The Student Bar Association (SBA) at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus recently received $500 in grant funding from the Oakland County Bar Foundation to support the organization’s Barrister’s Ball.
Pictured: WMU-Cooley Auburn Hills campus Student Bar Association officers (left-right) Qasem Belbeisi, Ashli Bynum, Arturo Alfaro, and Shilpa Bodalia.
SBA organizes the Barrister’s Ball annually to celebrate the future of the legal profession and recognize the accomplishments of the law school’s students and nationally recognized organizations. The event also provides students, faculty and staff an opportunity to network with other legal professionals in the community while raising funds to support a local charity.
“We are so thankful to the Oakland County Bar Foundation for this opportunity,” said Ashli Bynum, WMU-Cooley SBA president. “This grant helps increase our capacity to support nontraditional law students by making professional networking opportunities, such as the Barrister’s Ball, more accessible to all.”
Students from Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) recently participated in a debate on Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus on issues of search and seizure. The debate was a part of a capstone event for the 3R’s program, a year-long collaboration between the Grand Rapids Bar Association, GRPS and WMU-Cooley Law School. During the event, students were coached by area leaders in the legal community including Kent County District Judge Jennifer Faber.
Attorney Steve Drew (left) and GRPS Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director of Public Safety and Security Larry Johnson speak to GRPS high school students about how to handle themselves if they are stopped by police, during a debate on WMU-Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus on issues of search and seizure. The debate was a part of a capstone event for the 3R’s program, a year-long collaboration between the Grand Rapids Bar Association, GRPS and the law school.
The 3R’s program aims to help high school students in social studies classes better understand and respect the rule of law and the Constitution, as well as increase students’ interest in civic and government issues. Students also received career counseling as a part of the collaboration in an effort to improve the pipeline of persons of color into legal careers.
“We’re always eager to help surrounding youth learn about civics and the rule of law,” said Chris Hastings, WMU-Cooley Law School professor. “It’s been special to see the students grow in their understanding of civic and government issues over the course of this year’s 3R’s program. This debate was an exciting way to end the program and let the students apply their knowledge in a hands-on learning experience.”
Kent County District Judge Jennifer Faber helps coach high school students from Grand Rapids Public Schools during a debate on issues of search and seizure on WMU-Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus.