Cooley Law School announces senior leadership changes


Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s President and Dean, Don LeDuc, announces the following changes to the school’s leadership group.

Associate Dean Helen Mickens has ended a decanal career that began in 1982 as the school's then-only Assistant Dean. In 1989, Mickens became Associate Dean, and in 2002 became Associate Dean for Community Relations. Having received her J.D. from Cooley in 1980, Mickens has been associated with Cooley for 35 of its 40 years. She has been witness to most of the innovations that are Cooley's stock in trade, many of which she was responsible for implementing. In her role as Associate Dean for Community Relations, Mickens headed the successful and innovative marketing and communications effort that led to the establishment of the school’s multiple campuses, its growth, and successful implementation of its strategic plan. Mickens enters senior professor and dean emerita status, where she will continue to serve a community relations function.

Associate Dean M. Ann Wood ends her service as Associate Dean for Programs, Planning, and Assessment that began in 1996. A member of Cooley's faculty twice, first from 1986 to 1988 and again beginning in 1991, Wood led Cooley’s strategic plan implementation, particularly its assessment aspect. She also led the effort to obtain Cooley’s initial Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (HLC) recognition followed by American Bar Association (ABA) and HLC approval of its branch campuses. She was key to the approval of Cooley’s LL.M. programs and to agreements with the colleges and universities that partner with Cooley in joint degree programs. Wood led the school’s clinical program efforts, particularly the establishment of Cooley's outstanding externship program, and also headed the school’s curriculum committee efforts to obtain internal approvals of all these changes. Wood enters senior professor and dean emerita status where she will work on Cooley’s clinical internship and externship efforts.

Vice President William Schoettle has retired after having served Cooley for 25 years in a number of capacities, including Vice President of Operations, Chief Operating Officer, Vice President for Finance, Chief Financial Officer, and as the school’s first Controller. Schoettle oversaw renovation of major portions of the Cooley Center in downtown Lansing and the expansion of Cooley’s facilities from one to five campuses across Michigan and into Florida. He helped establish the Cooley Lawyers Credit Union which later merged with the State Employees Credit Union. Schoettle will continue to assist Cooley with special projects.

Professor Christine Zellar Church has been promoted from assistant dean to the newly created position of Associate Dean of Practice and Performance Skills. A Cooley professor since 2006, Church oversees Cooley’s more than 3,000 externship sites, eight clinical programs, and numerous outside competition teams. Church coached Cooley’s 2011 ABA client counseling competition team to a national championship. She is based at the school’s Lansing campus.

Laura LeDuc has been promoted from assistant dean to the newly created position of Associate Dean for Planning, Assessment, and Accreditation. In her new role, LeDuc supervises the school’s institutional planning and assessment activities and oversees Cooley’s relationships with its two accrediting bodies, the ABA and the HLC. She is based at the school’s Lansing campus.

Layne Maloney has been promoted from assistant vice president to Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer. Maloney, who joined Cooley in 2010, oversees buildings, maintenance, construction and renovations, access control, housekeeping, purchasing, event planning, and mail and auxiliary services, as well as the Cooley Conference Center and the Cooley Bookstore. She is based at the school’s Lansing campus.

James D. Robb has been appointed Associate Dean of External Affairs and Senior Counsel. Since joining Cooley in 2002, Robb has served as General Counsel, Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. He now oversees the school’s fund-raising, alumni relations, marketing communications, university relations and community relations efforts while retaining a role in the legal counsel’s office. He is based at the school’s Lansing and Auburn Hills campuses.

About Cooley Law School: Celebrating 40 years of excellence, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 17,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and its new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.


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