Thomas M. Cooley Law School-Visiting Professor position

06 Oct 2011 9:19 PM | Deleted user

Cooley Law School seeks to hire a full-time Visiting Professor for its Grand Rapids, Michigan campus, to direct the Access to Justice Clinic. 

The professor will have the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of faculty status.  Responsibilities include teaching, service, and scholarship.  The professor will contribute to the implementation of Cooley’s Mission, Strategic Plan, Professionalism Plan, and other commitments. 

The primary responsibility is to direct the Access to Justice Clinic.  The clinic provides experiential learning opportunities for students and free legal representation to low-income clients in civil matters that do not qualify for representation by Legal Services programs. The caseload emphasizes family and consumer law.  The director will supervise students enrolled for credit, a staff attorney, and support staff.   The director will also meet with students, one on one and in small groups, to provide academic assistance and referrals, curriculum support, and professional and career development.  He or she will support student organizations, competitions, and co-curricular activities, serve on faculty committees, support local, state, and national bars, participate in pro-bono service, and promote student service and professionalism events and activities.  The professor will be expected to write scholarly and/or practical books, articles, essays, or reviews contributing to the scholarship of law, practice, teaching, and legal education and the legal profession, while supporting and participating in the scholarly work of others. 

The candidate will begin on a one-year visitor contract anticipating conversion to tenure track after performance evaluation.  The school will assign the professor to the faculty’s Clinic Department teaching primarily in the Access to Justice Clinic.  Assignments are at the school’s discretion.  The professor may also teach other courses.  The Associate Dean of Faculty supervises this position supported by the Grand Rapids Campus Associate Dean and the Associate Dean of Planning Programs and Assessment.

Cooley Law School’s mission is to prepare our graduates for entry into the legal profession, and practical legal scholarship is our guiding principle and focus.  That mission can be summed up in three words - knowledge, skills, and ethics.  Our goal is to provide our students with the knowledge required for passage of the bar examination and the practice of law; the skills required to competently practice law and represent their clients; and the ethical values necessary to fulfill their responsibilities as lawyers.  Our vision is to remain the best at preparing students for practice and to be a leader in innovation.

Cooley Law School has a diverse clinical legal education program which includes the Access to Justice Clinic, Sixty-Plus Elder Law Clinic, two Estate Planning Clinics, the Family Law Assistance Project, the Innocence Project, the Public Sector Law Clinic, the Kent County Public Defender’s Clinic and the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Clinic. Law students in all our in-house programs represent clients under the Michigan student practice rule under the supervision of faculty and staff attorneys who are experienced practitioners.  In addition, Cooley has an extensive externship program.   

QUALIFICATIONS.  Qualified applicants must have a J.D. degree, be licensed to practice law in Michigan (or gain admittance to the Michigan bar through reciprocity), have practiced law for a minimum of five years, and be a member in good standing with their state bar.  Preferred applicants will also have experience working with law students in a clinical or externship setting or teaching in skills classes, and experience with general civil litigation, including family law experience. The applicant’s record should demonstrate good lawyering skills, strong teaching abilities, and communication and interpersonal skills essential for a clinical professor.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter.  The cover letter should identify the applicant's qualifications and relevant experience as outlined in the previous paragraph.  The letter should also contain a statement of how the applicant will help us carry out our mission. Please e-mail these materials to or send a copy to Mr. Scott Harrison, Director of Human Resources, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, P. O. Box 13038, Lansing, MI  48901-3038.  Resumes will be accepted through October 30, 2011. 

Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an equal opportunity employer that complies with all federal, state, and local employment laws.  It actively seeks and supports all qualified candidates including diverse candidates from under-represented populations to ensure that all hiring decisions are made through an inclusive process and from diverse candidate pools.


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