Category Archives: About Cooley Law School, History

Cooley Law School was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and judges led by the then Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Thomas E. Brennan. The school was named for Thomas McIntyre Cooley, a legal scholar and practicing attorney of the 19th century.

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

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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.

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Native American Cessions Map (1897), ACF 2007.3

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).”

acf-2008-9

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.

acf-2008-10

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.

acf-2008-11

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.

acf-2008-12

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.

acf-2009-1

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.

acf-2009-3

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.

acf-2009-4

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.

acf-2009-5

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.

acf-2010-1

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.

acf-2010-2

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

ACF 2014.9

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.”

ACF 2016.1

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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Filed under About Cooley Law School, History, Alumni Stories and News, Uncategorized

A to Z: What a Law School Means to a University and a University to a Law School

WhenWestern Michigan University and WMU-Cooley Law School formally affiliated a year and a half ago, WMU President Dr. John Dunn and WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc together decided it best to let the students, faculty, and staff of both institutions decide what to make of the new affiliation. In retrospect, that decision looks to have been just the right recipe to move the affiliation toward its goal of creating the most productively integrated university-law school relationship in the nation.
WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc (left) and WMU President John M. Dunn signing a series of agreements to continue the expansion of legal education in west Michigan.

WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc (left) and WMU President John M. Dunn signing a series of agreements to continue the expansion of legal education in west Michigan.

 The report summarizes from A to Z the remarkably broad, numerous, rich, and deep benefits that both the university and the law school have begun to garner from their affiliation. Any A to Z list is inevitably random, but this report’s perspective on the affiliation’s benefits is a great way to appreciate how surprisingly diverse are those benefits. The students, faculty, and staff of both institutions have done just as Presidents Dunn and LeDuc had hoped, which is to collaborate around their own special needs and interests.
As the A to Z report shows, the random affiliation benefits flow everywhere from a joint instructional-design project innovating at the core of the law school’s educational program to a joint justice project vastly expanding the reach and effectiveness of a prior law school program.

stands for better ACCESS and ASSESSMENT:  the law school and university have improved the university’s LSAT Prep course, promoting the law school’s practice-access mission.  University programs and personnel have helped the law school improve assessment through better-designed rubrics, objectives, and processes.

is for better BIOETHICS and BUSINESS:  law professors and law students presented at the university’s annual Bioethics Conferences.  A law school professor also developed a suite of law trainings, for offer by the law professor and law students, to supplement the university’s Bronco Force executive-education business program. 

is for better COMMUNICATION and COURSES:  a law professor taught university medical school students on the subject of communicating medical-treatment risks.  The law school also held its first elective courses, Employment Law and Environmental Law, on the university’s main Kalamazoo campus.

D is for better course DESIGNS:  a university College of Education professor led law professors and law school staff in a two-day course-redesign workshop, employing sound educational and instructional theory to supplement the law professors’ field and discipline expertise and law knowledge.

is for better ETHICS: law professors spoke at events that the university’s Center for Ethics in Society held to promote ethical and principled thinking and behavior among university and law students, faculty, and staff, while a law professor also joined the center’s board to contribute to future programs including developing a joint ethics course.

is for better FACILITIES and FACULTY: the university occupied classrooms and offices at the law school’s Auburn Hills campus, while the law school began using equivalent university classrooms and offices for Kalamazoo courses.  The law school and university also offered a tuition-reduction program for professors and staff to earn the other institution’s degrees.

is for better GERONTOLOGY: a law professor and university gerontology professor collaborated on instruction and instructional materials for the law school’s Elderlaw Clinic and a university course on Dementia, Elder Law, and Death, as a prime example of the inter-disciplinary enrichment that the law school and university offer one another.

is for better HEALTH: a law school professor invited a university healthcare professor to join the new Michigan Coalition on Health Literacy board to help interdisciplinary experts address risk-communication and health-literacy issues for the private healthcare industry and public healthcare providers.

is for better INCLUSION: law professors and deans worked with the director of the university’s Lewis Walker Institute for Race & Ethnic Relations to author, edit, and publish a book to support training for law students and lawyers on cross-cultural service, dedicating the book to the Institute’s inclusion work.

is for better JUSTICE: law professors and deans worked with university professors and administrators to win a substantial federal Post-Conviction DNA Testing to Exonerate the Innocent grant now administered jointly between the university and law school with law student and university student participation.

is for better KNOWLEDGE: law and university professors spoke as interdisciplinary experts in one another’s courses in political science, education law, higher-education law, and other fields, in collaborative efforts to expand and improve the knowledge base for doctrinal law school and university courses.

is for better LEADERSHIP and LIBRARIES: a law professor and university business professor, both of them retired brigadier generals, worked together to plan a joint leadership academy program for law and university students.  The law school’s library dean meets regularly with the university’s library leader to support joint library access.

is for better MEDIATION and MEDICINE: the director of the law school’s Center for the Study & Resolution of Conflict is collaborating with a university sociology professor whose research and teaching interests are on religious conflict and its resolution.  A law professor taught business organizations to university medical-school students.

is for better NETWORKING:  university President Dr. John Dunn hosted law school Board Chair Lawrence Nolan and law students, faculty, and staff, and medical students, faculty, and staff, at a joint affiliation celebration and football-game tailgate party, while the law school also held alumni mixer events for both university and law school alumni.

is for better OPPORTUNITY: university instructional-design and professional-training experts helped law professors write a bar-preparation book and develop instructional materials and programs to improve bar-passage prospects for law graduates, promoting access to professional opportunities through law licensure.

is for better PATHWAYS and PARKING: the university approved accelerated programs within its College of Arts & Sciences and Haworth College of Business to allow students to apply law school credits to complete undergraduate degree requirements.  The university and law school also signed a joint parking-services agreement for equal access to the other institution.

is for better QUALIFYING: law school professors, deans, and staff met and spoke with university pre-law students to help the students qualify for, prepare for, and gain admission to law school.  Both the law school and university share access missions, ensuring that the professions adequately represent the public.

is for better RESEARCH: law librarians helped a university medical school professor research laws regulating electroshock therapy and psychosurgery, for publication purposes, while a law student focused her law school research paper on the same subject, drawing on the knowledge and research resources of the university professor.

is for better SERVICE and SERVICES: law school and university professors involved law students and university students in public-service projects related to law, education, and disability rights.  The university and law school also entered into a joint student-services agreement for access to recreational, health, and other facilities.

is for better TEACHING: university instructional design professors and graduate students in instructional design, working with law professors, planned and implemented instructional reforms in first-year law courses to increase fluent recall and effective use of law concepts, as a catalyst for improving instruction across the law curriculum.

is for better UNDERSTANDING: a law professor recruited professionals from the university’s Specialty Program in Alcohol & Drug Abuse to speak at public events held at the law school to address understanding of addiction issues and to advocate for broader addiction services, connected with law reforms on the same issues.

is for better VISION:  university and law school leaders involved representatives of each other’s institution in each institution’s strategic planning initiatives ensuring that the missions and strategic visions of each institution addressed the interests and perspectives of constituents of the other institution.

is for better WI-FI:  the law school and university each joined the eduRoam network of colleges, universities, and research organizations, to provide one another’s students, faculty, staff, and leaders with secure wi-fi access across all campuses of both institutions, using their own school’s network authentication.

is for better eXPUNGEMENTS: law school and university professors planned and implemented an Expungement Fair to involve law and university students in a public service, clinical law experience, helping to prepare individuals who had been convicted of crime but completed their sentence, for re-entry into the workforce.

stands for better YOUTH: a law professor and dean worked with a university sociology professor to involve university students in middle school crime-prevention community education programs in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo with law-student assistance, working collaboratively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

is for better k’ ZOO: Kalamazoo, that is. The law school is working to bring its many pro bono service and volunteer programs, such as its Service to Soldiers program, to support the university’s home Kalamazoo community.  The affiliation benefits the university and will continue to reach and benefit Kalamazoo for a long time to come.

Missions.  A university’s traditional mission is to generate useful knowledge, conveying it from generation to generation to improve human life and liberty.  A law school’s traditional mission is to generate useful knowledge specifically about structuring and maintaining human relationships, conveying it from generation to generation for a just society’s preservation and flourishing.  The missions of universities and law schools thus work in parallel, the university having the broader mission while the law school’s relationship mission touches on virtually everything that the university does through social purpose and relationship.

Visions.  Western Michigan University amplifies a university’s traditional mission through its particular learner-centered, discovery-driven, and globally engaged vision.  The university seeks to ensure a distinctive learning experience fostering student success, through innovative discovery and service learning, collaborative research, inclusive excellence, and sustainable stewardship.  In strikingly similar way, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School maintains a practice-access vision, seeking to equip its diverse graduates with the knowledge, skills, and ethics to serve communities broadly and effectively.

Affiliation.  The affiliation between Western Michigan University and Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School that formally began in August 2014 has spawned 140 proposed or implemented initiatives involving 151 participants at both schools.  The large number of affiliation initiatives and participants makes increasingly unwieldy any fair summary of the affiliation’s depth and breadth.  Indeed, the affiliation has already come so far in its first two years that sampling its initiatives in the following A to Z format seems an appropriate way to give the reader a sense of its resounding success.  The affiliation is making the Law School better and the University stronger.  Consider the following A to Z examples of affiliation initiatives, including several visions for the affiliation’s future.

nelson millerBlog author Nelson Miller is the Associate Dean and Professor at WMU-Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus. He practiced civil litigation for 16 years before joining the WMU-Cooley faculty. He has argued cases before the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals, and United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and filed amicus and party briefs in the United States Supreme Court. He has has many published books, casebooks, book chapters, book reviews, and articles on legal education, law practice, torts, civil procedure, professional responsibility, damages, international law, constitutional law, university law, bioethics, and law history and philosophy. He also is now teaching law classes on the Kalamazoo, Michigan campus of Western Michigan University.

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Top Ten Things Law Students Should Know About Western Michigan University

miller_nelsonBlog author Nelson Miller is the Associate Dean and Professor at WMU-Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus. He practiced civil litigation for 16 years before joining the WMU-Cooley faculty. He has argued cases before the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals, and United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and filed amicus and party briefs in the United States Supreme Court. He has has many published books, casebooks, book chapters, book reviews, and articles on legal education, law practice, torts, civil procedure, professional responsibility, damages, international law, constitutional law, university law, bioethics, and law history and philosophy. He also is now teaching law classes on the Kalamazoo, Michigan campus of Western Michigan University.

1. Now that the law school is holding elective courses on WMU’s Kalamazoo campus, where are the law classes? For now, Western Michigan University is sharing with the law school Room 1412 in its Health & Human Services (HHS) Building on WMU’s East Campus off Oakland Drive, behind (south of) the football stadium and sports complex on Stadium Drive. The HHS Building location makes sense in that the law school already has a dual JD/MSW degree program with the College of Health & Human Services’ School of Social Work. The HHS Building is a spectacular, first-class facility with wonderful natural-light design, a cafeteria, lots of relaxed seating, and convenient parking. Room 1412 is a team-based learning room with cart-available distance-education technology.

hhs-building_0

2. What is the medieval-looking bell-tower-like structure next to WMU’s HHS Building where the law school holds classes? The HHS Building is next door to the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. Its tower is not, as rumored, to restrain the insane, but for the better part of a century supplied the hospital’s water. At one point in the tower’s storied history, its water saved Kalamazoo from burning when the city’s own water system failed as firefighters attempted to douse a severe downtown fire. Although the water tower is a historic landmark, locals not too long ago made an effort to have it razed, relenting only when private funds donated for maintenance exceeded the six-figure cost of its razing.

3. What is the heart of WMU’s Kalamazoo campus? Where does everyone go? Bernhard Center, located roughly in the middle of WMU’s Main Campus, houses the bookstore, Bronco Mall, cafeteria and food court, financial-aid office and other student services, student-organization offices, and large conference spaces. While the building’s exterior is a little older, WMU has renovated many of its interior spaces, making it both very comfortable and also a showcase.

4. Where should one park on campus? Depends on where you’re going. The best practice is to order a $5 daily visitor pass online before you go, then use the WMU Interactive Campus Map, choosing the Parking Lots option from the Layers link in the Map’s upper right. The $5 daily visitor parking pass grants you access to the R Lots where both visitors and WMU employees park. Commonly used R Lots are (1) on the west side of the Main Campus by Schneider Hall for convenient access to the business school or a short walk to the center of Main Campus, (2) at the south side of the Main Campus by Miller Auditorium for convenient access to the College of Arts & Sciences, and (3) alongside the Health & Human Services Building on East Campus. For a single short-term visit, you may choose instead to park at a visitor meter, although you’ll need lots of quarters (the cost is a quarter for every 12 minutes or so). Metered parking can also be paid by a cell phone through Parkmobile.com. Instructions are listed on each campus meter.Here is the parking map, with the R Lots in yellow:

5. Where can you eat on campus? Lots of places. While the Bernhard Center has the well-developed food court with national fast-food chains, a Biggby coffee shop, traditional cafeteria, and lots of comfortable seating, several other buildings also have public cafeterias including the HHS Building housing the law classes, Schneider Hall housing the Haworth College of Business, and Sangren Hall housing WMU’s large College of Education. The Plaza Cafe, located on the Fine Arts Plaza in front of Miller Auditorium, is also open to the public. To locate food on campus–Go to the WMU Housing and Dining map to get the precise locations of the buildings with cafeterias.

bc-exterior

6. Who are WMU’s most-distinguished alumni? Tim Allen, anyone? The popular film and television actor is on its Distinguished Alumni wall in the Bernhard Center (see the wall on the second floor for a great way to get to know WMU’s national leadership). WMU’s most-recent distinguished alumni awardee is former U.S. Attorney and WMU-Cooley adjunct James Brady, whom the law school honored recently with the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award. (The other 2015 awardee was the CEO of the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer.) Other lawyer/judge WMU distinguished alumni include former ABA President Dennis Archer, Sixth Circuit Judge Richard Griffin (son of Senator Robert Griffin), Richard Whitmer, former State Bar of Michigan President Nancy Diehl, and of course WMU-Cooley graduate and board member Ken Miller. Other distinguished alumni include former Detroit Tigers owner John Fetzer and former Tigers and Marlins and present Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski.

7. Tell me about the WMU library and its resources. With more that 4.5 million items, including thousands of electronic subscriptions, the libraries provide access to a wide variety of materials in support of its many educational programs. Over twenty reference librarians, many with subject specialties, are ready to assist students with their information and research needs. The library has recently initiated an experimental telepresence robot to aid in research interactions between students and librarians. Four floors of newly renovated state of the art facilities provide comfortable spaces for collaboration, research, and study.

8. What’s your favorite location on campus? Whether or not you have business there, consider visiting Sangren Hall in the center of WMU’s Main Campus. One of President Dunn’s many initiatives has been the improvement of WMU’s physical facilities. Sangren Hall, home to WMU’s oldest college–the College of Education–is the spectacular centerpiece of that initiative.Sangren-Hall-SHW-Group-6

It has every feature of a next-generation higher-education facility including state-of-the-art team-based-learning classrooms with distance-education technology and wide, spacious, and well-lit public areas with abundant comfortable seating and study areas, not to mention a great-looking library and convenient cafe. It even rivals the spectacular new WMed facility downtown (WMed built with substantial private and corporate contributions). WMU has constructed several other large, inviting, and very attractive facilities that make you feel very much a part of the latest and best in higher education.

9. For what does the public know WMU? What distinguishes it? WMU was initially a teacher’s college, and its College of Education remains its largest program. That history and emphasis may have influenced its mission and vision as a learner-centered university combining clinical education with research focus. Students matter, but so does research and expertise. Many of WMU’s Ph.D.-level faculty are recognized national and international experts in their fields with heavy demands for their expertise. WMU is also diverse, recruiting heavily from Southeast Michigan and other urban areas. It has had a global reach for decades, with faculty from around the globe and international students from 100 other nations.  A Carnegie-designated national research university, WMU is in the U.S. News top tier of public research universities. Many also know WMU for programs as diverse as its nation-leading aviation program and its internationally recognized offerings in creative writing, medieval studies, behavior analysis, blindness and low vision studies, integrated supply chain management and jazz studies. WMU also has a decades-long reputation for a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship that won it the U.S. Building Council’s award in 2014 as the best green higher-education school in the country.

10. Okay, but how’s the football team doing? Great. WMU has a Division I (top division) football program competing with the best collegiate programs in the nation, including playing both MSU and Ohio State in 2015. WMU is in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) with in-state rivals Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University, and out-of-state schools like Toledo, Northern Illinois, and Bowling Green.

broncos

While WMU has long been known more for its hockey team than for football success, WMU’s football teams have been to bowl games the past two years, winning the Bahamas Bowl just this year, and has had the MAC’s top-rated recruiting class the past three years. WMU’s football program is thus gaining national attention, as is its sought-after Coach P.J. Fleck. The program has a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility and a football hall-of-fame building, both adjacent to the stadium with a large indoor president’s box seating 100. Apologies to WMU-Cooley Board Chair Larry Nolan, a WMU hockey-program veteran, for not touting WMU’s outstanding hockey team, which is part of the toughest hockey league in the nation–the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. See WMU’s sports Hall of Fame for WMU’s long list of stellar college and professional athletes.

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WMU + WMU-Cooley Affiliation Advances with Signing Agreement and 134 New Initiatives

The progress WMU-Cooley has made in implementing the Western Michigan University affiliation over the past 18 months has been strong.  The partnership has already spawned 134 initiatives – in just over a year and a half – through the efforts of everyone, from the administration to the faculty to the students.

Now with the first two law classes underway on WMU’s Kalamazoo campus, Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn and WMU-Cooley Law School  President and Dean Don LeDuc met with officials on Jan. 19, 2016 to sign three new agreements that covered facilities use, courses and programs, and parking.  The classes in employment and environmental law will also pave the way for a group of first-year law students to begin basic legal education on the WMU campus in fall 2016.

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Both Dunn and LeDuc had great praise and mutual respect for the affiliation and the ideas generated by both institutions. For students, this latest agreement lends support and excitement to the many opportunities it opens for them, in addition to endless possibilities for the faculty and staff of both institutions.

“This is a great affiliation with a very fine law school,” said Dunn at the signing. “It is also, for the people of Michigan and locations well beyond, a great example of how to work our way through challenging times and expand opportunity for our students in a powerful way without relying on state resources.”

“With WMU now looking to use space at our other campuses, and the law school now active in Kalamazoo, the synergy is evident and the opportunities are abundant,” stated LeDuc. “The rewards have already included a joint major grant to the Innocence Project for $418,000 obtained through the initiative of WMU-Cooley Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon. Our affiliation with WMU is a great long-range priority, and it is already producing short-range benefits.”

New opportunities that are a result of the agreements signed Jan. 19 include the following initiatives.

  • Accelerated programs that will allow WMU students to complete both an undergraduate and law degree in a time frame shorter than the traditional seven years — saving the students time and tuition dollars.
  • Cross-listing of courses that will allow WMU graduate students to take law classes and law students to take graduate courses, with each earning credits toward their respective degree programs.
  • Dual courses that will be team-taught by faculty at both schools.

Watch the Jan. 19, 2016 WMU/WMU-Cooley Jan. 19, 2016 Signing Ceremony

 

 

 

http://wwmt.com/news/local/wmu-thomas-m-cooley-law-school-presidents-sign-agreements

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WMU-Cooley’s Bar Passage Rates Continue to Exceed ABA Requirements

Cooley President and Dean, Don LeDuc

Cooley President and Dean, Don LeDuc

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s President and Dean, Don LeDuc, publishes commentaries on our website about the Law School, legal education, legal employment, and related topics.  This post summarizes President LeDuc’s updated commentary that teaches us about the ABA’s bar exam passage rate standards and demonstrates that the Law School continues to exceed those standards.

Much has been written recently about ABA bar exam passage rate standards.  Because so many of the commentators are ill-informed about how the standards work, WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc has published a commentary on the topic.  He clearly demonstrates how WMU-Cooley meets the ABA standards.

ABA Standard 316 provides two alternative criteria to determine bar passage compliance by a school.  If either is met, the school complies with the standard.  WMU-Cooley of course meets both criteria.

The Ultimate Pass Standard is met if (1) cumulatively across the last five calendar years, 75% of the school’s graduates sitting for a bar exam passed it or (2) during any three of the last five calendar years, 75% of the school’s graduates sitting for a bar exam passed it.  The relevant time period is 2010-2014, as the 2015 bar results are not final.

On the Michigan bar, WMU-Cooley surpassed the 75% standard every year, with the highest ultimate rate being achieved by the 2010 cohort of students at 94%.  Further, our 85% cumulative rate for 2010-14 well exceeds the requirement.  And across for all jurisdictions, we have surpassed 75% in four of the last five years, and our cumulative ultimate rate of 81% is well above the standard.

The First-Time Pass Standard is met if, during any three of the last five calendar years, the school’s annual first-time bar passage rate in its jurisdictions is no more than 15 points below the average first-time bar passage rates for graduates of ABA-approved law schools taking the bar examination in the same jurisdictions.  This standard recognizes that the states differ on how hard to grade the bar exam.

We surpassed this standard in each of the five years.

Although we meet the ABA requirements, WMU-Cooley strongly desires to see improvement in our students’ bar passage rates.  We are actively working to accomplish that goal.

Read President LeDuc’s commentary in full.       

Click here for all of President LeDuc’s commentaries.

Scroll below to comment on President LeDuc’s commentary.

See us on the web at wmich.edu/law.

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Prof. Joe Kimble Is Right: In Legal Drafting Use the Word “Shall” at Your Peril

Robb PhotoJames D. Robb is Associate Dean of External Affairs and General Counsel at WMU-Cooley Law School.  

 

How often do you find the word “shall” in a contract or legislation you are reviewing? Have you wondered what precisely that word means? Or what the parties or legislature actually intended? Is “shall” a promise? Is it a command? Is it a declaration of determination? Is it a permissive term? Is its use clear to you?

Does it mean “must” as in a contractual promise?

 Seller shall maintain the property in good condition until closing.

Does it mean “will” as in a statement of future intent?

  I shall stop at the store on the way home from work.

Is it a statement of determination?

  I shall return!

Does it mean “may”?

  No pedestrian shall enter the intersection against the red traffic light.

Is it an invitation?

  Shall we go?

Obviously, the word “shall” has many meanings depending on the context. And often that context is clear. But consider what happens if the word shows up in a contract and is construed by a reviewing court to be ambiguous.

In fact, sloppy use of the word “shall” in a contract can be disastrous because a court that finds it ambiguous will construe it against the drafter. Our own Distinguished Professor Emeritus Joe Kimble, a leader of the plain language movement and one of the deans of America’s legal writing instructors, has pointed out how drafters use “shall” mindlessly. He has warned us that courts “read it any which way.” A recent important case bears him out, and even quotes him on the point.

In Orthopedic Specialists v. Allstate Insurance Company,  No. 4D14-287  (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.) (August 19, 2015), the Florida Court of Appeals held the word “shall” to be inherently unclear and ambiguous, particularly when used in the phrase “shall be subject to.” The court then construed the word against the insurer that wrote a policy for personal injury protection. Professor Kimble’s warning is quoted with approval in footnote 3 of the concurring opinion.

My abridged version of the Oxford Universal English Dictionary, published in 1937, devotes 23 column inches─more than two thirds of an entire page of blindingly tiny print─to the definition of “shall.”  That alone might suggest the word can be troublesome for those who need to draft with precision.

On a larger scale, Professor Kimble’s great book, Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please, demonstrates the undue cost and expense associated with forbidding, verbose, and unclear writing. I recommend it to you. In performing your own legal work, take his advice:  be precise. Write clearly and to the point. And when tempted to use “shall,” think again. Perhaps the words “must,” “will,” or “may” will more clearly, and more safely, express your intent.

Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please by Joseph KimbleProfessor Joseph Kimble

We welcome your comments by replying below.

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Graduation Speaker Believes in Miracles and Divine Perfection of the Universe

“Do you believe in miracles? If you do, then you have come to the right place today, and if you don’t believe in miracles, you have come to the right place, but you’re here at the wrong time, because in the next 20 minutes, you will be utterly and completely convinced that miracles can and do occur, and your life will be forever changed.” Catherine Groll, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School graduation speaker and 1992 WMU-Cooley graduate.

WMU-Cooley Graduation Speaker Catherine Groll

WMU-Cooley Graduation Speaker Catherine Groll

“If that completely scares you, or you are just totally not in the mood for yet ANOTHER life changing event, this might be a great time to go to the bathroom! The word miracle is derived from the Latin word miraculum, which is derived from mirari “to wonder.” A miracle is an event that provokes wonder. As such, it must be in some way extraordinary, unusual, or contrary to our expectations.

THE FIRST MIRACLE – SYNCHRONICITY

Let’s start with the miracle of all of us, being together at this time and place exactly. Do you ever marvel, just marvel, at the unbelievable complexity of events and pathways, and coincidental moments that had to take place to gather this particular group of people, all born at different times and different dates, from all over the world, from all walks of life? To bring us, each and every one, to the Wharton Center in East Lansing, Michigan, on a Sunday afternoon, a sacred conspiracy of some pre-ordained and pre-destined journey to the here and now. Together. You are all one foot away from your new life, as a law school graduate, and one foot in here from your old life, as a student. Once you walk out that door today, nothing will ever be the same.

Some of you may be very sure-footed and clear about what is going to happen and where you are going next. You may have a well-thought-out plan, and a great job lined up. You have no worries about paying bills or student loans and you are good to go. You people need to get a life – you have obviously been working overtime!

WMU-Cooley graduates celebrate their accomplishmen

WMU-Cooley graduates celebrate their accomplishment

Others of you, maybe many of you, may be hesitant to walk out that door, because reality waits, and the cold truth is – the picture is a little murky. Will you pass the bar? How will you pay everyone back? What if you don’t get a job? What if no miracles happen? Well, I believe in the Divine Perfection of the Universe, so we should probably move on to Miracle Number 2 before you start to panic about that whole student loan thing.

THE SECOND MIRACLE – AGAINST ALL ODDS – HOW DID YOU GET HERE?

Take some time today to take stock and reflect on the very personal and hard-fought journey that brought you here. What has your path been? How unlikely was it that you would be here today? Weren’t there naysayers and disbelievers when you said you were going to law school? Weren’t there financial concerns? What were your challenges along the way? What did you overcome? Weren’t there moments when you wanted to quit and you doubted yourself and you said, “ I can’t do this anymore.”

But you did. You persevered. And look around you. These brothers and sisters in arms – It is instant family, an unbreakable bond. You are now part of a community of people who have gone on to literally change the world. Governors and senators, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, mavericks and rebels, game changers and visionaries, everyone of them a graduate of this school.

I have known since I was 10 years old that I wanted to be a lawyer.

  • First, if you told me the sky was blue, I wanted to know what your basis was for that conclusion, why you insisted on imposing your opinion about the sky on me in a discriminatory fashion, and what was your definition of the word ‘sky.’ Basically, I was every mother’s nightmare child! Fortunately, I fell in love with a man named Perry Mason who was a TV lawyer and he could whip the world into truth and justice in the space of one hour.
  • Second, my father died of medical malpractice, due to a missed cancer diagnosis, and learning that negligence could kill people scarred me in a permanent way.
  • Third, my mother gave me a Black’s Law Dictionary for my 18th birthday and encouraged me to go and ask a local attorney, who was well known as a rabble-rouser, if I could come and work for him. I went and he took me under his wing. It was there that I first learned about the inequality and injustice that occurred with the immigrant population in New Mexico and it deeply affected me, and I saw that the law was a powerful tool in the hands of the right people.
  • Fourth, and this is completely just between you and me, I was quite the juvenile delinquent. I dropped out of high school in 11th grade, took my GED, dropped out of college. I was going to be a rock star, toured with a very bad garage band.

I was not very focused and easily distracted – but somehow I managed to graduate respectably from college and started working as a legal assistant, which helped me get back on track about applying to law school. I signed up to take the LSAT. I did not study. They did not have prep classes like they do now. The night before, I was very irresponsible, went out with friends, partied too much, and barely made it to the test. I was hung over and late and I really had no idea what I was in for. I had never done a single thing to prepare for this momentous exam which was about to determine the course of my life. So you can imagine what went through my head when I read this first question, which was supposedly (allegedly) testing my logical analysis skills.

There are eight people in a line at the bank. It is a cold, snowy day. Three of the people have on scarfs and one of the scarfs has the color blue in it. One of the eight is sneezing. The second and seventh persons in line are holding wallets. The only man in line has on a yellow hat. One of them took Bus Route number six. Which one had oatmeal for breakfast?

Wait. What??? Whoa, I am in some serious trouble here. Holy crap. If this is what law school is all about, I am way out of my league. First of all, I don’t even eat oatmeal. And I am not proud of what happened next, and I truly hope that the statute of limitations has run with the Character and Fitness committee, but I panicked, and made the only decision I could think of at the time. I would just randomly fill out the dots with a number two pencil. And that is exactly what I did. Unbelievably, I miraculously passed, but just barely. I applied to only three law schools, and made the waiting list at one of them. But none of that is the real miracle. The real miracle is what happened next.

In my mailbox a few week later was what can only be described as a love letter from WMU-Cooley Law School. In essence, it said, ‘We know you’re the kind of girl who doesn’t follow the rules. Hey, neither do we. You want to follow the road less traveled, well, we are blazing the trail. We’ve got options – we are redefining who gets to be a lawyer in this country – we are opening the doors. You can come part-time, you can come full-time. You want to do weekends or nights so you can keep your day job? Not a problem. You don’t have to be rich, white or come from an Ivy League school, just be who you are, and let us give you the opportunity of a lifetime.’

Well, sign me up!! They were playing my song. And I am here to tell you that everything amazing and wonderful in my life started the day I came to Cooley. And I did have the opportunity of a lifetime, and my friends, so do you!!

And I am going to bet that you have a similar story to mine about getting here. Maybe this wasn’t the school you originally picked out, maybe you never heard of Lansing, Michigan, maybe going to law school was something you decided to do because you lost a bet or got turned down at med school. Why you got here doesn’t matter so much right now as the fact that you WERE here and ARE here now. Trace those steps and stops and starts, and the twists and the turns. Follow that road map that brought you here, one step at a time, and see if you don’t believe, like I do, that it was a miracle.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There is always, always room for one more good lawyer in the world. So get out there, spread your star dust, and welcome to your miraculous life. As my friend Bob Marley said : ‘And don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright!’

Catherine Groll

Catherine Groll

Catherine Groll is a trial attorney with The Mike Morse Law Firm, the largest personal injury law firm in the State of Michigan. She has practiced as a litigator for 22 years and taught at WMU-Cooley as an adjunct professor for 12 years, receiving the Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award for excellence in teaching in 2010. She also received the Camille S. Abood Distinguished Volunteer Award in 2012. In 2013, she taught the first Tort Law class at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Cambodia, and taught evidence law and critical thinking to new judges.

 

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