Michigan Assistant Dean and Associate Professor
B.A. Michigan State University, 2001
J.D., cum laude, Michigan State University College of Law, 2004
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou
Assistant Dean Breitfeld has taught Criminal Law, Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy/Moot Court, Research and Writing, and the Genesee County Prosecutor’s externship class. She joined the full-time faculty in 2013, after serving as a Visiting and Adjunct Professor since 2009. Assistant Dean Breitfeld has worked closely with students preparing for the bar exam, acting as a liaison between the law school and the bar exam, as well as offering personal mentoring to ensure bar-exam readiness.
Before coming to WMU-Cooley, Assistant Dean Breitfeld was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Macomb County, Michigan, from 2005–2011. As a prosecutor, she worked in the district, circuit, and family court divisions prosecuting all misdemeanor and felony cases. Early in her career she was asked to speak at the Michigan Judicial Seminar, where she presented to the state’s district court judges about Michigan’s Operating While Intoxicated statutes. In addition to her court assignments, she also served as the 37th District Drug Court assistant prosecutor providing alternative sentencing and substance-abuse treatment for non-violent criminals. In 2011, she was promoted to the Child Sex Crimes Unit, where she prosecuted child rapists and child molesters.
Before her career as an Assistant Prosecutor, Assistant Dean Breitfeld was an associate attorney for Ward, Anderson, Porritt & Bryant, P.C., in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where she defended insurance companies in no-fault insurance and negligence matters.
Assistant Dean Breitfeld is actively involved in the legal community, both locally and with the State Bar of Michigan. She is a former co-chair of the State Bar’s Criminal Issues Initiative and is a member of the State Bar’s Access to Justice Committee. She also serves on the board of directors for the Macomb County Veterans' Court, and she is a hearing panelist for the Attorney Discipline Board.
Assistant Dean Breitfeld also maintains a commitment to service. She has volunteered for various youth education causes, including Just the Beginning, where she presented annually about legal issues and critical-thinking skills. She was also the lead volunteer for the Lincoln High School book club sponsored through the Kimberly Cahill Memorial Reading Program. Further, in her role as faculty adviser to various WMU-Cooley student organizations including Moot Court, the Criminal Law Society, and the WMU-Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, she encourages students to use their leadership skills to begin building relationships within their communities and the legal community.
As a law student, Assistant Dean Breitfeld was the recipient of several scholarships, including the Walter Oberer Scholarship for trial-advocacy excellence, and the Eve August Moot Court scholarship for oral advocacy. She competed nationally in moot court and trial competitions while attending MSU College of Law, and she also clerked at Church, Kritselis & Wyble, P.C., in Lansing, Mich.
- Erika Breitfeld, Hot-Car Deaths and Forgotten-Baby Syndrome: A Case Against Prosecution, 25 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 72 (2020).
- Erika Breitfeld, Criminal Law: Annual Survey of Criminal Law, 65 Wayne L. Rev. 525 (2020).
- Erika Breitfeld, Criminal Law: Annual Survey of Michigan Law, 63 Wayne L. Rev. 541 (2018).
- Erika Breitfeld, Criminal Law: Annual Survey of Michigan Law, 60 Wayne L. Rev. 597 (2015).
Books and Chapters in Books
- Bradley Charles & Erika Breitfeld, Research the Law Advanced, (Thomas M. Cooley Law School 2014), www.ResearchTheLaw.com.
- Bradley J. Charles, Erika Breitfeld, & Toree Randall, Reasoned Legal Research: Multi-Media Workbook, and Thirty Instructional Videos, (Thomas M. Cooley Law School 2012).
- Erika Breitfeld, Changing Lives One Book at a Time: The Kimberly Cahill Reading Program, 92 Mich. B.J., May 2013, at 34.