James Hicks, a former employee of WMU-Cooley Law School, has joined the faculty once again as a visiting professor. He joins WMU-Cooley from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida, where he served as assistant dean of academic success and bar preparation.
Hicks previously served WMU-Cooley’s Lansing campus for 23 years, first as general counsel from 1991 to 2002, then as a full-time professor from 2002 to 2014. He was named a distinguished professor emeritus by the law school’s board of directors in October 2014. Hicks received numerous honors while serving WMU-Cooley, including a three-time recipient of the Student Bar Association Award for Outstanding Education Program; Quod Libet Society Award as Outstanding Professor for Excellence in Teaching; and being an inaugural recipient of the Pillar of Strength Award by the African Legal Scholars Association, Black Law Students Association and Caribbean Law Students Association.
After leaving WMU-Cooley, Hicks joined the faculty at Savannah Law School in Savannah, Georgia, where he served in numerous capacities throughout the next five years, including associate dean, assistant dean of assessment and practice readiness, and assistant dean of academic achievement.
"I am excited to be back at WMU-Cooley and serve the Tampa Bay campus as a visiting professor,” Hicks said. “It is a great honor to be invited back to teach future lawyers at this top-notch law school.”
Previously, Hicks served the legal profession in multiple capacities. He was an associate attorney at Wiggin & Dana Attorneys at Law in New Haven, Connecticut, representing many of the state’s largest for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, higher education institutions, hospitals and health care facilities, including Yale University, Connecticut College, the University of New Haven, and Quinnipiac University; a bar review instructor at Chicago-based Themis Bar Review, an online and video-based bar review program focusing on Michigan real property distinctions and Michigan personal property; and an associate attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago, practicing labor and employment law and commercial real estate law, general litigation and representing higher education institutions.
Hicks is a member of various professional committees and associations, including the American Bar Association, Ingham County Bar Association, WMU-Cooley Law School Legal Authors Society, State Bar of Illinois, State Bar of Connecticut and the State Bar of Michigan.
Hicks has been active in community service. He has served Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Lansing Inc. in a variety of capacities since 1995, including, president, director, vice president, secretary, pro bono legal representation and community advisory board member, chief labor negotiator, and Capital Area United Way Task Force representative. He also served the Greater Lansing Catholic Education Foundation as director, president, vice president and committee member. Additionally, Hicks was a member of the Capital Area United Way - Area 2 (Youth) Grants and Allocations Committee, the Ingham County Jurisdictional Planning Assistance program, and the Lansing Area Catholic Education System Commission.
Hicks earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and a juris doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.
“We are thrilled to welcome back our esteemed colleague, Jim Hicks, as part of our visiting faculty at WMU-Cooley,” said Associate Dean and Professor Daniel Matthews said. “His expertise in the legal profession, combined with his previous background and extensive knowledge of WMU-Cooley, will be a valuable asset for our Tampa Bay students.”