A former student will be the new leader at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
Jeffrey Martlew will assume the role of interim president in September, 42 years after he graduated from WMU-Cooley in 1976.
Martlew will take over the reins from Don LeDuc, who is retiring as president and law school dean.
Martlew brings a wealth of legal experience to the position. He is a former Michigan 29th Circuit Court judge and a retired associate dean of WMU-Cooley.
He first returned to the school in 2005, serving as an adjunct professor for two years before becoming a visiting professor and, later, full-time faculty member.
He continued his involvement with the university as founding associate dean of the law school’s campus in Tampa, Florida, from which he retired in 2016. Martlew also is a former member of the school’s board of directors.
Martlew became a presiding judge in 1993 with Michigan’s 29th Circuit Court that serves Clinton and Gratiot counties and was named chief judge in 1994, maintaining that position until 2007. He also served as a 65th District Court judge for eight years in Clinton County.
He began his career as an associate in the Law Office of David C. Newland PC in Mt. Morris before starting his own practice, Matson & Martlew, in DeWitt. As a judge, he served as a faculty member of the Michigan Judicial Institute and was a member of the Michigan Judge Association Executive Board.
WMU-Cooley is in the process of finding a permanent president after LeDuc served in that capacity for 16 years. He has been a professor at Cooley since 1975 and served as dean from 1982-1987 and then again from 1996-present.
The search will include the participation of an advisory committee comprised of members from the law school’s board, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and representatives of Western Michigan University.