President of the State Bar of Michigan Speaks at WMU-Cooley Law School
The Christian Legal Society at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School hosted guest speaker Lawrence Nolan, a WMU-Cooley graduate and the current president of the State Bar of Michigan, on Friday, March 24. With more than 40 years of private practice experience, Nolan spoke on a variety of topics, including his experience attending WMU-Cooley, his career, the need for lawyers and the role of Christianity in his practice.
“The need for legal assistance in this country has never been more demanding,” Nolan said. “I think you, as Christian lawyers, understand the need and the gift you have because it really is a gift. Education is a powerful gift and you are going to have and use it.”
He also discussed the importance of those pursuing a career in law in a time of declining law school applicants. He said that although the State Bar of Michigan has the highest number of members in its history, there is a decline nationwide of applicants.
Nolan is the founder and president of Nolan, Thomsen & Villas, where he focuses his practice of law on personal injury, wrongful death, criminal, probate, domestic relations, estate planning and real estate law. Nolan earned his undergraduate degree in English with a minor in business administration at WMU, and went on to become a member in 1976 of the first graduating class of what was then the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Nolan has served as a member of WMU-Cooley's Board of Directors since 1983 and is the current chair.
About Western Michigan University Cooley Law School: WMU-Cooley Law School resulted from the 2014 affiliation that combined WMU's status as a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and WMU-Cooley Law School operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.