in arms in this way. WMU-Cooley people were patient, understanding, and very accommodating to the things I personally needed to succeed. One thing they gave me was the confidence in my own abilities. They encouraged me and let me know that my physical injury was not a barrier to law school given my sharp mind and my commitment and conviction to succeed in law school and in my career.

WMU-Cooley graduate Zaneta Adams with WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean Tracey Brame.

WMU-Cooley graduate Zaneta Adams with WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean Tracey Brame.

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Devolder Law Firm: New Grads Find Success Right Out of the Gate

Less than six months ago, Bryan and Elizabeth Devolder opened their own business, The Devolder Law Firm, in suburban Tampa. In the words of  Elizabeth Devolder, “We are very pleased. It’s been doing even better than we expected. We just had our third profitable week!” 

The fact that Elizabeth and Bryan Devolder have been able to create a successful law business right out of the gate is of no surprise to anyone else, especially WMU-Cooley’s Tampa Bay campus. devolder-door As students, both Bryan and Elizabeth were committed, exceptional law students. As attorneys, they are equally involved and dedicated to their new venture.

What really makes them successful though is that they are truly exceptional human beings – as a couple – and as individuals.

One only need look at Bryan and Elizabeth’s team national finals win in the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition to see that goals made are goals reached. Even National Jurist Magazine named Elizabeth a law student of the year in 2016. Both Bryan and Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude from law school. And they did it all while balancing work, school, family, and mentoring other law students while students.

Opening their law firm was yet another exercise in balancing what is important to them, including “helping others protect what matters most,” which is their business philosophy and motto.

Their new business has already proven to be, not only profitable, but very interesting and important work.

devolders“This week we had a call from a man and his wife,” shared Elizabeth. “The man had been served papers on the day of our phone call. His ex-wife had filed an ex parte motion, and the judge had already issued an order modifying the divorce judgment, with a hearing set for the next week. We immediately agreed to meet with him that day. When the gentleman arrived for his initial consultation, we were surprised to find out that the papers were from a court were from another state. This was just one of the many complicated pieces of the puzzle for this client.”

They have been able to serve and help many clients since they opened. So many that it looked like they might need to expand.

devolderlaw005_web“We have been so busy in our business that we have already hired another attorney,WMU-Cooley graduate Sarah Harris, to manage the Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning clients who need our help,” shared Bryan. “The business is growing, now with the help of three WMU-Cooley graduates, and we are proud of our alma mater. That’s just another reason why Cooley is an awesome law school choice.”

“One of the great things about Cooley is our nationwide network of graduates, ” added Elizabeth. “I’ve been able to do a simple Google search to find any number of listings that have included our graduates in almost any area of law or legal expertise. Even nice is that the Avvo listing of the graduates I have found have outstanding reviews. The last search I did was a Cooley graduate with an excellent score along with experience commensurate with, or exceeding, the qualifications of opposing counsel. And when I did contact his office, he returned my call in three minutes and let me know he appreciated the call from a fellow graduate. He was a joy to talk to, and very helpful. He even knew the opposing counsel and her work. He immediately understood the client’s situation and got us a letter we could forward to the client within an hour. He called our client back before the end of the day, despite the fact that he had a family obligation that evening!”

Both Bryan and Elizabeth also have benefited from the knowledge shared by other graduates.

“The graduates we have been in contact with have been more than open to discussing strategy with us and going the extra mile,” said Elizabeth. “And we are happy to also share our knowledge about Florida law. We enjoy working with them and they ‘enjoy working with young Cooley grads’ as one fellow grad said to me. Everybody wins!

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WMU-Cooley Graduation Keynote Larry Nolan: The Wonderful Beauty of the Law is Change

The Tampa Bay campus of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School honored 43 graduates during a commencement ceremony held at University of South Florida’s Marshall Center on January 8, 2017.  Students received their diplomas during the ceremony for earning their juris doctor degrees. WMU-Cooley 1976 graduate, Board Chair, and State Bar of Michigan President Lawrence P. Nolan was the keynote speaker. Below is his speech and advice to the newly minted attorneys.

Four months ago, as President Don LeDuc mentioned, I was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Justice Robert Young. The Chief Justice prefaced his remarks prior to swearing me in by stating that I would be the last State Bar President that he would be swearing in. He didn’t elaborate.

The official news hasn’t hit the streets yet, but I suspect that you will be reading very shortly that a new justice will be elected as Chief Justice of the Court. It signifies to me that every journey started eventually comes to an end. We are constantly reminded that nothing lasts forever. It seems like my journey as a lawyer is always just a beginning, as an old chapter is laid to rest. I recall sitting where you are sitting here today.

I found the joy in graduating from law school in the first class at Cooley in Lansing, Michigan, back in January of 1976. But the joy was not in just getting law school over with, but rather in reaching my goal to become an attorney. Becoming an attorney was a goal that I had set early in my childhood, maybe not unlike many of you. Congratulations! You have now succeeded in so many ways to reach your goal. You have sacrificed a lot to get here.

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Remember, however, it’s not about just reaching a goal. The journey continues. You will continue to be challenged. The bar examination is next. Winning your first trial may be just around the corner. Writing your first brief, your first appeal, your first complaint, are all first encounters along the journey. The joy of being a lawyer is that the journey really never ends. It just continues to change along the way.

The only one thing constant in being a lawyer I can tell you is change. Adaptability is the key to survival. Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The wonderful beauty of the law is change. You will always be challenged to think, and to use the foundational building blocks that you leave law school with to be thoroughly analytical.

As you already heard, I was admitted to the first class of Cooley Law School back in January of 1973. It was a night class. Everyone had eight to five jobs during the day. I had the good fortune of getting a job as a law clerk working for the only minority law firm in Lansing. A year or so later, I was able to get a job as a security officer in the Michigan Court of Appeals. I never lost sight of the big prize. I was focused. I was determined and I was happy. I felt like I had never learned so much, especially after my first semester. Then again, after my second semester and then I realized that going to law school and being a lawyer was a continuum of learning. That, my graduates, is the journey.

After graduating in January 1976, I went into practice on my own immediately. Much has changed from that date, now more than 41 years ago. I was appointed to the Thomas M. Cooley Board of Directors in 1984. I have served continuously for the past 33 years. I was elected Vice Chair and then Chair of the Board approximately six years ago. I always considered it a privilege and a gift to serve. I am, and have always been, a big proponent of access to legal education. Cooley’s admission policy allows that mission to exist and be flexible enough to meet the individual student needs.

I got involved in my local Bar Association politics and then eventually in State Bar Association politics. I felt like I had a duty to let people know that Cooley Law School produced lawyers with a legal education second to none. I was on a mission. Nobody was going to talk about Cooley Law School not being as good as the other law schools in the state or the country.

But enough about me. This is not about me. This is not my day. My day in the lights was four months ago. It’s now time for me to carry out the most sacred goals of this great profession at, not only the state, but also at the national stage. Today is your day. No one else’s. Today is special, for you have reached a goal in your journey of becoming a lawyer. In just a few moments you will receive a paper called a degree. President LeDuc and I have signed that piece of paper certifying to the world that you have become an attorney. Enjoy it. Bask in the bright lights. Go out for dinner with family and friends, for tomorrow comes only too quickly.

Tomorrow it is time for you to go to work. It’s time on the continuum of becoming a lawyer to your journey of studying for the Bar exam. You cannot over-study for the Bar. There is no such thing. And you cannot begin to continue this journey too soon. Someone once said “The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.” Your future is tomorrow. You owe it to yourself and everyone, including me, President Don LeDuc, and this distinguished faculty, to pass the Bar exam on your first attempt.

My father was one of 13 children growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the early 1900s. They had no I-Pads. They had no cell phones, knew nothing about blogging, tweeting, Facebook, YouTube, match.com, or instant messaging. He immigrated to Quebec at 14, then to Montreal, then Windsor, and eventually the United States. Nothing was easy for him or my mom. He was not formally educated with degrees, diplomas, and the like.

He did have, however, several sayings that stuck with me through my life. One of my favorites was “Keep your nose to the grindstone” and “Don’t get mixed up with no rubby dubs!”

For years, my siblings and I debated the true definition of a “rubby dub,” only to ultimately conclude that it meant someone who couldn’t comprehend or appreciate what you were doing. In essence, work hard to attain your goal, and don’t get sidetracked. Another one of my favorite sayings is, when he would tell me that, “When the circus comes to town, don’t let the man with the balloons go by.” Think of that. So when you have struggled and sacrificed, and have reached your goal, take advantage of the preparation and excitement of being at the circus because one the balloon man goes by, the next time that you see him again is when he is all out of balloons. Seize the opportunity. It is here. It is now.

My dad never graduated from high school, but he always was prepared for the time that opportunity presented itself. Nothing, and I mean nothing – not talent, not intelligence, not high LSAT scores or GPA, not money or influence, will ever take a higher place in your life than preparation. Preparation, yes preparation, will allow you to pass the Bar exam. There is no substitute. It will serve you well through life to be better prepared in knowing the facts, in knowing the law, and in knowing and understanding people.

Secondly, “When you get there, remember where you came from.” Third, a Winston Churchill quote that’s one of my favorites, “Never, never, never give up!” Giving up is not an option for you. I said, giving up is not an option for you. You have come too far. You have sacrificed too much. You leave here with a special degree. Make those who supported you all these years proud.

More importantly, make yourself proud of who you are now, what you have become, and know that you are in a special place. Congratulations, and good luck. You are the future of this great profession. I’m very proud of all of you. Good bye. Do good and great things, and accomplishments will be your personal and professional reward.

God speed, and may the words of an old Irish blessing be always with you.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warmly upon your face.

And the rains fall softly upon your fields,

And until we meeting again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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Art at WMU-Cooley Collection

Distinguished Professor Emeritus William Weiner

Distinguished Professor Emeritus William Weiner

Blog author Distinguished Professor Emeritus William Weiner formed the Art at WMU-Cooley Collection in 2003 and still oversees the Collection today.  The Collection itself is nearing 100 objects, and continues to grow steadily, including acquiring two new striking and thoughtful prints for the Collection. Roughly one-third of the pieces have come our way as gifts. In addition to President LeDuc’s several grants, the Art at WMU-Cooley has raised over $34,000 in contributions.

The original 2003 donation to the law school was from WMU-Cooley 1978 graduate and artist Gordon C. Boardman. The large-scale piece, Trifurcatedly Separate But Equal, still hangs on the same wall of the Lansing campus lobby. Read Gordon C. Boardman’s inspiring story of love and faith in the Winter 2016 issue of Benchmark Alumni Magazine.

Anyone interested in growing and expanding the Art at WMU-Cooley Collection, can contact Professor Weiner at weinerw@cooley.edu. Include Art at WMU-Cooley in the subject line, and he will happily contact you to talk about the art collection.

Gordon C. Boardman Art Unveiling, 2003

Gordon C. Boardman Art Unveiling, 2003


Heartened and inspired by the local turnout for and excitement at the Gordon C. Boardman Art Unveiling, WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc decided that we needed more art.  He asked me to form a committee—this is academe, after all—and provided a generous grant.  Joined by interested faculty and a couple of art-savvy alumni, we began to develop what has become a significant art collection. Our mission statement is informal, loose and flexible.

We try to acquire works of art by Michigan (and now Florida) artists, with legal themes, or with some connection to our various campuses and programs. Of course, few pieces can fit all three of these categories.

Mathias Alten is perhaps the best known Grand Rapids artist.  We purchased at auction one of his paintings, “Approaching Storm,” for the Grand Rapids campus.  It arrived dirty and somewhat subdued, but it cleaned up to reveal a striking image.  Our dedication of that piece was filmed and rebroadcast by WGVU, the local PBS channel.  In part, because of that publicity, Steven Maas—an alumnus and collector—gave us a pair of Alten portraits.  Kim Smith, a gallery owner who spoke at the unveiling, later steered our way another collector with an Alten portrait of a legal figure. We’ve learned that our collection grows as people find out about it.

Perhaps my favorite grouping involves a foreign study theme.  While directing the Australia/New Zealand program, Professor Palmer found a unique and interesting Aboriginal burial pole. Later in that down-under semester, Professor Cavanaugh selected a wood carved Maori warrior ready to do the haka dance. When I mentioned these to James Morton, co-director of our Toronto program and now a Cooley board member, he contributed a carved marble Inuit polar bear. Displayed together in our Lansing lobby, these three sculpture pieces by contemporary indigenous artists from our foreign study locations make a strong and beautiful display.

We call it “Art at WMU-Cooley,” and hope you enjoy learning about it.

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Gordon C. BOARDMAN, Triptych, ACF 2003.1, LANSING

Trifurcatedly Separate But Equal
Artist:  Gordon C. Boardman
H 40″ W 80″
Acrylic on Paper

WMU-Cooley Law School has found three levels of symbolism in the painting Trifurcatedly Separate But Equal. First, the name of the painting respectfully directs one to see how the constitutional doctrine of the separate-but-equal principle has evolved progressively since the late 1800s. In the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court upheld the law that allowed segregation of blacks from whites in nearly every aspect of life. It held that separate-but-equal doctine did not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment’s ban on involuntary servitude or the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause. The separate-but-equal doctrine was ultimately overturned in 1954’s landmark decision in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, where the question of inequality was challenged. It was found that there were inequalities of enormous proportions in educational opportunities afforded to black versus white people. The painting, it seems, represents and embraces the idea that to achieve equality, separation as a concept cannot be absolute. Most things we know as separate or individual are in actuality integrated and woven together. Just as people are all individuals, it is essential individuals understand and appreciate our interconnectivity to truly live, love, and prosper together. Second, America is a nation whose Constitution is founded on three separate and independent branches of government – executive. legislative, and judicial. Mr. Boardman’s work represents how the co-equal branches unify to form a powerful form of government. Third, the Triptych also represents Cooley Law School’s three Michigan locations (in 2003, at the time the artwork was donated): the original location in Lansing, along with its Auburn Hills and Grand Rapids locations.

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Alma GOETSCH, silkscreen, ACF 2005.1, LANSING

Untitled
Artist:  Alma Goetsch
American (1901-1968)
Silk screen prints

Known more for the ground-breaking Frank Lloyd Wright house that she commissioned and built along with her long-time friend, Kathrine Winckler, than for her art, Alma Goetsch made her lasting mark in the art field as an instructor of elementary and high school art teachers at Michigan State College.  The Goetsch-Winckler House in Okemos, Michigan, was a living work of art, the scene of many friendly gatherings and an inspiration for Goetsch and Winckler’s students.  It is widely viewed as one of Wright’s most beautiful and significant designs. Over nearly forty years of teaching art, Goetsch developed her own style of design involving many forms of fiber art and silk screen.  The silk screens you see here represent the major body of Goetsch’s later work.  A pioneer in breaking down the “coloring book syndrome,” Goetsch inspired thousands of young teachers with her unquenchable spirit and her enthusiasm for life.  She said, “I’m vitally interested in color and try to use [as much] exciting color in my prints as I possibly can.”

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Alma GOETSCH, silkscreen, ACF 2005.2, LANSING

Untitled
Artist:  Alma Goetsch
American (1901-1968)
Silk screen prints

Known more for the ground-breaking Frank Lloyd Wright house that she commissioned and built along with her long-time friend, Kathrine Winckler, than for her art, Alma Goetsch made her lasting mark in the art field as an instructor of elementary and high school art teachers at Michigan State College.  The Goetsch-Winckler House in Okemos, Michigan, was a living work of art, the scene of many friendly gatherings and an inspiration for Goetsch and Winckler’s students.  It is widely viewed as one of Wright’s most beautiful and significant designs. Over nearly forty years of teaching art, Goetsch developed her own style of design involving many forms of fiber art and silk screen.  The silk screens you see here represent the major body of Goetsch’s later work.  A pioneer in breaking down the “coloring book syndrome,” Goetsch inspired thousands of young teachers with her unquenchable spirit and her enthusiasm for life.  She said, “I’m vitally interested in color and try to use [as much] exciting color in my prints as I possibly can.”

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Bruce THAYER, “N-Ron,” ACF 2006.1, LANSING

N-Ron
Artist: Bruce Thayer
American (b. 1953)
Paint and print on paper

A Michigan native, Thayer obtained both a Bachelor of Science in Art Education in 1974 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 1975 from Central Michigan University.  In 1980, he was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was greatly influenced by the “Chicago School” style.  The “Chicago School” was made up of area artists including Roger Brown, Ed Paschke, Jim Nutt and Gladys Nillson. They believed in communication of ideas, often through surrealistic figures and word play. In N-Ron, Thayer reacts to the Enron Corporation scandal.  Although there had been few criminal convictions before the work was created in 2004, Thayer predicts heads will roll.  Principal characters of the scandal are depicted, some as cowboy shadows.  A cleaning product emphasizes the need to clean house.  The Enron scandal provided a picture of corporate greed run amok and will be studied in corporate responsibility classes for years.

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Melba GUNJAARWANGA, Lorrkkon burial pole, ACF 2006.2, LANSING

Lorrkkon
Artist:  Melba Gunjarrwanga
Australian
Ochre on Eucalyptus tetradonta

The Lorrkkon is a hollow log coffin used for the burial of human bones by the aboriginal people of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia.  These burial logs are painted with clan designs, the deceased’s bones are placed in the log, and the log is placed in the ground as part of a ceremony commemorating the deceased.  Lorrkkons are made from the termite hollowed stringybark tree. This Lorrkkon was painted by Melba Gunjarrwanga of the Maningrida clan of Arnhem Land.  There are three images on the log.  The dilly bag (kun-madj) is a large, woven, collecting basket used to carry heavy foods like fish or yams.  Dilly bags also have religious significance to the Maningrida.  To the left of the dilly bag is a digging stick (kun-budjub).  The digging stick is commonly used by women for digging roots such as yams (man-djanek) which are also shown.  The cross hatching is called rarrk and is associated with the rituals of the Maningrida.  The shimmering effect of the rarrk is thought to give the Lorrkkon religious power.

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Dallas MATOE, Maori warrior, ACF 2006.3, LANSING

Maori Warrior
Artist:  Dallas Matoe
New Zealander
Whakairo Raakau (Maori wood carving)

Dallas Matoe is the 98th graduate of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, a prestigious school established by an act of the New Zealand legislature in 1963 to preserve the knowledge of ancient Maori skills and traditions.  Only 12 students at a time study at the Institute for three years.  There, they learn the skills needed to carve wood, as well as the intricate designs representing ancestors, myths and     historical events.  Matoe now works as a freelance carver in Christchurch where he carves native New Zealand timbers in traditional styles with ornate surface patterning.  He is known for his free-standing statues (tekoteko) like this    warrior, as well as musical instruments, ancestral wall panels, traditional weapons and feather boxes. Our warrior is demonstrating the haka, a part of the Maori dance repertoire expressing passion, vigor and identity of race.  In recent years, New Zealand rugby teams have used the haka dance to show their fierce determination and to   intimidate opponents.  Matoe uses mainly Totara and Kauri wood, valued for their tight grains and excellent carving properties.  He incorporates ancient symbols into the wood’s grain which reflect New Zealand’s natural environment, and he uses curvilinear designs to add an illusion of movement.

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Ilkoo ANGUTIKJUAK, marble carved bear, ACF 2006.4, LANSING

Polar Bear
Artist:  Ilkoo Angutikjuak
Canadian (b. 1942)
Marble carving
Gift of James and Rhonda Morton, Toronto

Ilkoo Angutikjuak lives in Clyde River, a small Inuit community of less than 1000 inhabitants, on Baffin Island.  It is Canada’s largest island and the fifth largest island in the world.  Part of Nunavut territory, the island straddles the Arctic Circle and is about 1240 miles north and east of Toronto.  Angutikjuak is an accomplished Inuit artist known for his sculptures of polar bears.  In 2004 he participated in a project to study the effects of climate change on Arctic Sea ice in Barrow, Alaska, and his own Clyde River, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.  He spoke about the effects of such changes on Arctic-dwelling peoples at an international conference on climate change in Reykjavik, Iceland, later that year.

Angutikjuak learned to carve by watching local artists around him.  He sculpts in whale bone and the local marble, often working while camping out on the land.  Our bear is 7 ½ inches high by 13 inches long and weighs 21 pounds, 12 ounces.  This bear, in the walking position, is a classic example of Inuit sculpture.  The polar bear has become the enduring symbol of the Arctic north and part of what makes Canada “The True North strong and free!”

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Grant WOOD, lithograph, “Honorary Degree,” ACF 2006.5, LANSING

Honorary Degree
Artist:  Grant Wood
American (1891-1942)
Lithograph

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s website offers this biography for Grant Wood: “Painter. A practitioner of American scene painting, Wood painted views of the Midwest in a realistic style mixed with satire. His most famous work, American Gothic, is an American icon.”  Born in Amanosa, Iowa, Wood also lived in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.  He made several trips to Europe in the 1920s, including studies at the Académie Julian in Paris.  While there, he said he “…realized that all the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.  So I went back to Iowa.” In Honorary Degree, Wood makes a visual spoof on his academic colleagues.  Although he had no formal education beyond high school, he became an associate professor of art at the University of Iowa, where some members of the faculty were not very welcoming.  The image depicts a very short Wood receiving an honorary degree from tall and distinguished administrators.  He had received such a degree from the University of Wisconsin the year before. All three participants are bathed in the light emanating from the Gothic window, a visual pun on Wood’s iconic painting.  Despite his lack of collegiate training, Wood’s talent earned him several more honorary degrees later in his career. Associated American Artists produced this lithograph in a limited edition of two hundred and fifty, and several are in museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Dubuque Museum of Art.

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Mathias ALTEN, oil on canvas, “The Approaching Storm,” ACF 2006.6, GRAND RAPIDS

The Approaching Storm
Artist: Mathias J. Alten
American (1871-1938)
Oil on Canvas

Emigrating from Germany in 1889, Alten and his family moved to the sizeable German and Polish immigrant community on the west side of Grand Rapids. Alten began working as a decorator in local furniture factories but soon began painting under the tutelage of Muskegon artist Edwin A. Turner.  From 1895 to 1898, Alten and his wife operated a paint and wallpaper store on West Bridge Street and supplemented the family income with commissions from his art. Alten became a U.S. citizen in 1898 and returned to Europe to study at the Academies Julian and Colorossi in Paris. In the following year, he returned to Grand Rapids to open the first of several art studios and art schools on Pearl Street. Although Alten traveled, studied, and worked in Europe, Connecticut, and the American West during his career, he chose to live and work in Grand Rapids, where he died in his home on East Fulton Street in 1938. In The Approaching Storm, Alten focuses on a naturalist landscape in Michigan. The work exhibits the influence of the artist’s landscape painting experiences at the Old Lyme art colony, and the attention to the effects of light recalls the artist’s experiences with European Impressionism, particularly with the work of Spanish Impressionist Joaquin Sorolla. Although Alten was a classical agrarian-landscape and portrait painter, in The Approaching Storm he shows a rare whimsy in the symbolism of the tiny figure of a person running for the shelter of a large tree.

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Artist unknown, lithograph of Benjamin Cardozo with Cardozo’s autograph, ACF 2006.7, LANSING

Justice Benjamin Cardozo
Artist unknown
Lithograph, with subject’s autograph
Gift of Anthony Gair (Potter Class, 1980) in honor of Professor Otto Stockmeyer

Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870 – 1938) was 20th century America’s greatest common law judge.  He practiced law in New York City for twenty-three years before his election as a trial court judge in 1914.  Almost immediately he was appointed to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court.  There he served as chief judge from 1926 until his appointment to the United States Supreme Court in 1932, succeeding Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.  This portrait of Cardozo was acquired by noted New York lawyer Harry A. Gair, the donor’s father, who kept it in his office until his death in 1975 out of his great admiration for a man he considered to be one of the finest legal minds in our history. During his 18 years on the New York Court of Appeals Cardozo wrote more than 550 opinions.  They were notable for the creativity with which they moved the common law forward and their graceful rhetorical style.  Half a century after his death, law school casebooks contained more opinions by Cardozo than any other jurist.  His most enduring opinions, which all law students must study, are MacPherson (1916) and Palsgraf (1928) in Torts, and Wood (1917) and Jacob & Youngs (1921) in Contracts.

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Woodblock Print, View of Detroit (1835), ACF 2007.1

acf-2007-2

Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “The Silver Voiced,” Mr. Justice Coleridge, ACF 2007.2, LANSING

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have six “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Mr. Justice Coleridge (“The Silver Voiced”) and The Honorable Sir Ford North (“gentle manners”).  Lord Coleridge was the first English judge who had both a father and a grandfather who were judges.  He was from Devonshire and also served as a Gladstonian Liberal in Parliament.  Sir Ford was born in Liverpool and served both on the Queen’s Bench and the Chancery division.  He was felt to be conscientious and polite yet slow in conducting cases and in ruling on them. The North print was acquired in England by the late Robert A. Fisher, an original board member, esteemed professor, and Associate Dean at Cooley Law School.  We believe that Bob would be pleased to have his print displayed at the school.

acf-2007-3

Native American Cessions Map (1897), ACF 2007.3

acf-2007-4

William GROPPER, lithograph, “Legalities,” ACF 2007.4

Legalities
William Gropper
American (1897-1977)
Lithograph
Gift of Carol Viventi (Wing Class, 1982)

Gropper was born on New York’s lower East Side, worked in sweatshops as a child and drew chalk pictures on the sidewalk for fun. While still in grade school, he was “discovered” by people at the Ferrer School, a liberal and informal art school run by artists Robert Henri and George Bellows.  By 1920 he was drawing cartoons for the New York Tribune and working for liberal causes.  His controversial painting The Senate hangs prominently at The Museum of Modern Art.  Another important painting, Youngstown Strike, can be viewed at the Butler Institute of American Art.  Gropper came to Youngstown, Ohio, in the late 1930s and observed the chaos resulting from an extended strike at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.  Constitutional Law students will recall that the same plant was seized by President Truman during the Korean War, resulting in the famous case of Youngstown Sheet &Tube Co v Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952). Our donor, Carol Morey Viventi, has served as Secretary of the Senate since 1995.  This is an elected office, with the members of the Michigan Senate making the selection.  She is both the first female and first minority (Asian-American) to serve in this position since Michigan became a state in 1837.  She has no doubt witnessed numerous hearings like the one illustrated in Legalities.  In the 1930s and 40s, the legislatures Gropper caricaturized were almost exclusively white and male.  Though today’s legislators are males and females representing Michigan’s diverse ethnic and religious groups, they are no less passionate, righteous, scheming or valiant in the battle for justice.

acf-2007-5

Rosa PARKS, photograph, ACF 2007.5

Rosa Parks
Photographer:  Unknown

In 1955 the Montgomery, Alabama, bus system was segregated by law.  White people sat in the front of the bus, African-Americans sat in the back, and both races sat in the middle unless a white person asked for the seat of an African-American.  On December 1, 1955, a white person wanted Mrs. Parks’ seat in the middle of the bus.  The bus driver asked her to move.  She refused.  Police were summoned and Rosa Parks was arrested.  That event started the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  African-Americans did not ride the Montgomery public transit during the boycott.   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., then a little known preacher at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, became the leader of the boycott.  A lawsuit was filed which eventually reached the United States Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court ruled in Gayle v Browder, 352 US 903 (1956), that racial segregation of government transit was unconstitutional.  The Order of the Court integrating the bus system arrived in Montgomery on December 20, 1956, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott ended the next day. This photograph shows Rosa Parks on a Montgomery bus on December 21, 1956.  Nicholas C. Chriss, a UPI reporter covering the event, is seated behind her.  The name of the photographer was not recorded. Mrs. Parks moved to Detroit in her later years.  She spoke at Cooley Law School on February 13, 1984, as part of a celebration of Black History Month.  To commemorate her visit, the Board of Directors of the Law School established the Rosa Parks Scholarship on January 26, 1985.  Time Magazine named Mrs. Parks one of the 20 most influential people of the twentieth century.  She is buried in Detroit with a simple headstone, designed by her, which reads “Rosa Parks, wife, 1913-2005.”

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Will Howe FOOTE, oil on board, “Ebb Tide, Cape Ann,” ACF 2007.6

Ebb Tide, Cape Ann
Artist: Will Howe Foote
American (1874-1965)
Oil on Board

Will Howe Foote was born in Grand Rapids.  His father was one of the founders of the city’s furniture industry, so Foote did not have to struggle to provide for his art education.  His uncle, William Henry Howe, was also a well-known painter.  Foote studied at the Art Institute of Chicago.  He became close friends with Frederick Frieseke of Owosso, Michigan.  The two studied at the Art Students League in New York and then traveled to France in 1897.  After studying under Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian in Paris, Foote returned to America in 1900.  He was one of the founders of the Old Lyme, Connecticut, art colony.  In 1907 he married Helen Freeman, who came to Old Lyme as an art student.  Although he painted several scenes of Grand Rapids and occasionally exhibited in town, Foote never worked in Michigan.  He and his wife traveled extensively during the winter season.  This gave him opportunities to paint scenes from varied locations such as Arizona, Bermuda, California, Florida, Jamaica and Mexico. When he died in 1965, Foote was buried in Old Lyme. Cape Ann is a rocky peninsula located approximately 30 miles northeast of Boston and forms the northern boundary of Massachusetts Bay.  Mapped first by Captain John Smith and called “Camp Tragabigzanda” after one of his native lovers, this rocky cape was renamed by King Charles I of England after his wife and was the third English colony in the New World after Plymouth Colony and Nantasket Beach.  In Ebb Tide, Cape Ann, Foote captures the fabled luminescence of the area attributable to the confluence of refracted light off the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape’s rugged granite outcroppings.  The piece exhibits facets of plein air pastoral painting and certainly of Impressionism.  Foote’s palate brightened over time as he was influenced by newcomers to Old Lyme such as Childe Hassam.  Painted in a high key, the work shows Foote’s fondness for prismatic color.  Today Cape Ann remains home to the vibrant “Rocky Neck” art colony.

acf-2007-7

Tunis PONSEN, oil on canvas, “Winter Window, Red House,” ACF 2007.7

Winter Window, Red House
Artist: Tunis Ponsen
American (1891-1968)
Oil on Canvas

Tunis Ponsen was born in Wageningen, the Netherlands, and immigrated to the United States in 1913.  The next year, Ponsen settled in Muskegon, working as a housepainter and decorator.  Ponsen’s sister came over to marry another émigré who had purchased a small fruit orchard in Benton Harbor.  Like his brother-in-law, Ponsen saved money to bring his childhood sweetheart from the Netherlands to the Midwest.  On the journey over, she met another passenger and fell in love with him during the long and dangerous crossing of the Atlantic.  Ponsen never married, which may help to explain a sense of separateness that appears in many of his works.  By 1915, Ponsen was studying at the Hackley Gallery of Art (now the Muskegon Museum of Art), and first studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1917. After his return from service during WWI, Ponsen moved to Chicago for full-time study.  Though he made Chicago his home, Ponsen regularly visited his sister in West Michigan and painted the local scenery. Because Ponsen is known for painting things ‘as he saw them’ without attribution to any particular theory of art, his work shares more affinity with that of traditionalists than of modernists.  Nevertheless, there are signs of emotional expression in Ponsen’s works, such as the use of unusual vantage points for a scene.  In Winter Window, Red House, an otherwise ordinary snapshot of a snow-laden Chicago neighborhood is not only angled through a window but also lacks human figures.  The scene is bounded by urban dwellings and evokes the comfort of being indoors.  The skewed angle of view, lack of human figures and the dark colors which frame a much lighter palette in the center, however, leave one with a dynamic sense of missing out on something.

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Reynold WEIDENAAR, lithograph, “Farmers Market,” ACF 2007.8

Farmers Market

Artist: Reynold H. Weidenaar
American (1915-1985)
Mezzotint

Reynold Weidenaar was born in Grand Rapids. He studied at the Kendall School of Design and at the Kansas City Art Institute. He used the Institute’s printing press at night, to support himself.   Recognizing early his particular genius, the Chicago Society of Etchers provided Weidenaar with the money to purchase his own etching press. Soon thereafter, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany scholarship. The artist is generally credited with reviving the lapsed art of mezzotint printmaking.  Weidenaar was such a prolific printmaker that he was investigated by the FBI in the mid-1940s for purchasing large amounts of etching tools and copper plates. He began teaching at the Kendall School of Design in 1957 and spent most of his life in and around Grand Rapids. Printmaking requires special technical skill and is usually monochromatic, which imposes limits on expression.  Printmaking lends itself to the use of personal whimsies, iconography and symbolism that distinguish an artist more than style or palette. In Farmers Market (1965), which is the artist’s rendition of the farmers market on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids, one is reminded of the dynamic angularity of the baroque period and its rejection of formalism. Further, some of the product “labels” on boxes of goods announce government programs (e.g. “Fair Deal” and “Great Society”), and more particularly, the prominent “Vietnam Meat Grinders” label  could be a statement about the looming Vietnam war and a sense that this is simply one government policy in a line of many, or  business as usual. There is something uniquely feminine and dramatic, in that there appears to be only one clearly male figure.  The drama is accentuated by the use of patched awnings (drapery), and ruffled sleeves and bouffant hairstyles (costume), which impart a sense of being backstage before the opening of a performance.

acf-2007-9

Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “Gentle manners,” The Honorable Sir Ford North, ACF 2007.9

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have six “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Mr. Justice Coleridge (“The Silver Voiced”) and The Honorable Sir Ford North (“gentle manners”).  Lord Coleridge was the first English judge who had both a father and a grandfather who were judges.  He was from Devonshire and also served as a Gladstonian Liberal in Parliament.  Sir Ford was born in Liverpool and served both on the Queen’s Bench and the Chancery division.  He was felt to be conscientious and polite yet slow in conducting cases and in ruling on them. The North print was acquired in England by the late Robert A. Fisher, an original board member, esteemed professor, and Associate Dean at Cooley Law School.  We believe that Bob would be pleased to have his print displayed at the school.

acf-2007-10

Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “Stay, Please” Baron William Ventris Field, ACF 2007.10

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have six “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Baron William Ventris Field (“Stay, please”) and Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury (“From the Old Bailey”).  William Field was from Bedfordshire and became a Justice of the Queen’s Bench.  He served as a Privy Council member and, as Baron Field, heard appeals while he was in the House of Lords.  Hardinge Giffard was a celebrated criminal lawyer who served as Solicitor General for England and Wales and then became Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.  His multiple volume digest “Laws of England” (1906-1916) was often referred to simply as “Halsbury’s.”  Both prints were acquired in England by the late Robert A. Fisher, an original board member, esteemed professor, and Associate Dean at Cooley Law School.  We believe that Bob would be pleased to have his prints displayed at the school.

acf-2007-11

Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “From the Old Bailey,” Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury, ACF 2007.11

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have six “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Baron William Ventris Field (“Stay, please”) and Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury (“From the Old Bailey”).  William Field was from Bedfordshire and became a Justice of the Queen’s Bench.  He served as a Privy Council member and, as Baron Field, heard appeals while he was in the House of Lords.  Hardinge Giffard was a celebrated criminal lawyer who served as Solicitor General for England and Wales and then became Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.  His multiple volume digest “Laws of England” (1906-1916) was often referred to simply as “Halsbury’s.”  Both prints were acquired in England by the late Robert A. Fisher, an original board member, esteemed professor, and Associate Dean at Cooley Law School.  We believe that Bob would be pleased to have his prints displayed at the school.

acf-2007-12

Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “City justice,” Alderman Sir Robert Walter Carden, ACF 2007.12

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have six “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Alderman Sir Robert Walter Carden (“City justice”) and The Honorable Sir James Fitzjames Stephen (“The Criminal Code”).  Sir Walter was a Sheriff, a Knight, and Lord Mayor of London in 1857-1858. He was twice a Member of Parliament and served as a Justice of the Peace. Sir James was born in London and was a lawyer, professor, and judge.  His “History of the Criminal Law” (1883) became the standard work on that subject.  Both prints were acquired in England by the late Robert A. Fisher, an original board member, esteemed professor, and Associate Dean at Cooley Law School.  We believe that Bob would be pleased to have his prints displayed at the school.

acf-2007-13

Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “The Criminal Code,” The Honorable Sir James Fitsjames Stephen, ACF 2007.13

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have six “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Alderman Sir Robert Walter Carden (“City justice”) and The Honorable Sir James Fitzjames Stephen (“The Criminal Code”).  Sir Walter was a Sheriff, a Knight, and Lord Mayor of London in 1857-1858. He was twice a Member of Parliament and served as a Justice of the Peace. Sir James was born in London and was a lawyer, professor, and judge.  His “History of the Criminal Law” (1883) became the standard work on that subject.  Both prints were acquired in England by the late Robert A. Fisher, an original board member, esteemed professor, and Associate Dean at Cooley Law School.  We believe that Bob would be pleased to have his prints displayed at the school.

acf-2008-1

Mathias ALTEN, oil on canvas, portrait of Judge Loyal Edwin Knappen, ACF 2008.1

Portrait of Judge Loyal Edwin
Artist: Mathias J. Alten
American (1871-1938)
Oil on Canvas
Gift of Steven L. Maas (Smith Class, 1985)

Emigrating from Germany in 1889, Alten and his family moved to the sizeable German and Polish immigrant community on the west side of Grand Rapids.  Alten began working as a decorator in local furniture factories but soon began painting under the tutelage of Muskegon artist Edwin A. Turner.  From 1895 to 1898, Alten and his wife operated a paint and wallpaper store on West Bridge Street and supplemented the family income with commissions from his art.  Alten became a U.S. citizen in 1898 and returned to Europe to study at the Academies Julian and Colorossi in Paris. In the following year, he returned to Grand Rapids to open the first of several art studios and art schools on Pearl Street.  Although Alten traveled, studied, and worked in Europe, Connecticut, and the American West during his career, he chose to live and work in Grand Rapids, where he died in his home on East Fulton Street in 1938. Loyal Edwin Knappen was born in Hastings, Michigan, in 1854.  After attending high school in Hastings and the University of Michigan, he apprenticed at the law office of the Honorable James A. Sweezey.  Knappen passed the Michigan Bar exam, entered private practice and went on to hold a number of legal positions including prosecuting attorney for Barry County, prosecuting attorney for Kent County, judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan (appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt), and judge of the Sixth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (appointed by President William Howard Taft).  Judge Knappen also served as president of the Grand Rapids Bar Association (1905-1906) and was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan (1903-1910).  He met Amelia Isabelle Kenyon when she was a public school teacher in Hastings.  They married in 1876 and had three children.  Judge Knappen died in 1930.

acf-2008-2

Mathias ALTEN, oil on canvas, portrait of Amelia Isabelle (Kenyon) Knappen, ACF 2008.2

Portrait of Mrs. Amelia Isabelle Knappen
Artist: Mathias J. Alten
American (1871-1938)
Oil on Canvas
Gift of Steven L. Maas (Smith Class, 1985)

Emigrating from Germany in 1889, Alten and his family moved to the sizeable German and Polish immigrant community on the west side of Grand Rapids.  Alten began working as a decorator in local furniture factories but soon began painting under the tutelage of Muskegon artist Edwin A. Turner.  From 1895 to 1898, Alten and his wife operated a paint and wallpaper store on West Bridge Street and supplemented the family income with commissions from his art.  Alten became a U.S. citizen in 1898 and returned to Europe to study at the Academies Julian and Colorossi in Paris. In the following year, he returned to Grand Rapids to open the first of several art studios and art schools on Pearl Street.  Although Alten traveled, studied, and worked in Europe, Connecticut, and the American West during his career, he chose to live and work in Grand Rapids, where he died in his home on East Fulton Street in 1938. Loyal Edwin Knappen was born in Hastings, Michigan, in 1854.  After attending high school in Hastings and the University of Michigan, he apprenticed at the law office of the Honorable James A. Sweezey.  Knappen passed the Michigan Bar exam, entered private practice and went on to hold a number of legal positions including prosecuting attorney for Barry County, prosecuting attorney for Kent County, judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan (appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt), and judge of the Sixth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (appointed by President William Howard Taft).  Judge Knappen also served as president of the Grand Rapids Bar Association (1905-1906) and was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan (1903-1910).  He met Amelia Isabelle Kenyon when she was a public school teacher in Hastings.  They married in 1876 and had three children.  Judge Knappen died in 1930.

acf-2008-3

Honorė DAUMIER, lithograph, “See the public minister….,” ACF 2008.3

Caricatures
Artist:  Honoré Daumier
French (1808-1879)
Lithographs

Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles, and his family moved to Paris eight years later. After attempts by his father to place him at various jobs, Daumier mastered the new science of lithography. He became one of the most feared and respected satirical cartoonists of his time. Early and mid-nineteenth century France was in a constant state of political and social turmoil, and was racked by more than a few revolutions. The growing urbanization by the peasantry in light of industrialization, together with the improved availability to the masses of printed news and caricatures, provided the fuel for proletariat protest against the government and the bourgeois class. Daumier’s caricature Gargantua, which depicted King Louis Phillipe as the gluttonous monster feeding upon the riches of the French people, led to his arrest and imprisonment for sedition. Daumier later turned his focus to social caricatures, where he targeted the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the legal system, and the blunders of an incompetent government. Daumier was a prolific artist who created upwards of five thousand lithographs. We have six Daumier lithographs in our collection.  These two, like the others, satirize the French legal system.  Loosely translated, one says “See the public minister who says very bad things about you…try to weep a little…that always works well.”  The other depicts “Master Chapotard reading his own eulogy (which he wrote) in a law journal.”

acf-2008-4

Honorė DAUMIER, lithograph, “Master Chapotard reading….,”ACF 2008.4

Caricatures
Artist:  Honoré Daumier
French (1808-1879)
Lithographs

Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles, and his family moved to Paris eight years later. After attempts by his father to place him at various jobs, Daumier mastered the new science of lithography. He became one of the most feared and respected satirical cartoonists of his time. Early and mid-nineteenth century France was in a constant state of political and social turmoil, and was racked by more than a few revolutions. The growing urbanization by the peasantry in light of industrialization, together with the improved availability to the masses of printed news and caricatures, provided the fuel for proletariat protest against the government and the bourgeois class. Daumier’s caricature Gargantua, which depicted King Louis Phillipe as the gluttonous monster feeding upon the riches of the French people, led to his arrest and imprisonment for sedition. Daumier later turned his focus to social caricatures, where he targeted the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the legal system, and the blunders of an incompetent government. Daumier was a prolific artist who created upwards of five thousand lithographs. We have six Daumier lithographs in our collection.  These two, like the others, satirize the French legal system.  Loosely translated, one says “See the public minister who says very bad things about you…try to weep a little…that always works well.”  The other depicts “Master Chapotard reading his own eulogy (which he wrote) in a law journal.”

acf-2008-5

Honorė DAUMIER, lithograph, “You old scoundrel, you!,” ACF 2008.5

Caricatures
Artist:  Honoré Daumier
French (1808-1879)
Lithographs

Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles, and his family moved to Paris eight years later. After attempts by his father to place him at various jobs, Daumier mastered the new science of lithography. He became one of the most feared and respected satirical cartoonists of his time. Early and mid-nineteenth century France was in a constant state of political and social turmoil, and was racked by more than a few revolutions. The growing urbanization by the peasantry in light of industrialization, together with the improved availability to the masses of printed news and caricatures, provided the fuel for proletariat protest against the government and the bourgeois class. Daumier’s caricature Gargantua, which depicted King Louis Phillipe as the gluttonous monster feeding upon the riches of the French people, led to his arrest and imprisonment for sedition. Daumier later turned his focus to social caricatures, where he targeted the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the legal system, and the blunders of an incompetent government. Daumier was a prolific artist who created upwards of five thousand lithographs. We have six Daumier lithographs in our collection.  These two, like the others, satirize the French legal system.  Loosely translated, one lawyer says to the other, ”You old scoundrel, you!!” In the group of three, the gesturing attorney says “Well!….Too bad!…..We’ll plead…..I like that better.”

acf-2008-6

Honorė DAUMIER, lithograph, “Well!….Too bad!,” ACF 2008.6

Caricatures
Artist:  Honoré Daumier
French (1808-1879)
Lithographs

Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles, and his family moved to Paris eight years later. After attempts by his father to place him at various jobs, Daumier mastered the new science of lithography. He became one of the most feared and respected satirical cartoonists of his time. Early and mid-nineteenth century France was in a constant state of political and social turmoil, and was racked by more than a few revolutions. The growing urbanization by the peasantry in light of industrialization, together with the improved availability to the masses of printed news and caricatures, provided the fuel for proletariat protest against the government and the bourgeois class. Daumier’s caricature Gargantua, which depicted King Louis Phillipe as the gluttonous monster feeding upon the riches of the French people, led to his arrest and imprisonment for sedition. Daumier later turned his focus to social caricatures, where he targeted the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the legal system, and the blunders of an incompetent government. Daumier was a prolific artist who created upwards of five thousand lithographs. We have six Daumier lithographs in our collection.  These two, like the others, satirize the French legal system.  Loosely translated, one lawyer says to the other, ”You old scoundrel, you!!” In the group of three, the gesturing attorney says “Well!….Too bad!…..We’ll plead…..I like that better.”

acf-2008-7

Honorė DAUMIER, lithograph, “Finally, a property settlement,” ACF 2008.7

Caricatures
Artist:  Honoré Daumier
French (1808-1879)
Lithographs

Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles, and his family moved to Paris eight years later. After attempts by his father to place him at various jobs, Daumier mastered the new science of lithography. He became one of the most feared and respected satirical cartoonists of his time. Early and mid-nineteenth century France was in a constant state of political and social turmoil, and was racked by more than a few revolutions. The growing urbanization by the peasantry in light of industrialization, together with the improved availability to the masses of printed news and caricatures, provided the fuel for proletariat protest against the government and the bourgeois class. Daumier’s caricature Gargantua, which depicted King Louis Phillipe as the gluttonous monster feeding upon the riches of the French people, led to his arrest and imprisonment for sedition. Daumier later turned his focus to social caricatures, where he targeted the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the legal system, and the blunders of an incompetent government. Daumier was a prolific artist who created upwards of five thousand lithographs. We have six Daumier lithographs in our collection.  These two, like the others, satirize the French legal system.  Loosely translated, two lawyers announce, “Finally, a property settlement—and just before the money runs out!”  When the two lawyers are talking, with their clients standing by, one says “Lost again in the trial court (Cour Royale)…but we can appeal to a higher court (Cour de Cassation).”

acf-2008-8

Honorė DAUMIER, lithograph, “Lost again in the trial court,” ACF 2008.8

Caricatures
Artist:  Honoré Daumier
French (1808-1879)
Lithographs

Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles, and his family moved to Paris eight years later. After attempts by his father to place him at various jobs, Daumier mastered the new science of lithography. He became one of the most feared and respected satirical cartoonists of his time. Early and mid-nineteenth century France was in a constant state of political and social turmoil, and was racked by more than a few revolutions. The growing urbanization by the peasantry in light of industrialization, together with the improved availability to the masses of printed news and caricatures, provided the fuel for proletariat protest against the government and the bourgeois class. Daumier’s caricature Gargantua, which depicted King Louis Phillipe as the gluttonous monster feeding upon the riches of the French people, led to his arrest and imprisonment for sedition. Daumier later turned his focus to social caricatures, where he targeted the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the legal system, and the blunders of an incompetent government. Daumier was a prolific artist who created upwards of five thousand lithographs. We have six Daumier lithographs in our collection.  These two, like the others, satirize the French legal system.  Loosely translated, two lawyers announce, “Finally, a property settlement—and just before the money runs out!”  When the two lawyers are talking, with their clients standing by, one says “Lost again in the trial court (Cour Royale)…but we can appeal to a higher court (Cour de Cassation).”

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William Howard TAFT, photograph, ACF 2008.9

William Howard Taft
Photographer:  Unknown
Gift of Professor Otto Stockmeyer

William Howard Taft (1857-1939) is the only American in history to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the United States.  And his preference was clear.  Said Taft: “I love judges and I love courts.” The son of a prominent Cincinnati attorney, Taft served as Dean of the Cincinnati Law School, U.S. Solicitor General, Judge of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Governor of the Philippines, and Secretary of War before becoming President in 1908.  Defeated for reelection after one term, Taft became president of the American Bar Association and taught Constitutional Law at Yale until his appointment as Chief Justice in 1921.  It was one of the great second acts in American political annals.  During Taft’s nearly ten years as Chief Justice, he reformed the high court’s jurisdiction and oversaw the design and construction of the Supreme Court building, while writing more opinions than anyone else on the court.  To Taft, being Chief Justice was his greatest honor.  He wrote:  “I don’t remember that I ever was President.” This 4” x 6” studio portrait photograph bears the embossed stamp of the Baker Art Gallery, Columbus, Ohio.  It is inscribed and signed by Taft, Sincerely yours / Wm H Taft.  Professor Otto Stockmeyer donated the portrait in memory of his grandfather Thomas Norris Hitchman (1880-1967).  Mr. Hitchman, a Detroit real estate investor, for many years proudly displayed the portrait above his vintage roll-top desk.

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John SLOAN, etching, “Stealing the Wash,” ACF 2008.10

Stealing the Wash
Artist:  John Sloan
American (1871-1951)
Etching

John Sloan was a member of the Ashcan School, a group of urban realist painters in the early part of the 20th century.  Their leader and founder was Robert Henri.  Like Sloan, several of them started as newspaper illustrators.  Sloan began making prints when he was seventeen and was a printmaker throughout his life.  Henri taught Sloan to paint and made him take art seriously.  Sloan did not sell a painting until he was over forty, and his prints helped him earn recognition and income. Stealing the Wash is a fine example of Sloan’s ability to draw what he saw and to bring gritty urban situations to life.  The Ashcan artists specialized in New York City and its alleys, tenements and the people who lived there.  Sloan walked the streets of New York looking for inspiration.  He observed this event from his Fourth Street studio.  Here is how he described it: “A connoisseur in woolen underwear makes his selection from a wash hung out on the roofs below my studio window.”  If jurors had seen what Sloan saw, including the man’s furtive look over his shoulder, they would have had no trouble convicting of larceny.  Sloan may not have known that “intent to permanently deprive” is the required mental state, but he surely captured that in his drawing.

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Paris Etching Society, lithograph, “French Law Exam,” ACF 2008.11

French Law Exam
Publisher: Paris Etching Society
Lithograph

This robed French law student is taking an oral exam. His three inquisitors, in full academic regalia, appear stern and demanding. Other faculty members are present but keeping their distance. They are more relaxed than their working colleagues, and are smiling as they watch the student sweat and suffer. Even a clerk, modestly dressed by comparison yet holding the power represented by his set of keys, has stopped by for a moment of amusement. From our perspective, a good caption might be “Law school is tough everywhere.” Note the small inscription ‘S.Z. Lucas’ and the circled letters S, Z, and L. Lucas founded the Paris Etching Society, located in New York City from roughly 1940 to 1960. Mr. Lucas published many etchings and prints, from commissioned works by contemporary French and Flemish artists. This one seems especially appropriate for a law school collection.

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Mathias ALTEN, oil on canvas, portrait of George Clapperton, ACF 2008.12

Portrait of George Clapperton
Artist: Mathias J. Alten
American (1871-1938)
Oil on Canvas

Emigrating from Germany in 1889, Alten and his family moved to the sizeable German and Polish immigrant community on the west side of Grand Rapids. Alten began working as a decorator in local furniture factories but soon began painting under the tutelage of Muskegon artist Edwin A. Turner.  From 1895 to 1898, Alten and his wife operated a paint and wallpaper store on West Bridge Street and supplemented the family income with commissions from his art. Alten became a U.S. citizen in 1898 and returned to Europe to study at the Academies Julian and Colorossi in Paris. In the following year, he returned to Grand Rapids to open the first of several art studios and art schools on Pearl Street. Although Alten traveled, studied, and worked in Europe, Connecticut, and the American West during his career, he chose to live and work in Grand Rapids, where he died in his home on East Fulton Street in 1938. George Clapperton was born in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Allegan County, Michigan, as a boy of ten in 1867. Clapperton studied law privately while working in the railroad service, then clerked at the Grand Rapids firm of Taggart & Denison before qualifying for admittance to the bar. After roughly a decade working for law firms and ultimately establishing his own, located in the Michigan Trust Building in downtown Grand Rapids, Clapperton was appointed by the United States Industrial Commission to draft a report on the various states’ taxation of corporations. His report was published by the Government Printing Office in 1901. A highly civic-minded public servant as well as a prominent attorney, Clapperton served on the board of trustees for the Eastern Michigan Asylum in Pontiac, the State Board of Corrections and Charities, and was appointed by President Taft in 1911 to the position of United States collector of revenue for the Fourth District of Michigan.

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Rush CLEMENT, oil on canvas, “Marion’s Vision,” ACF 2009.1

Marion’s Vision
Artist: Rush Clement
American (b. 1956)
Oil on Canvas

The Student Bar Association commissioned this painting in May 2008 to commemorate contributions to the Grand Rapids campus of its former Associate Dean Marion M. Hilligan, after her unexpected death on February 20, 2008.  Dean Hilligan meant much to the students and success of the Grand Rapids campus, in her several years of leading the campus. The oil-on-canvas painting is by Portland, Michigan, artist Rush Clement, whose wife, Professor Julie Clement, was Dean Hilligan’s closest friend.  It was completed in January 2009.  The painting depicts the Portland River Trail developed through the grant-writing and other work of Dean Hilligan, who was Portland’s mayor and a devoted public servant.

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Mark LOKAR, Stickley/Craftsman style table, ACF 2009.2

Stickley Craftsman table
Woodworker: Mark Lokar
American (b. 1959)

The start of the twentieth century saw two competing trends—the mechanization and automation promoted by Henry Ford, and the American Arts and Crafts movement which developed in response to it.   A major pioneer and promoter of the Arts and Crafts movement, Gustav Stickley (1858-1942), valued simple, functional wood furniture crafted by hand.  Under Stickley’s influence, the movement emphasized sturdiness, utility, straight lines and beautiful wood in furniture.  Stickley favored quartersawn American white oak for its beautiful color, grain and texture.  While he lived all his life on the East Coast, Stickley chose to introduce his first “Craftsman” style furniture to the trade at the Grand Rapids Furniture Exposition in 1900. Our table in the Stickley Craftsman style was commissioned from woodworker Mark Lokar.  He used custom quartersawn American white oak for its construction.  Note the slight curve on the lower side of the shelf on the long sides and the vertical slats on the short sides, both of which are characteristic of Stickley style.  Mr. Lokar was born in Detroit and is a graduate of Albion College.  He began his career in Chicago and now resides on Fisher Lake, near Three Rivers, Michigan.

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Elizabeth CATLETT, lithograph, “The Door to Justice,” ACF 2009.4

The Door to Justice
Artist: Elizabeth Catlett
American (1915 –   )
Lithograph

Sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett was born in 1915 in Washington, D.C., where she was raised by her widowed mother and grandparents who had been slaves.  In high school, Catlett recalls, “I was always very radical . . . . I remember . . . standing in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington with a noose around my neck, protesting lynching.  I don’t remember what group it was, all I remember was that the police took us away.”  She received her B.A. in painting from Howard University and studied with Grant Wood at the University of Iowa, which awarded her its first Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture in 1940.  Catlett traveled to Mexico in 1946 for a fellowship at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), a print-making collective dedicated to social change and the concerns of working people.  She married a member of TGP, the Mexican artist Francisco Mora, with whom she raised three sons while continuing her TGP membership and teaching at National Autonomous University of Mexico.  In response to harassment from the United States government for her affiliation with TGP, which the U.S. Attorney General had labeled a “Communist Front organization,” Catlett became a Mexican citizen in 1962.  In her nineties, Catlett divides her time between Cuernavaca and New York City and continues to make art. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund commissioned The Door to Justice to commemorate its 60th anniversary.  The lithograph typifies Catlett’s art in style and theme.  The spare, expressive, figural work—realistic but slightly abstracted—portrays those who suffer and those who fight social injustice and inequality.  In the print, a black man and woman lift the door to justice from its hinges.  Ten people, crowded together, wait solemnly for admission. The stained glass colors and the saintly haloes above the two men in back give the moment a religious tone.  These two men are a pointed pairing: both the educated man in his suit and glasses and the man from the street in his backwards ball cap and tank top suffer from justice denied.  Not all the figures are black.  An older white woman and a blonde child remind the viewers that age and gender, too, are obstacles to equal treatment.

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Andy WARHOL, lithograph, “Justice Brandeis,” ACF 2009.5

Portrait of Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Artist: Andy Warhol
American (1928-1987)
Screen print on Lenox Museum Board

This is the 147th copy of 200 of Andy Warhol’s portrait of Justice Louis D. Brandeis.  Brandeis was an influential Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1916 until 1939.  He started as a student at the Harvard Law School when he was 19 years old, began to lose his eyesight from the large volume of reading in law school, hired fellow law students to read his assignments to him, and graduated with the highest grade point average in the history of the Harvard Law School, a record that lasted for over 80 years.  In 1890 Brandeis wrote a law review article with his law partner, Samuel Warren, which argued for the recognition of a right to privacy.  It has become one of the fundamental concepts in the law of torts.  He was also known for his legal arguments which relied on extensive sociological data to support his positions.  Brandeis joined with the opinion written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Abrams v United States, 250 US 616 (1919), a dissent that introduced the concept of freedom of speech as we know it today. Andy Warhol was one of the most popular artists of the twentieth century.  Warhol made fine art images by silk screening, a technique associated with the commercial printing of T-shirts and greeting cards.  He wanted to produce a mechanical, assembly-line effect which did not look like it was painted by hand.  This blend of commercial production with fine art was revolutionary and the beginning of “Pop Art.”   The Brandeis picture was part of Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century which was first exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1980.

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Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “He Believes in the Police,” ACF 2010.1

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs
Gift of Ted Swift’s family

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have nine “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Sir Franklin Lushington (“He Believes in the Police”) and The Honorable Judge Bacon (“A Judicial Joker”).  Sir Franklin was the Chief Police Magistrate for the City of London for thirty-two years.  In later years, he was famous among magistrates for his dignity, severity, and exact justice.  His Honor Sir James Bacon was called to the Bar in 1856.  In 1878 he was made a county court judge.  He was an admirable lawyer, a keen analyst of character, a patient—though not too patient—listener, and a charming host and friend in private life.

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Vanity Fair “Spy” lithograph, “A Judicial Joker,” ACF 2010.2

“Spy” Portraits
Artist:  Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
British (1851-1922)
Lithographs
Gift of Ted Swift’s family

Leslie Ward was a British portrait artist who specialized in caricatures.  The British magazine Vanity Fair encouraged sales by offering lithograph prints as collector’s items.  Ward was neither the first nor the only Vanity Fair artist but he was easily the most famous.  He used the pseudonym “Spy,” and the genre tends to be named after his chosen signature.  Apparently Ward would spend days following his subjects and then would draw the caricatures from memory.  He worked for Vanity Fair for more than forty years, and he produced over half of the 2,387 caricatures published by the magazine. We have nine “Spy” lithographs in our collection.  These two depict Sir Franklin Lushington (“He Believes in the Police”) and The Honorable Judge Bacon (“A Judicial Joker”).  Sir Franklin was the Chief Police Magistrate for the City of London for thirty-two years.  In later years, he was famous among magistrates for his dignity, severity, and exact justice.  His Honor Sir James Bacon was called to the Bar in 1856.  In 1878 he was made a county court judge.  He was an admirable lawyer, a keen analyst of character, a patient—though not too patient—listener, and a charming host and friend in private life.

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Joseph HIRSCH, lithograph, “The Whole Truth,” ACF 2010.4 and ACF 2010.7

The Whole Truth
Artist: Joseph Hirsch
American (1910-1981)
Lithograph
Gift of James A. Straub in memory of Chris H. Straub

Born in Philadelphia, Joseph Hirsch began his study of art at the Philadelphia Museum at age 17 and studied with artist George Luks in New York. From Luks he developed a strong feeling for social realism and commentary. He traveled extensively, including a five year stay in France. Hirsch participated in the WPA in the easel painting division, occasionally working on murals. Hirsch took part in the World War II effort as an artist correspondent, recording significant battles and events. He taught at the Chicago Art Institute, the American School, University of Utah, and had tenure at the Art Students League in New York. He also won many awards, among them a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, the Walter Lippincott Prize, First Prize at the New York World’s Fair, two Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and a Fulbright Fellowship. Through his training under Luks, Hirsch followed the Social Realism movement by depicting ordinary and everyday scenes. Particularly during the Depression, social consciousness and commentary were important components of that movement. Social commentary became the backbone for the majority of Joseph Hirsch’s paintings. Both Strictly for the Record and Taking the Oath are pencil signed lithographs. Because both involve lawyers and courtrooms, they traditionally are displayed together as we have done here.

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Joseph HIRSCH, lithograph, “Strictly for the Record,” ACF 2010.5 and ACF 2010.8

Strictly for the Record
Artist: Joseph Hirsch
American (1910-1981)
Lithograph
Gift of James A. Straub in memory of Chris H. Straub

Born in Philadelphia, Joseph Hirsch began his study of art at the Philadelphia Museum at age 17 and studied with artist George Luks in New York. From Luks he developed a strong feeling for social realism and commentary. He traveled extensively, including a five year stay in France. Hirsch participated in the WPA in the easel painting division, occasionally working on murals. Hirsch took part in the World War II effort as an artist correspondent, recording significant battles and events. He taught at the Chicago Art Institute, the American School, University of Utah, and had tenure at the Art Students League in New York. He also won many awards, among them a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, the Walter Lippincott Prize, First Prize at the New York World’s Fair, two Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and a Fulbright Fellowship. Through his training under Luks, Hirsch followed the Social Realism movement by depicting ordinary and everyday scenes. Particularly during the Depression, social consciousness and commentary were important components of that movement. Social commentary became the backbone for the majority of Joseph Hirsch’s paintings. Both Strictly for the Record and Taking the Oath are pencil signed lithographs. Because both involve lawyers and courtrooms, they traditionally are displayed together as we have done here.

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Morris Henry HOBBS, lithograph, “Entrance to the Old Jail,” ACF 2010.6

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John BUCK, “Fact and Fiction,” color woodcut, ACF 2010.9, AUBURN HILLS

John BUCK, “Fact and Fiction,” color woodcut, ACF 2010.9

Fact and Fiction
Artist: John Buck
American (1946 – )
Color woodcut

John Buck received his MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1972.  He is married to a sculptor, Deborah Butterfield.  They live in Montana and Hawaii.  His work, which consists primarily of elaborate prints and sculptures, can be found in numerous prestigious collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Seattle Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Denver Art Museum.  Fact and Fiction was made in collaboration with Master Printer Bud Shark of Shark’s Ink, Lyons, Colorado. From a lawyer’s perspective, Fact and Fiction vividly illustrates the challenge of seeking justice in an adversarial context.  The figures are placed over a background of images and symbols that Buck has drawn from the news, nature, or his own sculpture.  Using a pen, a nail, or even his fingernail, Buck has scratched these images in a wood plank from which the print is pulled.  Over the figure is a book that may represent a historical reference, a treatise, evidence, or a volume of statutes.  While a lawyer may use various resources for guidance, they are—like art—often subject to interpretation. Artist statement: “I have found over the years of my experience making prints that my work, no matter how specific, can be interpreted by someone in a way I did not intend.  Fact and Fiction is an open book which invites you to make your own interpretation.  We live in a world where history is subject to revisionist thinking, and fact and fiction go hand in hand.”

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Bronze sculpture of Themis, ACF 2010.10

Themis (also Blind Justice or Lady Liberty)
Artist: Unknown
Cast bronze
Gift of Frank Harrison Reynolds (Kelly Class, 1978)

This well known and highly recognized statue cannot be traced to any one artist although it adorns courthouses world wide. Its earliest origins date back to ancient Greece and Rome, as Themis was the goddess of justice and law. She is well known for her clear sightedness and typically is holding a sword in one hand and scales in the other. The scales of justice represent the impartiality with which justice is served and the sword signifies the power held by those making judicial decisions. Artists began depicting the lady blindfolded during the Sixteenth Century. This showed that justice is not subject to influence. From this, the statue later gained the name of Blind Justice.

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Sarah BERMAN, lithograph, “Counselor and Clients,” ACF 2010.11

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Endi POSCOVIC, woodcut, “In the Western Land (Irréversible),” ACF 2011.1

In the Western Land (Irréversible)
Artist: Endi Poskovic
American (1969-   )
Woodcut

Born in 1969 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poskovic studied art and music from an early age and performed music of the Balkans at music festivals throughout Europe and the Middle East. A graduate of the Sarajevo School of Music, the Sarajevo School of the Applied Arts and the University of Sarajevo-Academy of Fine Arts, Poskovic also studied in Norway on a government grant.  He moved to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in print media from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His graphic works are in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Royal Antwerp Museum of Fine Arts, Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Cairo, the Fogg Art Museum–Harvard University, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the Des Moines Art Center, the Tampa Museum of Fine Arts, Vaasa Ostrobothnian Museum of Finland, the Musée d’Art Contemporain Fernet Branca-Saint-Louis (France) and numerous other museums and private collections in the US and abroad. Poskovic is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. In 2011 he received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, awarded annually to a diverse and select group of scholars, artists and scientists. This woodcut was inspired by a chance drive through the southwest Belgium countryside. According to the artist, the text “irréversible” on the lower portion of the print refers to the technical process of carving the desired image into a wood block and then running paper through the press, causing the carved image to be reversed from how it was originally carved.

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Reynold WEIDENAAR, drypoint etching, “Case of the People,” ACF 2011.2

Case of the People
Artist: Reynold H. Weidenaar
drypoint etching

Reynold Weidenaar was born in Grand Rapids. He studied at the Kendall School of Design and at the Kansas City Art Institute. He used the Institute’s printing press at night, to support himself.   Recognizing early his particular genius, the Chicago Society of Etchers provided Weidenaar with the money to purchase his own etching press. Soon thereafter, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany scholarship. The artist is generally credited with reviving the lapsed art of mezzotint printmaking.  Weidenaar was such a prolific printmaker that he was investigated by the FBI in the mid-1940s for purchasing large amounts of etching tools and copper plates. He began teaching at the Kendall School of Design in 1957 and spent most of his life in and around Grand Rapids. Printmaking requires special technical skill and is usually monochromatic, which imposes limits on expression.  Printmaking lends itself to the use of personal whimsies, iconography and symbolism that distinguish an artist more than style or palette. In Farmers Market (1965), which is the artist’s rendition of the farmers market on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids, one is reminded of the dynamic angularity of the baroque period and its rejection of formalism. Further, some of the product “labels” on boxes of goods announce government programs (e.g. “Fair Deal” and “Great Society”), and more particularly, the prominent “Vietnam Meat Grinders” label  could be a statement about the looming Vietnam war and a sense that this is simply one government policy in a line of many, or  business as usual. There is something uniquely feminine and dramatic, in that there appears to be only one clearly male figure.  The drama is accentuated by the use of patched awnings (drapery), and ruffled sleeves and bouffant hairstyles (costume), which impart a sense of being backstage before the opening of a performance.

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Shepard FAIREY, Lithograph, untitled, ACF 2011.3

Untitled
Artist: Shepard Fairey
American (1970-   )
Woodcut Print
Gift of Heather Podesta + Partners

Shepard Fairey is an artist and graphic designer who emerged from the street artist and skateboard worlds.  He originally became known for his “Andre the Giant has a Posse” street art campaign but became famous for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster.  That poster was based upon a copyrighted photograph of Obama while campaigning for the presidency taken by Mannie Garcia of the Associated Press.  The Associated Press claimed the Hope poster was derived from its image and, thus, a copyright infringement.  Fairey sued the AP seeking a declaratory judgment that the poster was a “fair use” of the AP’s copyright.  That suit was settled.  Fairey has been criticized for rigorously enforcing his own copyrights while infringing others. This is a flag collage specially commissioned by Heather Podesta + Partners.  Artists make collages by assembling various forms that then become a different whole.  This collage is made of wood pieces that come together as a flag.

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Baltimore screen painting, “Equality,” ACF 2011.5

Equality
Artist: Unknown
Baltimore Screen Paintings

The four paintings (Equality, Justice, Liberty & Truth) display a unique style of folk art that became popular early in the 20th Century in Baltimore.  They were painted to help differentiate working class row houses and were installed on street level windows for privacy. Residents could see out while the paintings blocked the ability to see into the house.  A Czech immigrant (though it was then called Bohemia), William Oktavec, was an unsuccessful artist who shifted to selling fresh produce from a neighborhood store.  He painted screens, showing his wares, which helped protect his produce from the hot summer sun.  Oktavec and other artists began painting custom screens for others as their popularity grew and they beautified many Baltimore neighborhoods. Our four screens were originally in a courthouse in Baltimore. The central figure in all four panels appears to be the same model.  She is either wearing a bright red-orange outfit or is draped in the American flag.  Enjoy the iconography—there are plenty of American eagles and other legal symbols.  We chose to frame the screens, preserve and display them, indoors, as paintings.  Their separate legal themes, when combined and shown together, give us a unique and eloquent view of our American legal system.

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Baltimore screen painting, “Justice,” ACF 2011.6

Justice
Artist: Unknown
Baltimore Screen Paintings

The four paintings (Equality, Justice, Liberty & Truth) display a unique style of folk art that became popular early in the 20th Century in Baltimore.  They were painted to help differentiate working class row houses and were installed on street level windows for privacy. Residents could see out while the paintings blocked the ability to see into the house.  A Czech immigrant (though it was then called Bohemia), William Oktavec, was an unsuccessful artist who shifted to selling fresh produce from a neighborhood store.  He painted screens, showing his wares, which helped protect his produce from the hot summer sun.  Oktavec and other artists began painting custom screens for others as their popularity grew and they beautified many Baltimore neighborhoods. Our four screens were originally in a courthouse in Baltimore. The central figure in all four panels appears to be the same model.  She is either wearing a bright red-orange outfit or is draped in the American flag.  Enjoy the iconography—there are plenty of American eagles and other legal symbols.  We chose to frame the screens, preserve and display them, indoors, as paintings.  Their separate legal themes, when combined and shown together, give us a unique and eloquent view of our American legal system.

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Baltimore screen painting, “Liberty,” ACF 2011.7

Liberty
Artist: Unknown
Baltimore Screen Paintings

The four paintings (Equality, Justice, Liberty & Truth) display a unique style of folk art that became popular early in the 20th Century in Baltimore.  They were painted to help differentiate working class row houses and were installed on street level windows for privacy. Residents could see out while the paintings blocked the ability to see into the house.  A Czech immigrant (though it was then called Bohemia), William Oktavec, was an unsuccessful artist who shifted to selling fresh produce from a neighborhood store.  He painted screens, showing his wares, which helped protect his produce from the hot summer sun.  Oktavec and other artists began painting custom screens for others as their popularity grew and they beautified many Baltimore neighborhoods. Our four screens were originally in a courthouse in Baltimore. The central figure in all four panels appears to be the same model.  She is either wearing a bright red-orange outfit or is draped in the American flag.  Enjoy the iconography—there are plenty of American eagles and other legal symbols.  We chose to frame the screens, preserve and display them, indoors, as paintings.  Their separate legal themes, when combined and shown together, give us a unique and eloquent view of our American legal system.

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Baltimore screen painting, “Truth,” ACF 2011.8

Truth
Artist: Unknown
Baltimore Screen Paintings

The four paintings (Equality, Justice, Liberty & Truth) display a unique style of folk art that became popular early in the 20th Century in Baltimore.  They were painted to help differentiate working class row houses and were installed on street level windows for privacy. Residents could see out while the paintings blocked the ability to see into the house.  A Czech immigrant (though it was then called Bohemia), William Oktavec, was an unsuccessful artist who shifted to selling fresh produce from a neighborhood store.  He painted screens, showing his wares, which helped protect his produce from the hot summer sun.  Oktavec and other artists began painting custom screens for others as their popularity grew and they beautified many Baltimore neighborhoods. Our four screens were originally in a courthouse in Baltimore. The central figure in all four panels appears to be the same model.  She is either wearing a bright red-orange outfit or is draped in the American flag.  Enjoy the iconography—there are plenty of American eagles and other legal symbols.  We chose to frame the screens, preserve and display them, indoors, as paintings.  Their separate legal themes, when combined and shown together, give us a unique and eloquent view of our American legal system.

ACF 2012.3

Frank THIEL, photograph, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, ACF 2012.3

Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Photographer: Frank Thiel
German (1966- )
Photograph
Gift of Heather Podesta + Partners

Born in the former East Germany in 1966, Frank Thiel became a vocal critic of the communist regime as a teenager.  After serving two years in prison for dissent, he was permitted to leave the east in 1985 along with other dissidents as part of a move by the government to calm public anti-government sentiment.  In West Berlin, Thiel found a vibrant social and artistic environment with a freedom and openness he had not previously experienced.  After studying photography for two years, he was perfectly placed to explore the dramatic architectural explosion that engulfed Berlin after reunification in 1990.  Perhaps inspired by the historic changes taking place around him, Thiel’s work focuses on transition, the sense of becoming, of change leading to the imagined future.  His most famous work depicts the demolition and reconstruction of large state buildings in Berlin.  Often, the geometry of the scaffolding or layout of a construction site is more important than the building which is ostensibly the subject of the photograph. Our photograph depicts the scaffolding encasing the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.  This enormous building, which houses the ceremonial offices of the Vice-President of the United States along with many administrative offices, was called “the ugliest building in America” by Mark Twain.  The many white columns and the decorative trim between floors can barely be seen behind the metal framework and platforms that allow restoration work to proceed.  The strong intersecting lines of the scaffolding imposed over the softer lines of the building itself create a dynamic sense of motion even as nothing is actually moving.  There is a sense that the old building is hiding under the framework, and one is not sure just what will emerge when the framework comes down.

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Stephen HANSEN, paper mache, “Litigators (at the bar),” ACF 2012.4

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Leon MAKIELSKI, oil on canvas, “The Pond, Michigan,” ACF 2012.5

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Michael KENNA, photograph, “The Rouge, Study 96,” ACF 2012.6

The Rouge, Study 96, 1995
Artist: Michael Kenna
British (1952- )
Photograph
Gift of Associate Dean William Weiner and Professor Paula Latovick

Michael Kenna was born and raised in Lancashire in the industrial northwest of England.  As a young man he was employed from time to time in local factories. The landscape of industry—smokestacks, large industrial complexes and pollution—were the background of his youth. Kenna’s first photographs in the 1970s were of landscapes, but in the early 1980s he revisited the sites of his youth, creating a photographic study of the cotton and wool mills in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Then in 1992, when visiting the Detroit area for the opening of an exhibition of his work, Kenna arranged a tour of the Ford Rouge automobile plant in Dearborn.  Since then, he has photographed the Rouge on 12 more visits and has produced over 100 studies of the plant.  Significantly, these studies of the Rouge were made as a personal project rather than being commissioned or paid for by grants. Henry Ford’s assembly lines brought thousands of families to Michigan, including Professor Latovick’s grandparents, to work for the Ford Motor Company.

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Highwayman, ACF 2013.3

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Highwayman, ACF 2013.4

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Highwayman, ACF 2013.5

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Clyde Butcher, photograph, “Myakka Prairie,” ACF 2013.6

Myakka Prairie
Artist:  Clyde Butcher
American (1942 – )
Photograph

Clyde Butcher was born in Kansas City and studied architecture at California Polytechnic University. He soon found landscape photography more lucrative than architecture.  Eventually Butcher enjoyed a huge commercial success, marketing his images of the Mountain West to the home décor divisions of major department stores nationwide and overseeing a business employing some 200 people. In the 1980s Butcher moved to Florida.  Reeling from the death of his son in an automobile collision with a drunk driver, Butcher turned to art photography, forsaking color for the purer, more evocative imagery of black-and-white.  Clyde Butcher has been said to be the rightful heir of Ansel Adams and is widely recognized as both the greatest and most public-spirited photographic artist in Florida.  He is on a mission to capture the detail of Florida’s fast-disappearing natural environment. Cooley’s print of Myakka Prairie, as is true of all of Clyde Butcher’s Florida landscape photographs, was shot with a large-format camera using an 11 x 14-inch negative.  Butcher’s two studios feature a collection of working, vintage industrial-scale photographic enlargers. The Myakka River starts southeast of Tampa and winds through Manatee and Sarasota Counties southwest to the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1985 it was designated “Florida’s Wild and Scenic River” by the state legislature.  A 14-mile portion of the Myakka centers the 57-square-mile Myakka River State Park—a   wild, picturesque landscape of wetlands, prairies and woodlands.  Clyde Butcher’s Myakka River pictures are almost as well-known as his Everglades images.

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Albert SWAY, lithograph, “Court Scene,” ACF 2013.7

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Woodburning, “The Lawsuit,” ACF 2014.4

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Carole KABRIN, drawing/watercolor, “Plymouth State Home Hearing,” ACF 2014.5

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Gerrit SINCLAIR, watercolor, “Waterfront, Harbor Springs,” ACF 2014.6

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Thomas McIntyre COOLEY, bust on marble stand, ACF 2014.7

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Thomas McIntyre COOLEY, photograph, ACF 2014.8

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Alma GOETSH, silkscreen, “Summer Madness,” ACF 2014.9, LANSING

Summer Madness
Artist:  Alma Goetsch
American (1901-1968)
Silk screen prints

Known more for the ground-breaking Frank Lloyd Wright house that she commissioned and built along with her long-time friend, Kathrine Winckler, than for her art, Alma Goetsch made her lasting mark in the art field as an instructor of elementary and high school art teachers at Michigan State College.  The Goetsch-Winckler House in Okemos, Michigan, was a living work of art, the scene of many friendly gatherings and an inspiration for Goetsch and Winckler’s students.  It is widely viewed as one of Wright’s most beautiful and significant designs. Over nearly forty years of teaching art, Goetsch developed her own style of design involving many forms of fiber art and silk screen.  The silk screens you see here represent the major body of Goetsch’s later work.  A pioneer in breaking down the “coloring book syndrome,” Goetsch inspired thousands of young teachers with her unquenchable spirit and her enthusiasm for life.  She said, “I’m vitally interested in color and try to use [as much] exciting color in my prints as I possibly can.”

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Enrique CHAGOYA, “La Bestia’s Guide to the Birth of the Cool,” ACF 2016.1, AUBURN HILLS

La Bestia’s Guide to the Birth of the Cool
Artist: Enrique Chagoya
Mexican-American (1953- )
Color Lithograph

Chagoya was born in Mexico and became a citizen of the United States in 2000. An Associate Professor of Art at Stanford University, he received the Dean’s Award in the Humanities in 1998. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the LA County Museum, the National Museum of American Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University Art Gallery and the New York Public Library. Chagoya states:  The concept of this particular codex is in direct response to the conservative xenophobia triggered by recent border crossings by thousands of unaccompanied children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.  I chose to symbolically portray the train known as La Bestia (The Beast, due to the fact that there are many accidents and fatalities during the trip), that travels from southern Mexico and up through the border with Texas.  This country was created not just by immigration, but rather by illegal immigration, from the Pilgrims and Conquistadors to the recent immigrants from the Americas, Africa and Asia.  At the end there is a legalization process, new cultures emerge and America benefits from the richness of the diversity of arts (music, visual, dance, literature), food, costumes, mythologies, etc.  The images in La Bestia’s Guide to the Birth of the Cool are juxtaposed with modernist paintings happily celebrating the immigrants’ acceptance into American culture.  Diversity in my book is a wealth of culture, not a threat, hence the celebration on the last page.

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WMU-Cooley graduate Jon Kohler: Leading Plantation Broker in USA

WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Jon Kohler (Adams Class, 1997), is the founder of Jon Kohler & Associates, the #1 plantation brokerage in the United States. Kohler attributes the work ethic and education he gained at WMU-Cooley Law School with his continued success. Read below Mr. Kohler’s interview with writer Adam York._dsc7439

Q: How did you end up at WMU-Cooley Law School?

A: After undergrad at Florida State University, I interned for Florida senator Sherry Walker in her senate office and law firm. She was the youngest state senator at the time and a neighbor to my ranch today. She went to Cooley, and literally flew up there with me and told me this is where I was going to law school. They still remember her as a student years later because of her country accent.

Q: Tell us a bit about your time at WMU-Cooley.

A: I actually graduated in fewer than three years in 1997. I was president of the Cooley Outdoors Club and met some lifelong friends from this experience.  I sold Barbri Bar Review Courses while at Cooley. One of the funniest memories I have about my time there is that in one class I wrote a business plan on essentially what I am doing now and only got a C! Haha. I bet the professor never thought I would become the top plantation broker in the country. I believed getting paid on a commission basis as a broker rather than hourly as an attorney. It was a no-brainer. The major reason I went to law school was to learn how to broker large tracts of land and be the best broker one could be.

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Cooley was very, very tough. In undergrad, I wasn’t a very focused student. Cooley is what I needed to build my confidence and learn how to be assertive. It was very hard work, and they never took the pressure off, even for seniors. You had to really want it, and badly enough to graduate. I was in the top half of my class, but I didn’t feel special. I received the “Book Award” in Evidence, which is a big deal since you received the best grade in the entire class. I remember watching the OJ Simpson trial a lot during my time at Cooley – maybe I watched too much of the trial on TV while I was going through law school!

Q: What did you do after you graduated from WMU-Cooley?

A: I had no problems whatsoever with the Florida Bar and Montana Bar. The Cooley education was excellent, and I seemed to have quite a knowledge advantage over other recent graduates from other schools. I always felt I had a much better education than any other recent graduate I encountered, and they always seemed very impressed.

Q: Tell us about your business, Jon Kohler & Associates.

A:  Jon Kohler & Associates specializes in selling plantations, ranches, and high quality timberland, primarily in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. We’ve recently brought our services into South Carolina. Over the past 25 years, we have developed a specialty brokerage, such that we represent the major landowners and investors in the plantation niche. We are best known as the preeminent source of knowledge of high-quality land investment opportunities and for representing the very top properties in this niche.

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Since the “market-reset” of 2008 alone, we have closed nearly 200,000 acres. Examples include some of the most prestigious plantation sales in the Thomasville/Tallahassee and Albany markets such as Disston (twice), Greenwood, Longpine, Southern Heritage, and Nochaway, as well as holding title to the largest timberland sale (Rock Creek/Molpus) in the Southeast in eight years.

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Jon Kohler with wife Erica and sons Ashton and Greyson

 

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Filed under Achievements, Alumni Stories and News, The Value of a Legal Education, Uncategorized

Military Feature Shawlonda Hallback: Simple Conversations Change Lives

WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. We are thankful and grateful for the sacrifices our military service men and women make to keep us safe and preserve our freedoms. WMU-Cooley’s November monthly feature is WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Shawlonda Hallback. Shawlonda is a Retired U.S. Marine Corp Veteran.

Military rank and title: Retired U.S. Marine, U.S. Marine Corps

Why did you decide to go to law school and why did you choose WMU-Cooley: I knew I wanted to be an attorney since I was 16 years old. I remember taking a Mock Trial class in a high school English class and everything about it felt right. I loved what I was doing and it seemed to be my calling. My teacher thought so too. She told me that I would make a great lawyer – and I believed her. It was that moment that I decided that I was going to go to law school and be a lawyer. The only thing I didn’t know was when. After retiring from the U.S. Marine Corp, I felt I could follow that dream. I chose to attend WMU-Cooley as a second challenging career after retiring from the military because of its diversity and its flexibility for non-traditional students. WMU-Cooley made it possible for me to go to law school. And my family support made it a reality.

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Career description: I truly enjoyed my career with the U.S. Marine Corps. It was important work when my leadership and judgment accounted for several millions of dollars and numerous people. My responsibilities included Explosive Ordnance disposal, deconstruction, deployment, disarmament, and distribution of high explosive munitions. I was built to be a Marine, and honored to defend our borders and those other countries who needed our protection. It was gratifying to know that I was doing my part to keep people safe. When I think about kids, for instance, unknowingly walking into a field that might have old or unsafe bombs or explosives hiding, and in the blink of an eye a life is changed forever, I know what I am doing is valuable to society.

Career goals: My goals are clear for me. I want every person, no matter their lot in life, to have the legal representation they deserve and are owed in our democratic society. I think it’s critical that everyday people understand their rights under our Constitution and they have a say in how they are treated. It’s important to me to be able to ease people’s fears in a tangible way when they need help and guidance. All folks should have equal access to our legal system. There are two things I want to do, now that I am out of law school and an attorney. I want to provide very low-cost legal service to those in need. Translated, I plan to give pro bono services at 50 percent of my rate to under-served markets through grants I will acquire. The second focus I have is to support local efforts to end human trafficking. My belief is when you change the climate of human trafficking at the local level, you will make important changes beyond our borders and globally. It was during an elective called Slavery & Human Trafficking taught by WMU-Cooley Professor Stevie Swanson where my eyes were opened to the horrors of human trafficking. It became a very real passion of injustice for me. To think, I didn’t even realize that this existed. Now I look at people differently, even in the grocery store, and wonder, are these women and children victims of human trafficking – and many are. Victims are everywhere, including in our community.

Tell us a little about you: I enjoy doing work I feel is important to more than just me and my family. In fact, I get much enjoyment just talking to people; hearing their stories and listening to their problems, and working together to figure out solutions. Problem-solving is at the core of what we should try to do as good attorneys.  But it’s not always about me trying to solve someone else’s problems. It’s these simple conversations that can change lives. People are all tied together as human beings. It is our ability to come together that makes us better people. My family has been an important part of my life and why I have been able to find success along the way. Chevelle (Hallback) has been an anchor for me and throughout law school. Our sons, Michael Mitchell (25), stepson Terrick Russell (24), Joshua Mitchell (23), Christian Mitchell (21), and Jordan Barnes (20), also a Marine, have been a great source of strength and pride.

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Filed under Alumni Stories and News, Military Feature, Uncategorized