Spring 2014

All Articles in This Issue

Luke Cooperrider, ’48 Luke Cooperrider, ’48

In Memoriam Spring 2014

Professor Luke Cooperrider, ’48

Professor Emeritus Luke K. Cooperrider, ’48, died December 25, 2013, at the age of 95. He was born in rural Ohio and earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard before serving in the Signal Corps during World War II. Cooperrider met his wife, Ginny, who preceded him in death in 2007, when he was stationed in Hawaii.

The Hon. William McClain, ’37 The Hon. William McClain, ’37

In Memoriam Spring 2014

The Hon. William McClain

The Law School lost its oldest African American alumnus on February 4, 2014, when the Hon. William McClain, ’37, HLLD ’02, died in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was 101. 

Professor Joseph Sax Professor Joseph Sax

In Memoriam Spring 2014

Professor Joseph Sax

Joseph Sax, a pioneer of environmental law, died March 9, 2014, at the age of 78. He was a professor of law at Michigan from 1966 to 1986. Although he later joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, he said of Michigan, “It is the place where I grew and prospered professionally, and it shall always be my intellectual home.” 

Barbara McQuade speaking in a conference room with meeting attendees Barbara McQuade speaking in a conference room with meeting attendees

Cover Story Spring 2014

Prosecution and Prevention

 U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, ’91, began her tenure with a would-be underwear-bomber trying to blow up a plane over her district a day after she was confirmed by the Senate. Then, office’s successful prosecution of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick made headlines around the world. But there’s much more to her work than enforcement and prosecution. 

Judge Steven Rhodes, '73 Judge Steven Rhodes, '73

Cover Story Spring 2014

Steven Rhodes, ’73: Guitar-playing Bankruptcy Judge Tuned in to the People

“There is no requirement that a bankruptcy judge has to listen to individuals who are represented by (lawyers),” says former bankruptcy Judge Ray Reynolds Graves, who worked with Judge Steven Rhodes for 17 years. “Steve put that to one side and had the retirees come into court and address him personally. Listening to people who could be adversely affected by having their pensions cut—that tells you something about the man’s sensitivities.” 

Michigan Law students walking through Detroit Michigan Law students walking through Detroit

Cover Story Spring 2014

Katy Locker, ’02: Boosting Quality of Life in Detroit

Katy Locker, ’02, likes being part of the conversation about making a difference in her community. And she gets to do just that as the Detroit program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which provides grants for ideas that promote quality journalism and media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. 

Michigan Law Students walking through Detroit Michigan Law Students walking through Detroit

Cover Story

JDs in the D: Michigan Law Students Discover Detroit’s Appeal

Changing people’s perceptions of Detroit is part of the mission of JDs in the D, a volunteer group of law students. Through visits to the city, events at the Law School, and partnerships with Detroit-based organizations, JDs in the D shows law students that there are good reasons to consider living and working in Detroit after graduation. 

Young girl hugging her father Young girl hugging her father

Features Spring 2014

Detroit Center for Family Advocacy: Keeping Families Together

The Detroit Center for Family Advocacy (CFA), founded by Vivek Sankaran, ’01, a clinical professor of law in the Law School’s Child Advocacy Law Clinic, works like this: An attorney from the center partners with a social worker and family advocate to remove legal barriers and safety risks that otherwise might cause a child to be put in the foster care system. 

An alumni speaking at a 2014 reunion event An alumni speaking at a 2014 reunion event

@UMICHLAW Spring 2014

Future Law Professors Workshop Helps Legal Academics Find their Footing

The Future Law Professors Workshop, now in its third year, allows attendees to meet up with Michigan Law faculty and fellow alumni who are interested in teaching. “The Future Law Professors Workshop provided an invaluable opportunity to reconnect,” says Amna Akbar, ’04.

Dan Varner, ’94 meeting with Michigan Law Students Dan Varner, ’94 meeting with Michigan Law Students

Cover Story

Dan Varner, ’94: Fostering Excellence in Education

Formerly a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and CEO at Think Detroit PAL, Dan Varner, ’94, is the CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of education, government, community, and philanthropic leaders and organizations whose goal is to ensure an “excellent education for every child.”

Vivek S. Sankaran, ’01 Vivek S. Sankaran, ’01

@UMICHLAW Spring 2014

Sankaran Challenges Michigan’s One-Parent Doctrine

Since his arrival in 2005, Professor Vivek S. Sankaran, ’01, has been working to change Michigan's one-parent doctrine. It states that the court gets jurisdiction over a child based on the finding that one parent is unfit. “My initial reaction was that this is insane, this idea that you can take children away from both parents based solely on findings against one,” he says.

Felicia Andrews, ’04 working with children in Detroit Felicia Andrews, ’04 working with children in Detroit

Cover Story Spring 2014

Felicia Andrews, ’04: Helping Youth Succeed Through Team 313

A self-described “impact person,” Felicia Andrews, ’04, reassessed her career goals and decided that the changes she was making at the macro level in South Africa through her work with the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development could be applied at the micro level in Detroit. 

Gloria Steinem, Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon, and Professor Ann Bartow of Pace Law School, one of the people who nominated MacKinnon, at the awards ceremony. Gloria Steinem, Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon, and Professor Ann Bartow of Pace Law School, one of the people who nominated MacKinnon, at the awards ceremony.

@UMICHLAW Spring 2014

MacKinnon Wins Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award

This year, the Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Section on Women in Legal Education recognized Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award. MacKinnon, the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at U-M and the long-term James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard, is only the second woman to receive the honor, after Supreme Court Associate Justice Ginsburg herself. 

At a recent Service Day, Michigan Law students volunteer  at an urban garden in Detroit. At a recent Service Day, Michigan Law students volunteer  at an urban garden in Detroit.

Cover Story

Reviving Detroit at its Roots with Urban Agriculture

Surrounded by a sea of crumbling concrete, the lush green landscape of the market garden on Plum Street sits as an oasis in a city forged of steel and cement. For many, it is merely one example of efforts to revitalize Detroit. For Nicholas Leonard, it is the very essence of the urban agricultural model that has inspired his professional career.

Martha Jones and William Novak Martha Jones and William Novak

@UMICHLAW

Journal of the Civil War Era to Preserve Emancipation Scholarship

The Law School exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—and challenging its myths—may have come and gone, but the conversation it inspired is continuing with the publication of the project’s scholarly contributions in The Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol. 3, No. 4. 

View of Detroit skyline View of Detroit skyline

Cover Story Spring 2014

Hatching New Businesses in Detroit

Nick Gorga, ’02, is helping “to put a small thumbprint on the next chapter of Detroit.” After working in Chicago for six years as an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP, Gorga returned to Detroit in 2008 to help combat what he viewed as a “brain drain” in the region.

Nicole Appleberry, ’94 Nicole Appleberry, ’94

@UMICHLAW

Professor Nicole Appleberry, ’94: Tax Issues and Domestic Violence Survivors

As the director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), Professor Nicole Appleberry, ’94, sees firsthand how tax issues affect domestic violence survivors. “Domestic violence is about power and control,” Appleberry says, “and when a woman leaves a domestic violence relationship, she is particularly vulnerable, especially from a financial standpoint.” 

Aerial view of Detroit Aerial view of Detroit

Cover Story Spring 2014

Glenn Oliver, ’87: Tapping Innovation for Water Utilities

Most of us turn on faucets or lawn sprinklers with no thought as to how the water got there. Glenn Oliver, ’87, wants to make sure it arrives in the most cost-effective, efficient way possible. In 2006, Oliver launched H2bid, a Detroit-based online exchange connecting water utilities with vendors. 

David Patterson, ’74 David Patterson, ’74

Impact

David Patterson, ’74: Leaving the Door Open

For some, law school can represent turmoil and uncertainty. For David Patterson, ’74, all of that was behind him by the time he finally set foot in the Quad. Patterson earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1968; the very next day, he had to report for his draft physical back home in Ohio.

Skyline view of Detroit Skyline view of Detroit

Cover Story Spring 2014

Detroit-based VC Firm Creates Irresistible Opportunity

When Jake Cohen, ’13, heard about a venture capital firm that would invest in early-stage technology companies based in Detroit, he couldn't pass it up. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Michael Levitt, ’83 Michael Levitt, ’83

Impact Spring 2014

Michael Levitt, ’83: Invest in What You Know

Michael Levitt, ’83, has been successful in finance largely because he follows a simple adage: Invest in what you know. The advice also guides him as a volunteer for and donor to the University of Michigan. Levitt serves on the University’s Investment Advisory Committee and is the alumni trustee for the Law School’s Cook Trust. 

View of Detroit cityscape View of Detroit cityscape

Cover Story

Detroit Law Firms are Doing Well—and Look to Play a Role in the City’s Turnaround

What is it like for a major law firm to do business in Detroit right now? For many who live outside the city and even the state, the perception might be that Detroit is a “dead” city and that few big-firm clients are Detroit-based companies and organizations. That isn’t the case, say Michigan Law alumni David Foltyn, ’80, Michael McGee, ’82, and Richard Rassel, ’66. 

Bill Goodspeed, ’83 Bill Goodspeed, ’83

Impact Spring 2014

Bill Goodspeed, ’83: Building Something Enduring with ZEAL

Bill Goodspeed, ’83, built his career on the belief that you can do business and do good. He’s eager to help Michigan Law students understand the same. Goodspeed recently documented a $250,000 bequest to the Law School—$125,000 for clinics that serve indigent populations and $125,000 for the Zell Entrepreneurship and Law (ZEAL) Program.

Alumni reunion attendees on the steps of the Reading Room. Alumni reunion attendees on the steps of the Reading Room.

Briefs

African American Alumni Reconnect, Reflect

The excitement was palpable as alumni returned to Ann Arbor for the inaugural Michigan Law African American Alumni Reunion, March 21–23, 2014. 

Nicole Allen, ’08 Nicole Allen, ’08

Impact Spring 2014

Nicole Allen, ’08: “A Powerful Network”

“Michigan has given me incredible professional opportunities and keeps me connected to my family and classmates,” says Nicole Allen, ’08, an associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago. “Since Michigan attracts smart, well-rounded people doing different, interesting things, it’s a powerful network.” 

Judith E. Levy, ’96 Judith E. Levy, ’96

Briefs Spring 2014

Prof. Judith Levy Confirmed as Federal Judge

Judith E. Levy, ’96, a Michigan Law faculty member, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12 to serve as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She was sworn in by Chief Judge Gerald Rosen during a ceremony in Detroit held March 18. 

Photo of Detroit Skyline Photo of Detroit Skyline

Cover Story Spring 2014

Detroit’s Real Challenge Isn’t the Bankruptcy

When Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, it was a bad thing—unless you have the unique worldview of a bankruptcy lawyer, in which case it was marvelous news, worthy of celebration.

Margaret Jane Radin, the Henry King Ransom Professor of Law at Michigan, and Bridget Mary McCormack, a lecturer at Michigan Law and a justice of the state Supreme Court Margaret Jane Radin, the Henry King Ransom Professor of Law at Michigan, and Bridget Mary McCormack, a lecturer at Michigan Law and a justice of the state Supreme Court

Briefs Spring 2014

Radin, McCormack Elected to ALI

The American Law Institute (ALI) elected a new group of members in the fall that included Margaret Jane Radin, the Henry King Ransom Professor of Law at Michigan, and Bridget Mary McCormack, a lecturer at Michigan Law and a justice of the state Supreme Court. 

Dwayne Provience shaking hands Dwayne Provience shaking hands

Features

Imprisoned, Exonerated — and Now an “Unsecured Creditor”

Dwayne Provience spent almost a decade in prison before the Michigan Innocence Clinic at the U-M Law School won his exoneration in 2010. He filed a civil lawsuit against the city, and a settlement panel proposed a payment of $5 million. Now he's on a list of Detroit’s unsecured creditors.

Victor Caminata, the Michigan Innocence Clinic client whose arson case was featured in the fall 2013 issue of the Law Quadrangle,  was exonerated in January. Victor Caminata, the Michigan Innocence Clinic client whose arson case was featured in the fall 2013 issue of the Law Quadrangle,  was exonerated in January.

Briefs Spring 2014

Michigan Innocence Clinic Client Exonerated From Arson Conviction

Victor Caminata, the Michigan Innocence Clinic client whose arson case was featured in the fall 2013 issue of the Law Quadrangle, was exonerated in January. 

Photo of Detroit Photo of Detroit

Cover Story

Mayor Frank Murphy, ’12, Saves Detroit from Financial Ruin

In 1930, a graduate of the Law School—Frank Murphy, Class of 1912—was chosen to deal with a fiscal disaster in Detroit nearly as dire as today’s.

The Law School’s Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC) has been awarded a $500,000, three-year grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund a partnership between the clinic and domestic violence and sexual assault services. The Law School’s Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC) has been awarded a $500,000, three-year grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund a partnership between the clinic and domestic violence and sexual assault services.

Briefs Spring 2014

Human Trafficking Clinic Wins $500,000 Grant from DOJ

The Law School’s Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC) has been awarded a $500,000, three-year grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund a partnership between the clinic and domestic violence and sexual assault services. 

Reinventing Detroit graphic and two speakers in front of American flag Reinventing Detroit graphic and two speakers in front of American flag

Cover Story Spring 2014

The Big Three: Michigan Law Alumni Aim to Lead Detroit Out of Bankruptcy

Three Michigan Law alumni— Gov. Rick Snyder, ’82, Mayor Mike Duggan, ’83, and emergency manager Kevyn Orr, ’83—aim to lead Detroit out of history’s largest municipal bankruptcy. And they've made no secret of their ambitious plans for the beleaguered city.

Detroit 2.0 photo of set type Detroit 2.0 photo of set type

Cover Story

Detroit 2.0

Detroit is a gutted city, a cautionary tale, a tapestry of ruin. Or Detroit is the comeback kid, a wise investment, a city that will return to greatness. What happens next in the country’s onetime industrial capital is a story that cannot yet be written; no crystal ball can accurately predict the future of the largest U.S. city ever to seek bankruptcy protection.