WMU-Cooley Graduate Helps the Homeless and Inspires Volunteers

For a quiet guy, Shane Goodale has made a lot of “noise” ever since joining the legal arena — good noise; noise that makes changes in people’s lives and inspires them to do good things on their own.

Shane Goodale

Shane Goodale

Goodale, 41, graduated from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2012. In the three years since graduation, Goodale, who has a solo practice in Okemos, Michigan, continues to, not just speak out about the needs of people in the community, but do something about it, along with inspire others to join in and help.

This summer, Goodale saw a months-in-the-making drive to help the homeless in a practical way come to fruition when he collaborated with Sera Bella salon in the Meridian Mall to provide free haircuts to those in need. Personal grooming might not seem like a necessity to some, but Goodale knew from his experience as a volunteer just how much a difference a spruce-up can mean to people.

He started the quest to provide haircuts in the spring, but learned that, in Michigan, cosmetology services must be provided in a licensed salon. He found a salon that would help at Sera Bella after a conversation about the project idea. The manager arranged for stylists to provide the free haircuts; Goodale made arrangements to get interested clients of a Lansing shelter to the mall salon. Goodale was also able to work with Sbarro pizza, from the mall’s food court, to provide free pizza. Inspired by the project, Sera Bella plans to keep a collection box on site for both monetary and non-perishable food donations.

Shane Goodale received WMU-Cooley's Student Great Deeds Award from Heather Spielmaker in 2011.

Shane Goodale received WMU-Cooley’s Student Great Deeds Award from Heather Spielmaker in 2011.

Goodale is no stranger to the shelter from which the haircut clients came. Called Open Door Ministry and located at the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Lansing, the shelter has been a volunteer outlet for Goodale since his days as a student at WMU-Cooley.

During his tenure as a law student, Goodale inspired fellow students to help the homeless as part of a class project. That experience led him to found a free legal clinic called HAPP, the Homeless Assistance and Prevention Project. The clinic provides free basic legal services to people who visit the Open Door Ministry, as well as pro bono opportunities for succeeding classes of law students.

Goodale was acknowledged in 2011 for his volunteer work when he was presented with the first-ever Lansing campus WMU-Cooley Student Great Deeds Award. He was also noted for his service with the Meridian Township Planning Commission, and his service on the board of directors for Stormfield Theater. In addition to his continued service on the Open Door Ministry Board of Directors, and with HAPP, Goodale also now serves as a member of the Parkwood YMCA Board of Directors, and as a community reinvestment fund board member for the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.

1 Comment

Filed under Achievements, Alumni Stories and News, Awards

One response to “WMU-Cooley Graduate Helps the Homeless and Inspires Volunteers

  1. I have known Shane Goodale since his first year in law school, and was honored to move his admission to the practice of law before Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael Cavanagh. Shane is a high achiever and an inspiration to all. Of the more than 1,000 law students I’ve taught over 3+ decades, he is one I’ll never forget.

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