WMU-Cooley graduate elected president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association

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Aaron V. Burrell

Aaron Burrell is an associate for Dickinson Wright, P.L.L.C, where he works with the litigation group in the firm’s Detroit office. He focuses his practice in the areas of appellate, commercial and business litigation, labor and employment, and minority business enterprises. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Representative Assembly for the third Judicial Circuit, member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, and the American Bar Association, and an Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow.

In June 2015, Aaron was elected president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, a proactive organization of diverse attorneys, with a mission of promoting legal practice opportunities for minorities and women and to facilitate equal justice for all citizens in Metro Detroit. Membership includes a diverse coalition of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals.

Early on, Aaron knew he wanted to be an lawyer. He wanted to make a significant, positive contribution to his community and to society and he knew that to become that kind of person — a leader among his peers, an example for those who followed, and a catalyst for change — he would need a law degree.

He had many law school options, but Aaron chose WMU-Cooley because he admired the school’s mission of producing practice-ready, skilled, and ethical attorneys. He also appreciated the accelerated program and the school’s reputation of providing students with an intense and challenging legal education that would not only prepare students for the bar examination, but ready students to compete and excel above those from other institutions.

“Cooley did an outstanding job of preparing me for the practice of law. Cooley’s rigorous curriculum ensures that graduates not only possess the core knowledge and skills necessary to become successful lawyers, but it also instills in students the diligent work ethic necessary to be a successful attorney.”

While in law school, Aaron was able to obtain several on-campus interviews with a number of large, prestigious law firms and courts. He obtained positions as a federal judicial intern for the Hon. Arthur J. Tarnow, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; a judicial intern and a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Leo Bowman, Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Oakland County, Michigan; a law firm intern and a law clerk for Collins, Einhorn, Farrell, and Ulanoff, P.C.; and as a summer associate for Dickinson Wright, P.L.L.C., where he is today.

“Aaron is a great example of the good things that can happen when a law school provides access and opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to achieve success, stated WMU-Cooley Professor John Nussbaumer. “We provided Aaron with the chance to prove that he had what it takes to play in the big leagues, and through his dedication, commitment, and hard work he rose to the top, eventually landing his current position at Dickinson Wright. Aaron is also a good example of what positive role models and mentors within big law firms, like lawyers Tony Jenkins and Tom McNeill at Dickinson, can do to help advance a young lawyers career.”

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