Have a story of interest to fellow alumni? Contact Amicus editor John Masson, Media Relations Officer for Michigan Law, at or call 734.647.7352.


Amber M. Elliott, '09

Amber M. Elliott, '09

By Becky Freligh

Amber Elliott graduated from Michigan Law just as the economic downturn hit the legal employment market with hurricane force. Instead of lamenting the road not taken to large law-firm practice, she began to shape her own destiny.

"It brought out a creative side," says Elliott, a Detroit native who lives and works in her hometown.

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Shop Blue All Year Long

The Law School and The M Den have teamed up to make specialized Michigan Law apparel available online through the MLaw Marketplace. A percentage of all sales on both MLaw Marketplace and the general M Den website (when it's accessed through MLaw Marketplace) comes back to Law School student groups to help support their activities.

Mlaw Marketplace

The program is similar to one available through a special link that sends back nearly 7 percent of purchase prices to help support Student Funded Fellowships at Michigan Law. Like the MLaw Marketplace program, purchases must be made through the special URL, and like the MLaw Marketplace program, the link will continue sending back benefits all year long.

Mark D. West

Mark West Named 17th Dean of University of Michigan Law School

Expert on Japanese law is M Law's current Associate Dean

By Katie Vloet

Mark D. West, currently the associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Michigan Law School and a highly regarded scholar whose research focuses on the Japanese legal system, will be the 17th dean of the Law School beginning Sept. 1, 2013, pending approval by the U-M Board of Regents.

The appointment of West, the Nippon Life Professor of Law, was announced Jan. 9 by Provost Philip Hanlon.

"This is an exciting time to be at Michigan Law," said West, who joined the Law School as an assistant professor in 1998. "We have spectacular new facilities. No law school has a finer faculty or a more outstanding student body. I am inspired by the dedicated community of alumni, faculty, administrators, and staff who are committed to facing the continuing challenges of legal education together. It is a tremendous honor to have been chosen as dean."

more .... ZEAL's mini-MBA program a hit with MLaw students

ZEAL's mini-MBA program a hit with MLaw students

By John Masson

Whether they were just dipping a curious toe into the swift current of modern-day business or they had more serious plans to pursue business or business law as a career, a standing-room crowd of 120 law students returned from break two days early this month to immerse themselves in the first Michigan Law mini-MBA course.

"We had those two groups in that classroom for two days, and that's mission accomplished for us," said Michigan Law Prof. Erik Gordon, director of the school's Zell Entrepreneurship and Law (ZEAL) Program, which organized the mini-course. "We want to add one more advantage to getting a Michigan Law education."

The program kicked off with a strategic overview from 1983 Michigan Law graduate Bill Goodspeed, who flew in from Maine to give his talk, then progressed through 13 hours of instruction Monday and Tuesday from senior U-M Ross School of Business professors on some of the basics of accounting, finance, business economics, and marketing.

more .... Alum helps pick this year's only new members of Baseball Hall of 

Alum helps pick this year's only new members of Baseball Hall of Fame

By John Masson

One of the highlights of Tom Simon's lifelong love affair with baseball history almost didn't happen.

Simon, a 1990 Michigan Law grad who now practices in Vermont, was filtering through his mail one day last fall when he came across an envelope from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. He's donated to the Hall before, so at first he figured it was just a donation request.

"I really was planning to toss it right into the recycling," said Simon, who, apart from his legal work, also has authored and edited several books on baseball history, including The Green Mountain Boys of Summer, about Vermonters who made it to the big leagues.

more .... Prof. J.J. White

White: out

By Katie Vloet

Fifty faculty members formed a semicircle in Hutchins Hall 250 one recent Thursday, waiting to pay tribute to their retiring colleague, Prof. J.J. White.

And waiting. And waiting. It was White's last class as a professor at the institution where he has taught since 1964—before any of his students and many of his fellow faculty members were born. And, by golly, he was going to teach, right until the last minute.

"It's like the pawn shop case...," he prompted a student. "Oh, yeah, the big problem is whether it falls under Article 9," the student responded, then sighed with visible relief as White nodded. The moment of Socratic method-inspired terror had passed.

And the day's class about the Uniform Commercial Code—a topic on which White is a leading authority—had ended. But the class went on, and the faculty waited some more.

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Chilling out with MLaw's student hockey team

Chilling out with MLaw's student hockey team

By John Masson

Sure, Michigan Law is chock full of the leaders and best—but now we have the champions of the West, too. The far western Detroit suburbs, that is. Because Michigan Law's club hockey team, the Ambulance Chasers, recently captured the championship of their men's league.

The group of 15 or so skaters, most of whom are Michigan Law students or graduates, plays twice a week at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, said team co-captain and 3L Max Hensley. The games are usually late-night affairs, and the following day's classes come pretty early, but for Hensley and his teammates the games are well worth the sacrifice of a little sleep.

"Getting out two times a week and not thinking about the law is a good thing, in my opinion," said Hensley, 28, who grew up in Alaska and has played hockey almost all his life. "I've showed up bleary-eyed for my share of 8 o'clock classes, but you just have another cup of coffee and get to it."

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