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Crainís Names Three Wayne Law Alumni Power Lawyers

December 17, 2008

DETROIT (Dec. 16, 2008) – Wayne State University Law School congratulates Hon. Jessica Cooper, ’73, Elizabeth Hardy, ’84, and F. Thomas Lewand, ’70, on recently being named Power Lawyers by Crain’s Detroit Business. Cooper, Hardy and Lewand were three of only 12 talented attorneys to make the list.

According to Crain's, the Power Lawyers list includes the “the rainmakers, the best-in-class legal pros winning cases, serving as legal talent for corporate clients or shaping corporate or government strategy.” This year's selection process took into account those leading the charge on current significant cases, shaping regional issues or growing their firm's business in innovative ways.

“I congratulate Judge Cooper, Ms. Hardy and Mr. Lewand on their remarkable accomplishment,” said Wayne Law Dean and Professor Robert M. Ackerman. “They have made significant contributions to their profession, and serve as excellent examples of what can be accomplished with a law degree. They will inspire future Wayne Law students and alumni for generations to come.”

Judge Cooper was recently elected as Oakland County 's first female prosecutor and will start her service on Jan. 1, 2009. She was elected to the Court of Appeals in 2000 and again in 2006 before resigning that post in July 2007 and opening a private practice in Bingham Farms, where she focuses on labor law and court-appointed mediation to resolve civil disputes outside court.

Judge Cooper was an Oakland County Circuit Court judge from 1986 to 2000, where she made headlines in the 1999 imprisonment of so-called suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian and the 2000 murder trial of attorney Michael Fletcher.

Hardy is a founding partner of Kienbaum, Opperwall, Hardy & Pelton PLC in Birmingham , Mich. She has won several significant Michigan Supreme Court decisions that helped re-shape legal doctrines in the state in favor of employers.

Hardy plays a lead role in continuing negotiations between Wayne State University Medical School and Karmanos Cancer Institute on their connections and funding relationships. And, after 16 years on the WSU Board of Governors, and chairing the past two WSU presidential search committees, she continues as a member of the WSU Medical School advisory board.

Lewand is a partner with Bodman LLP in Detroit . He has played a significant role in the 31-year federal court battling over control and operation of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. He also has worked on health care institution negotiations and has negotiated public-private partnerships between corporations and municipalities.

Lewand serves on the executive committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. , as a director of the Wayne County Economic Development Corp. , and is immediate past chair of the University of Detroit Mercy board of trustees, among other roles.

Judge Cooper and Hardy have been featured as Wayne Law Treasure of Detroit Honorees for their outstanding service and dedication to the legal profession.

Additionally, two featured attorneys earned their undergraduate degrees from Wayne State University . Herschel Fink, a partner with Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP in Detroit , earned a Bachelor of Arts from WSU in 1964. Reginald Turner , a member with Clark Hill PLC in Detroit , earned a Bachelor of Science from WSU in 1982.

The above information and more detailed articles can be found on Crain’s website at

Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities.

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan