Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Gary C. Giguere welcomed the new class of law students at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Kalamazoo location on Aug. 29.
Judge Giguere spoke to the incoming students about how being an attorney provides an opportunity to positively impact another person’s life. He explained to the students that their legal competence is presumed when they pass the bar, but that what people and society need from lawyers, in addition to competence, is ethics, integrity, and character.
Pictured: Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Gary C. Giguere administers the WMU-Cooley honor code oath during the law school’s orientation program at its Kalamazoo campus on Aug. 29.
“They want to know: Can I rely on you? Will you tell me the truth at all times? Will you tell me when I'm wrong?” Judge Giguere is a WMU-Cooley graduate and supports the school's longstanding focus on ethics, professionalism, inclusion and diversity in its program.
During the orientation program, WMU-Cooley alumnus and attorney, Aaron Hamming, spoke to the students about law student wellness, while attorney Kathy Purnell, justice for Our Neighbors Michigan; Paul Yancho, assistant prosecuting attorney in Kalamazoo; and Arden Mitchell, of the Kalamazoo Public Defender Office, shared with incoming students the importance of professionalism program, along with their advice for succeeding in law school and beyond.
Each of the attorneys encouraged students to make sure they strived for experience while in law school, including seeking out clinics and externships, and gaining insight by working for a judge. They also recommended networking with current attorneys while at WMU-Cooley, and explained the variety of work, depending on the practice environment.
Following the remarks, Assistant Dean Victoria Vuletich and the Hon. Gary C. Giguere administered the WMU-Cooley honor code oath. All entering students, faculty and staff take the oath, which states, “I promise not to lie, cheat, steal or plagiarize, and I promise not to tolerate people who lie, cheat, steal or plagiarize."