1911 Law School grad Branch Rickey

Michigan's child welfare system needs fixing, Prof. Don Duquette says in a Detroit Free Press op-ed -- and there's reason to hope it may happen.



Michigan Radio personality Jack Lessenberry interviews Prof. Sam Gross on wrongful convictions in capital cases.

Prima Facie

Springtime on the Quad

Moonlight in Vermont. Autumn in New York. Frankly, we wonder why Ol’ Blue Eyes never sang a song about Springtime on the Quad, because it’s every bit as beautiful. Granted, at this time of year, those of us in Ann Arbor sometimes have to check our calendars to make sure it’s really spring, but we live in the knowledge that scenes like this will soon be here.

Career Corner

During these difficult economic times, it's important to remember that the resources of the Law School remain available to all alumni, at whatever career stage they may find themselves. Click here for more information about career options.



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.

Drawn to the law

They're in every lawyer's toolbox: Pencils. Paper. A rudimentary ability to doodle, honed to a razor's edge by endless hours in court.

But David E. Mills, '02, deploys those tools in combination with an acerbic yet gentle wit to produce "Courtoons," a blog-based daily series of single-panel cartoons that skewer some of the law’s more egregious – and universal – absurdities.

What partners see as they pack up on Friday.

The Cleveland native had always listed himself as a short-lived "cartoonist" on his resume, ever since he'd done a small number of drawings for his undergraduate newspaper at Colgate. But cartooning on legal topics was actually an idea that came from his parents during a chat one Sunday afternoon in December. Once he had tried a few legal-themed panels, he decided to establish a simple blog and post his work on the Internet.More ...

A Category 5 Recovery Effort
Students still coming to the aid of the Big Easy

Jake Weixler was hoping to learn a lot when he reported for his new Teach for America job in August 2005.

Careful what you wish for. Weixler’s school was in New Orleans, and when he arrived the city was already in the crosshairs of the burgeoning tropical storm that became Hurricane Katrina.

"I taught for about a week, and then the storm hit and I had to leave," said Weixler, now a second-year student at the Law School. By the time he was able to get back to the swamped city and resume his teaching engagement, he said, "I came back to an unlivable place." More ...

Lives lifted by little loans
New International Transactions Clinic
helps break cycle of poverty in Central Asia

Call it a win-win-win-win-win.

When Michigan Law alum Carl A. Valenstein helps Prof. Deborah Burand teach courses in the Law School’s trailblazing new International Transactions Clinic, everybody gains – students, faculty, micro-financiers, borrowers in Tajikistan, and even Valenstein himself.

Carl A. Valenstein & ITC student Maria Domanskis, a 3L from Illinois

"I like working with students, and I like keeping up my ties to Michigan," Valenstein said before venturing into class. "I’ve always had a teaching bent."

And a pro bono bent, as well. The Bingham partner and 1983 grad normally specializes in international corporate and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and other heavyweight legal responsibilities. But he’s also long volunteered to help microfinance organizations – including a couple of the ones Burand worked for before she came to Michigan Law – to get very small loans into the hands of some of the world’s poorest people. When Valenstein saw that Burand had come to Michigan to establish the country’s first International Transactions Clinic, he gladly accepted her invitation More ...

John Nannes, Susan Liss
receive Judge Learned Hand Award

John Nannes and Susan Liss.

Two members of the Michigan Law family, John M. Nannes ’73 and Susan M. Liss, received the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award from the committee’s Washington chapter on March 12.

The chapter presents the award annually to leaders in the legal profession who exemplify the principles of Learned Hand (1872-1961), an influential and much-quoted Federal judge and judicial philosopher. More ...