Dads make the difference for daughters (and sons) in law school: A Father’s Day tribute

Once a year we are all called to reflect on “How our father has made a difference in our life.” For daughters going to law school, dad may have especially played an even larger role in that decision. For many, he may have been the source of their inspiration for following their heart, and the one keeping them focused on the dream of becoming a lawyer. The same goes for dads and sons.

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School students pay tribute to their dad and the difference he has made in their life and throughout their law school journey. 

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Natalie Winquist with her dad.

“Even after 36 years in the profession, my father‘s desire and drive is contagious; his loyalty and ability to build lasting, meaningful client relationships and advocate on their behalf to the best of his ability has inspired me tremendously. His honesty, integrity, and respect within the legal community has made me proud, and his passion is something I strive to emulate, which, ultimately, led me to this profession – and for that I am thankful.” – WMU-Cooley law student Natalie Winquist

Zoya Shpigelman and her dad - Then and Now.

Zoya Shpigelman and her dad – then and now.

“Mere words would not do justice to describe this man. This is a man who always put his best foot forward to take care of his family. This is a man who taught me how to strive for success despite obstacles that may come in my way. This is a man who always provided and continues to provide love, security, understanding, and guidance for me throughout all stages of my life. He has encouraged me to pursue my legal education with fervor, passion, and gratitude. I’m so thankful for my father’s insight on everything I ever choose to do in my lifetime. He tells me every day how blessed he feels that I will be in a position to make a real difference in people’s lives because he truly feels attorneys should do their best to be advocates for human kind.” – WMU-Cooley law student Zoya Shpigelman


Syed Ali, father of Shahnaz Ali, embraces his grandchildren

“I am so grateful for my father, Syed Ali, and the important role he has played with helping me in my journey through law school.  He helps me with my kids so that I can commute, allows me to use his hotel discount, and is always asking me what I need.  I don’t know what I would do without him.  Happy Father‘s Day, dad!” – WMU-Cooley law student Shahnaz Ali


Erika Morgan’s dad

“My father has been so instrumental in my success in law school by always making sure that he prays for me – and he makes sure to tell me to get my “rest!”  He encourages me to do my best and he is my BIGGEST supporter on this law journey. His unfailing love and support is what keeps me going through this very trying process. He truly enjoys my journey, and for that DAD … I honor and love you! Happy Father’s Day!” – WMU-Cooley law student Erika Morgan


Kai Hullum’s dad

“My father is the hardest working man I know. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in law school today. I am so happy to have him in my life. There isn’t enough I can do to show him how appreciative I am. I hope he has a wonderful Father’s Day.” – WMU-Cooley law student Kai Hullum





Rima Ali Yahfoufi with her dad - then and now.

Rima Ali Yahfoufi with her dad – then and now.

“You are one in a million. Words belittle the real meaning of how important you are. I can search the world and will never find a father like you – one who will sacrifice like you, and one who does all that you do for your family. You will always be appreciated because you have always cared. You will always be valued because you have always given us your time. You will always be respected because you have made us leaders. And you will always be loved because you always have given us the one thing we treasure the most – and that is you. You have inspired and motivated me my entire life. I want to thank you for believing in me. My future success carries your image as the dominant pillar holding me up, proud and strong. Your faith in me has been my foundation. Happy Father’s Day. I love you.” – WMU-Cooley law student Rima Ali Yahfoufi

DJ Remole and her parents on Graduation Day.

DJ Remole and her parents on Graduation Day.



Happy Father’s Day to the most amazing dad a girl could ask for! You have been a constant support to me through my years of schooling and have helped me achieve my dream. Thanks dad for everything! – WMU-Cooley May 2015 graduate DJ Remole




Let’s not forget sons says WMU-Cooley law student Willie Abney!
Willie Abney with his dad

Willie Abney with his dad

I am so blessed to have my father, Willie D. Abney Sr., in my life. He has been so influential, especially while I have been in law school. He is someone who is easy to talk to and is always there when I need him. A lot of my character traits I get from him. He is the friendliest man I know and he would give his last breath to help someone in need. As a pastor, I know he is very busy, but he always takes time out to make sure that the family is okay. What more can you ask? Thanks, dad, for everything.

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