Category Archives: Student News

Open Forums on Policing Build New Community Relationships and Create Economic Benefits

“We don’t want to do Detroit again when 50 years later the city still hasn’t fully recovered,” stated one participant during one of several open forums on police and community relations held at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus this summer. Participants not only found the forums revealing, they heard things that they hadn’t heard before, from people whom they did not yet know. They also disclosed things that they hadn’t shared in a long time if at all. In doing so, they made significant new relationships while changing old relationships for the better.

flag

Every forum also asked whether these gatherings, held here and across the nation, make any difference.

Failed police/community relations carry huge social and economic cost. Residents want peace and order without the sense of an oppressive occupying force. Police officers want to return home alive and uninjured, with the respect of those for whose security they risk their lives. Somewhere in that tense mix, communities find themselves torn by deadly police/resident conflict.

Forums recognized that communities tear themselves apart with resident-on-resident violence of domestic, drug-gang, mental-illness, terrorist, and other variety. They also recognized that every occupation, policing or otherwise, has its dangerous kooks and that no solution is likely to eliminate all such horrors. The forums also concluded that police have a higher duty, one that police seem fully ready to accept. One awful incident is too many, especially when the stakes so quickly spread beyond that one precious life to other lives affected by breakdowns in police/community relations.

BLSA-police-discussion-2

Fortunately, law is action logic, not simply group therapy, as helpful as talking can be for relationships, understanding, and even peace of mind. Law wants peace in neighborhoods, real peace of the physical-security kind, but with liberty, not the peace of an occupying force. So what do these forums produce?

First, we recognize new trends and circumstances. Increased access to concealed-weapon permits is one example, as are changes in local and national economies, family structure, and mental-health resources. Law and policing must recognize and respond to those changes, just as they currently are doing. Keep talking about those changes.

Second, we see the influence of new technologies, particularly smartphone video, body cameras, and social media, but also new body armor, tasers, and other disabling and protective devices. With video in particular, we now so rapidly share compelling recordings, often made all the more compelling by the unfortunate fact that they may be critically incomplete. We need to monitor and deploy these new technologies while recognizing their challenges and limitations. Judge surely, but don’t rush to judgment.

Third, we have abundant new data, some of it in those very same recordings and social-media accounts but also in digitalized hospital records of police-injury reports and records maintained and distributed by the police agencies themselves. We also find that the data is critically incomplete. While scholars are hard at work discerning patterns and trends from what data we have, we need more and better data. It’s coming. Encourage it.

Fourth, we find familiar stressors for both community and police alike. Veterans returning from undeclared wars reenter communities and join local police forces, bringing their trauma with them. Neighborhoods produce their own battle-like stresses. Medicine offers new testing and therapies for stress-induced conditions. We need to take greater advantage of those resources.

Fifth, we find opportunities for new policies, protocols, and practices, guiding officer training, rotation, relief, and testing, how to respond to citizens lawfully carrying concealed weapons, and of course when and how to intervene using reasonable and necessary force.

Talk may be cheap, but talk can work, as these themes emerge and actions follow.

I once represented in a civil-rights action a young man whom an officer shot in the back while the young man lay defenseless on the ground with his hands behind his back. I have a low opinion of human nature but high opinion of human capacity. My hope is that in talking, studying, and law reform, young men like that former client of mine will not have been shot. Let’s keep talking using words and forming relationships that promote peace, law, security, liberty, respect, and order, not violence. Let communities then flourish.

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 teaches law classes on the Kalamazoo, Michigan campus of Western Michigan University.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooley's Great Locations, Ethics, Faculty Scholarship, Latest News and Updates, Student News, Uncategorized

WMU-Cooley Students Witness British History

WMU-Cooley law students are spending part of their summer in Oxford, England. They are participating in a five-week study abroad program housed at Hertford College at the University of Oxford. The students are taking full advantage of this experience and have packed a lot into their days and weekends. They are engaged in stimulating classes taught by world class international law professors and learning about Britain.

13615302_10209152635306523_2654795057076726373_n (1)

Here are some highlights:

1.  A trip to Middle Temple in London where students dined in the elegant building that has been a home to the British legal profession since the 14th Century.  Five signers of the Declaration of Independence were members.
2.  A trip to Bath to see the spa the Romans built in AD 60.
3.  Concerts at the centuries old Sheldonian Theater, Christ Church Chapel, and Exeter College Chapel, and a visit to the Museum of Natural History.
4.  Touring London on a double decker bus:  Students learned much from the locals as they helped to translate across the cultures.  Did you know adhesive bandages are called “plasters” in England?

5.  And being present for a moment in British history.  The immediate aftermath of Brexit and the election of Britain’s second female prime minister.  A lot has been learned by speaking with British citizens and listening to the BBC coverage.

WMU-Cooley has enjoyed its time in Great Britain and will remember these historic events.

vuletich_victoriaWMU-Cooley Law School Victoria Vuletich is directing the law school’s Study Abroad program in Toronto. She and her students are sharing their experiences throughout the 2016 summer semester.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faculty Scholarship, Student News, study abroad, Uncategorized

Everyone is a Kid on Cooley for Kids Day!

This July, WMU-Cooley Law School hosted its 16th annual Cooley for Kids Day. It was another sunny, perfect day. Hundred of kids shared in the festivities of the day, including the traditional parade around the outfield, pre-ceremony activities, and an afternoon to relax and take in a Lansing Lugnuts ball game.   

kids

What was unclear was who was having more fun – the kids or the law students! 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Everything about the day is about the kids. But the fun begins well before the actual day. Kids spend the weeks before Cooley for Kids Day designing amazing and colorful student-made banners, all to be proudly displayed during the walk around the outfield as part of the parade festivities.

Kids are asked early in the summer to write essays for the chance to be selected for the nine-person Dream Team. Winning team members, nine kids and nine law students, get to run together from the dugout to their designated ball player on the field before game start. A child and a law student also get to throw out a first pitch as part of the pre-game celebration. This year, Andrea Woods was the law student who had the privilege to sing the national anthem.

After the Dream Team runs off the field, the children receive a gift bag from WMU-Cooley, then join the rest of the kids to spend the afternoon taking in a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game, which includes lunch and a memento of the day. Law students get to join other faculty and staff in the Owner’s Suite to enjoy the game and lunch, and a well-deserved break from their studies.20160725_114316-COLLAGE

Every year, we look forward to Cooley for Kids Day.  It’s always an amazing, fun time, and we know we can count on a beautiful day with great weather. After all, in 16 years we are batting a thousand!

Leave a comment

Filed under Student Experiences, Student News, Uncategorized

Law Student Reflects on Muhammed Ali: Heavy Weight Champion in Life, Not Just the Boxing Ring

Saad, a WMU-Cooley law student belonging to to Michigan’s Democratic Caucus and Unity Center, was invited to attend, along with other community leaders, Muhammed Ali’s funeral ceremony at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. He would have the privilege to meet and interact with special keynote speakers and foreign dignitaries. This kind of rare, historical experience is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity – in law school and in life. Saad didn’t need to think twice.

“I must admit, it was truly an amazing, breathtaking, surreal and humbling experience to be in the presence of such profound, prolific, reputable and world renowned historical leaders and other notable celebrities. People of all faiths, colors, creed were present to pay their respects to the Greatest of All Time.”

Saad went on to praise the 3-time heavyweight champion’s contributions to society.  “He was a  true humanitarian who spent the entire span of his life building bridges between different faiths and cultures.” Creating bridges instead of barriers is the culture embraced in his WMU-Cooley Law School community too.

“The entire experience was exceptional and unreal,” reflected Saad. He was able to offer his condolences to Muhammed Ali’s immediate family members, including his brother, wife, Lonnie, daughter Leila, and other childhood buddies.

“In accordance with the Islamic burial custom, Muhammed Ali’s casket was brought into the Freedom Hall for a prayer service,” shared Saad. “There were close to 14,000 guests simultaneously chanting in Arabic, ‘There is no God, but the one and only incomparable God of Abraham.'”

saad - muhammad ali funeral

Saad remembered writing a biographical report on the Rev. Jesse Jackson in elementary school. “It was a dream come true to meet the man who participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches organized by James Bevel, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders in Alabama. Rev. Jackson, to me, is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician, including a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988.”

saad - jesse jackson

“It’s not every day that one gets to bid farewell to the People’s Champ and sit down with civil rights leaders like Rev. Jesse Jackson,” shared Saad. “I shook his hand and he hugged me – and we shared a conversation. I was honored and humbled to be in the presence of so many role models that I admired growing up.”

20160620_160326

1 Comment

Filed under Student Experiences, Student News, Uncategorized

Righting Wrongs: Michigan Senate Takes First Step Toward Compensating Wrongfully Convicted Michigan Citizens.

This week Mr. Davontae Sanford was exonerated for a crime he didn’t commit. In 2008, Mr. Sanford was convicted at age 14, after his false confession led to his guilty plea to 2nd degree murder. Only one problem: he didn’t commit the crime.

WMU-Cooley Innocence Project Director Marla Mitchell-Cichon (center) and her team of interns are paving the way to right the wrongs in the criminal justice system. WMU interns: (left to right): Shay Wright, Erika Donner, Ashley Chlebek, Terry Huhn

WMU-Cooley Innocence Project Director Marla Mitchell-Cichon (center) and her team of interns are paving the way to right the wrongs in the criminal justice system. WMU interns: (left to right): Shay Wright, Erika Donner, Ashley Chlebek, Terry Huhn

Shortly after Mr. Sanford’s sentencing hearing, one of the true perpetrators, Vince Smothers told police he committed the crime. But Mr. Sanford’s conviction was not overturned until he was 23, nine years after his conviction. In a press conference on Thursday, Mr. Sanford said, “It’s over. I’m out. That’s all I wanted was my freedom.” But doesn’t this man who went to prison as a child deserve more?

That’s the focus of Senate Bill 291, a law that provides compensation ($50,000 for each year of imprisonment) to wrongfully convicted Michigan citizens. For as many years as Mr. Sanford has been incarcerated, Senator Steve Bieda, the bill’s sponsor, has worked tirelessly for a fair and just compensation law. While Mr. Sanford was enjoying his first full day of freedom, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 291, the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act.

Thirty states, the District of Columbia and the federal government have similar laws. Michigan’s law will provide much needed financial support and services to men and women who never should have spent a day in prison. The Senate vote means the bill will move on to the House of Representatives.

Dear House Members: Mr. Sanford deserves more.


Related bills:

No tax on compensation, SB 860, introduced by Senator David Roberson.

Wrap Around Services Bill, SB 1028, introduced today by Senator Steve Bieda.


mitchellcichon_marlaBlog author, Marla Mitchell-Cichon, is the director of WMU-Cooley Law School’s Innocence Project.  Professor Mitchell-Cichon has extensive practice experience in criminal and poverty law. Her litigation experience includes practicing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Ohio Supreme Court, and trial courts in both Ohio and Michigan. She joined WMU-Cooley Law School in July 1995 and also teaches in the Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic and Professional Responsibility.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faculty Scholarship, Latest News and Updates, Student News, Uncategorized, WMU-Cooley Innocence Project

The Top 5 Pitfalls of Both Law Students and Lawyers

Law students in Tampa Bay learned some important tips and information from area attorneys during a panel discussion called, “A Guide to Avoiding Issues with The Board of Bar Examiners and The Florida Bar: The Top 5 Pitfalls of Both Law Students and Lawyers.” 

(Left to right) Jeffrey Martlew, WMU-Cooley associate dean; Jazmin Shorter, president of WMU-Cooley BLSA; WMU-Cooley Professor Renalia DuBose; Donald Smith, partner with Smith, Tozian, Daniel & Davis, P.A.; Keshara Cowans, Florida Bar Counsel; and Amy Bandow, assistant director of WMU-Cooley's Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism

(Left to right) Jeffrey Martlew, WMU-Cooley associate dean; Jazmin Shorter, president of WMU-Cooley BLSA; WMU-Cooley Professor Renalia DuBose; Donald Smith, partner with Smith, Tozian, Daniel & Davis, P.A.; Keshara Cowans, Florida Bar Counsel; and Amy Bandow, assistant director of WMU-Cooley’s Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism

It was a unique opportunity to talk with a prosecutor from The Florida Bar and an attorney who represents applicants seeking bar admission. Guest speakers were Keshara Cowans, bar counsel for the Florida Bar, and Donald A. Smith, partner of Smith, Tozian, Daniel and Davis. They are involved in a case as opposing counsels, but together presented advice on how to avoid issues with The Board of Bar Examiners and The Florida Bar, and on how to achieve success as an attorney.

Ms. Cowans’ top five wrong answers are:

  1. Trust Account- Don’t pay attention to it!
  2. Professionalism- Who needs it?
  3. Clients- If they can walk in the door, they qualify!
  4. Communication- Not my job!
  5. Social Media- Say whatever you want!

Mr. Smith’s  top five pitfalls for Florida Bar Applicants:

  1. Lack of Candor
  2. Academic and Student Misconduct/Discipline
  3. Unlawful Conduct
  4. Financial Irresponsibility
  5. Drug/Alcohol Dependency

Donald A. Smith, Jr. is a partner with the firm of Smith, Tozian, Daniel & Davis, P.A., in Tampa, Florida. He received his law degree from Stetson in 1978. He formerly worked as Assistant Staff Counsel with The Florida Bar and as an Assistant State Attorney. Since 1983, he has primarily represented attorneys in Bar grievance proceedings and law firm disputes; has represented judges in Judicial Qualifications Commission proceedings; has represented applicants for admission to the Bar; and has been qualified as an expert in matters involving legal ethics and fee disputes. Mr. Smith is rated AV Preeminent, and is a former chair of the Hillsborough County Family Law Ethics Committee and the Family Law Judicial Liaison Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and is admitted to the Middle District Court of Florida, County Bar Association and Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He has spoken on numerous occasions at legal and ethics seminars throughout the state, including various sections of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association and Stetson University College of Law.

Keshara Cowans received both her undergraduate degree (B.S. Criminology 2004) and her law degree (J.D. 2007) from Florida State University.  She currently works as Bar Counsel for The Florida Bar in Orlando, Florida.  As bar counsel, she is responsible for the investigation of complaints against attorneys accused of violating the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. She handles all phases of the disciplinary trial including filing appellate briefs with the Florida Supreme Court. Ms. Cowans currently serves on the board of directors for the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Young Lawyers Section of the Orange County Bar Association. She is a Justice Teaching volunteer at Carver Middle School, serves as a judge for the annual high school statewide Mock Trial, as well as We the People competitions.  In 2011, Ms. Cowans was recognized by the National Bar Association and Impact as one of the Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40. In 2013, she was recognized by the Florida State University Alumni Association as one of the university’s “Thirty Under 30” for her significant contributions to her profession and community.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faculty Scholarship, Latest News and Updates, Student Experiences, Student News, Uncategorized

Law students experience life in the big city of Melbourne

Law students on the WMU-Cooley Down Under study abroad program are now experiencing life in the big city of Melbourne, Australia – and loving it! Melbourne is a city of 4 million people, and you can feel the vibe on the streets, in streetcars and on trains. You can see it all around – in the markets, by the river, in the buildings, and everywhere. 

city scape

We toured the city far and wide, and up and down.

veritcal shots

The Monash law faculty building is located in the heart of the legal district of the city. The school is a block away from most of the Victoria courts.  It is common to see barristers, in black robes and white wigs, walking around.  Students visited the Victoria Parliament, seat of the state of Victoria.  Students even got to sit in the Speaker’s chair and hold the mace, where they used to open sessions of the lower house (and occasionally to remove non-conforming members).

The law students visited the upper chamber, which is decked out in red velvet and gold leaf.  They saw the most beautiful law library I have ever seen.

court images

Students also visited the Dandenong Mountains, where they hiked, fed large cockatoo parrots, and had some tea. They rode on Puffing Billy, a steam engine train, in the mountains.  They visited Healesville Sanctuary, where they saw Kookaburras, Kangaroos, and Koalas, as well as many birds and a duck-billed platypus. They visited a winery and a chocolaterie/ice creamery.

puffing billy

Students have plunged into coursework that is challenging, and are working hard. Professors John Duns, Leighton Morris, and Emmanuel Laryea are helping students understand international law related to Banking, Competition, and the Australian Legal System. Students and faculty alike are taking in their studies and all the city has to offer – from sun up to sun down. Can’t wait to see what more is in store in the big and beautiful city of Melbourne!

day and night

oleary_kimberlyWMU-Cooley Law School Professor Kimberly E. O’Leary is directing the law school’s foreign study program in New Zealand and Australia. She and her students are sharing their experiences throughout the Hilary 2016 semester. She and her Down Under study abroad students are now in Australia after spending the first part of the term taking classes in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faculty Scholarship, Student News, study abroad, Uncategorized

Law students settle into New Zealand life, land and law classes

“It is the beginning of a new year and an academic adventure for WMU-Cooley students in our Down Under Program!” – Down Under Director Kimberly O’Leary

new_zealand

It’s been a great 2016 so far! Law students arrived at the beginning of the year, and they have settled nicely into their rooms on the campus of University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. Our first class was held on January 4, but unlike Michigan, the New Zealand landscape is full of fragrant flowers, green ferns and flourishing trees. It is in the prime of summer Down Under!

Students happily launched into their courses, such as Introduction to New Zealand Legal System with local co-director Cheryl Green, Comparative Chinese & Common Law Systems, with Professor Zhixiong “Leo” Liao, Indigenous Rights in Action with Valmaine Toki, while I teach Equity & Remedies to the law students. After just one week, our understanding of parliamentary, Chinese civil code/Communist party and indigenous systems has blossomed, just like the beautiful local flora!

We have also learned about a democracy where the Constitution isn’t written down and the importance of conventions and customs. In addition to studying and participating in classes, students have had time to explore Hamilton, including the outstanding Hamilton Gardens, the Riverwalk and the Hamilton Zoo. The students especially enjoyed feeding lemurs and a white rhinocerous at the zoo!

Over a weekend, students, faculty and family members fit in an excursion to Raglan, one of the best surfing beaches in the world and home of the famous black sand. After traveling through mountains to arrive, we viewed Bridal Veil Falls, which put on quite a show after holiday rains, and then we took a harbor cruise into the Raglan Bay, where we were served fish and chips. ­­The local co-director, Cheryl Green, has taken on a special role shepherding this American flock as we navigate through Aotearoa – the Maori name for New Zealand – which means, “land of the long white cloud.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Kimberly E. O'Leary

Kimberly E. O’Leary

WMU-Cooley Law School Professor Kimberly E. O’Leary directs the law school’s Study Abroad program in New Zealand and Australia. She, along with her law students are sharing their experiences throughout the Hilary 2016 semester.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooley's Great Locations, Student News, study abroad, Uncategorized

WMU-Cooley Law School Prepares a Day of Dedication to the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we approach what would have been the 87th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 15, it is a privilege to once again honor the memory of the slain civil rights leader. As the law school has done for the past several years, WMU-Cooley will suspend classes on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. In place of the day’s normal schedule, a variety of activities are being planned at each of the law school’s campuses to pay homage to the life and work of Dr. King.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. presents his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. presents his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963

In Lansing and Tampa Bay, the law school will hold its annual day of service in which students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in service projects benefiting the community. In Grand Rapids, activities will include an essay contest where participants will be invited to write six-word essays on Dr. King and his impact on the nation. At the school’s Auburn Hills campus, a panel featuring community activists, law enforcement officials, criminal defense attorneys, and the ACLU, will discuss “Death by Police: Justifiable Homicide or Excessive Use of Force.”

During the week, students will also be invited to take the Pro Bono Pledge and consider how pro bono service will enhance their legal careers.

As we celebrate Dr. King’s life and work, it is worth revisiting his famous “I Have a Dream” speech given in Washington, D.C., on August 23, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Dr. King gave an earlier version of the speech in Detroit in June 1963. Nearly everyone knows about the famous speech, but one must read it in its entirety to understand its power, its majesty, and the force and  urgency that it still carries today.

Dr. King’s estate, which holds the copyright to the speech, has licensed it so that it can be read and heard. WMU-Cooley Law School urges you to read and listen to it:  I Have a Dream. For more information about Dr. King’s speech, to obtain a copy of the video, or to read more about Dr. King, we recommend that you go to Martin Luther King Online and to the website of  The King Center.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooley's Great Locations, Faculty Scholarship, Knowledge, Skills, Ethics, Latest News and Updates, Student News, Uncategorized

Helping hand: Law student collects bottled water for Flint

Robert St. Cin

Robert St. Cin

WMU-Cooley Law student Robert St. Cin rounded up several classmates and faculty to help Flint in its health emergency caused by high lead content in the water.

“I love Flint – I’ve lived in many different places but Flint is my home and that’s why I wanted to help,” St. Cin explains. “The best way I could think to help was by reaching out to the Cooley community and, as expected, that community came through in a big way. We were able to collect around 175 bottles of water in just a few weeks, which went to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. The Food Bank does great work across numerous Michigan counties but the bulk of its efforts go toward Genesee County.

“What made the water drive so great in my mind was that it took place in the midst of Cooley’s Thanksgiving Food Drive. The fact that each of these events was so successful, even with a fairly small student population, is an incredible testament to the generosity of the Cooley community.

“It may seem cliché but the people really are the highlight of Cooley, especially at the Auburn Hills campus,” says St. Cin, a second year law student at Cooley. “Whether students, staff, or faculty, our campus is filled with genuinely good people from a variety of backgrounds and with a sincere desire to help one another.”

A graduate of Flushing High School in Flushing, northwest of Flint, St. Cin attended Anderson University in Indiana before earning his undergrad degree from the University of Michigan-Flint where he attained Dean’s List distinction. He served as secretary of the U-M-Flint Entrepreneur’s Society that has worked closely with Habitat for Humanity in Flint in developing an award-winning work/live initiative.

“The program allows for individuals to own a building, which houses both their home and business,” St. Cin explains.

St. Cin, who started his legal studies at WMU-Cooley in May 2014, was motivated by the fact that neither of his parents graduated from high school.

“I saw the struggle that can come with limited schooling – I think it’s fair to say that’s really pushed me,” he says. “I’ve always enjoyed negotiation and working towards the most amicable compromise in a given situation, so law school really seems like a natural fit.”

A member of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, St. Cin is working part time at Chowning, Edgar, & Wagner in Grand Blanc near Flint.

“I’ve aided in legal research, participated in trial preparation, and typed countless legal documents,” he says. “Though some of my responsibilities aren’t glamorous, the experience of working first-hand with knowledgeable, dedicated attorneys has been invaluable.”

As for future career goals, St. Cin has a wide range of interests.

“I could easily see myself happy and fulfilled following any number of paths,” he says. “That said, serving as a judge or magistrate certainly makes the short list.”

St. Cin’s time in leadership with Cooley’s Sports & Entertainment Law Society has been a bit different than that of the U-M Flint Entrepreneur’s Society.

“Because sports and entertainment are fields built around networking, that’s been the emphasis,” he explains.

Earlier this year, the society hosted Flint native Patrick McInnis, CEO of Fathead, a Detroit-based company that specializes in life-size vinyl wall graphics, who discussed the importance of networking.

“The event was a tremendous success and really set a high bar for the organization going forward,” St. Cin says.

As president of the Sports & Entertainment Law Society, St. Cin jokes that he has an obligation to love sports and music.

“I was never the greatest athlete, nor musician, but I know an unhealthy amount of trivia relating to both,” he says. “The same can be said for movies and TV. I know more useless facts about music of the mid ’90s than anyone should know.”

St. Cin and his wife recently bought their first home in Grand Blanc.

“I married my best friend,” he says. “She supports me and pushes me to be better than I expected I could. I recently made Dean’s List for the first time at Cooley and there’s no way that would’ve happened without her.”

While he has given back to the community in many ways, including volunteering with Easter Seals, a major highlight for St. Cin was as a Special Olympics coach while attending school in Indiana. He worked with Mitch, a small, middle-aged man with Down syndrome. The two were walking around the outdoor track when it began to rain.

“I wasn’t wearing a coat and Mitch saw me begin to shiver,” he says. “Without warning, he wraps me in a hug and says, ‘Are you warm yet?’ It was such a small gesture but a great reminder of the reward that comes from helping others.”

Sheila Pursglove story is reprinted with permission from the Legal News

Leave a comment

Filed under Student News, Student News, Achievements, Awards, Uncategorized