James D. Robb
Associate Dean of External Affairs and Senior Counsel
B.A., University of Michigan 1978
J.D., cum laude, Wayne State Law School 1983
(517) 371-5140 x2008
James D. Robb joined the leadership group at Cooley Law School in July 2002 as the Associate Dean for Development, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, and General Counsel. He serves now as the Associate Dean of External Affairs and Senior Counsel.
He is the chief advancement officer as well as the development and alumni relations officer for Cooley. In this role, he is responsible for all marketing, advertising, internal and external communications, fundraising, and community, university, and alumni relations. Mr. Robb also oversees the law school’s award-winning website; the alumni association; planned, corporate and foundation giving; the donor recognition society; capital campaigns; and the development committee of the school’s board of directors. He has the distinction of having raised the five largest individual gifts, the largest foundation gift, and the largest grant ever received by Cooley.
In his role as general counsel for 10 years, Robb oversaw all the school’s legal affairs for the school’s corporate organization and compliance activities, corporate finance and audit matters, real estate, contracts, risk management, outside consulting, litigation, employee relations, student relations, governmental relations, branch campuses, and the school’s board of directors. He also supervised in-house legal staff and external law firms working for the school.
Mr. Robb was the founding dean of Cooley’s graduate programs (LL.M.) in Tax and Intellectual Property. In this role, he developed curriculum and academic policies, and he supervised successful application for acquiescence from American Bar Association to begin the LL.M. program.
Before joining Cooley, Mr. Robb was the Assistant Dean for Advancement and an adjunct assistant professor at Wayne State University Law School. He was responsible for the school’s private fund raising, alumni relations and donor relations, and public and media relations activities. He was also in charge of the law school’s annual fund, major gifts, corporate and foundation giving, and planned giving work. In his academic role, he taught Introduction to the Legal Profession and supervised students in directed research studies.
Mr. Robb was a partner, 1991-1994, with Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Detroit, Mich., where he focused on product and premises liability defense litigation and counseling, environmental litigation, insurance coverage litigation, and commercial landlord-tenant litigation. He was an associate with the firm, 1983-1990. He principally represented public and private corporations and governmental entities.
He earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1978, and his J.D., cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School in 1983.
Mr. Robb is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Oakland County Bar Association, the Ingham County Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association/Eastern District of Michigan, and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court, for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. He has also been admitted pro haec vice to courts in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio.
He is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and serves on the board of directors of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation, in which is also a Fellow. He is also a Life Fellow and member of the Michigan State Bar and Oakland County bar foundations. Mr. Robb has served the city of Birmingham, Mich., as a member and chair of the city’s Board of Ethics and its Board of Election Canvassers.
Awards include the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Lifetime Achievement Award (2012), the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Distinguished Service Award (1997), and the Wayne State University Presidential Bonus Award (1997). He was named a Corporate In-House Leader in the Law, 2008, by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, and was named to the Order of the Coif at Wayne State University Law School in 1984.
He is a frequent lecturer and author on a variety of legal topics, including ethics in government, social media and reputation management, and product liability.