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​​Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack

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Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013, and became Chief Justice in January 2019.

 

Before her election to the Court in November 2012, she was a law professor and dean at the University of Michigan Law School.  Since joining the Court, Chief Justice McCormack continues to teach at the Law School.

 

Chief Justice McCormack is a graduate of the New York University Law School, where she was a Root-Tilden scholar.  She spent the first five years of her legal career in New York, with the Legal Aid Society and the Office of the Appellate Defender.  In 1996, she became a faculty fellow at the Yale Law School.

 

In 1998, she joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty.  At Michigan Law, she taught criminal law, legal ethics, and various clinical courses.  Her scholarship focused on the professional benefits of clinical legal education.  She also created new clinics at the law school, including a Domestic Violence Clinic and a Pediatric Health Advocacy Clinic.

 

In 2002, she was named Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.  Responsible for the continuing development of the law school’s practical education, she continued to expand the clinical offerings at Michigan Law School, launching a Mediation Clinic, a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, an International Transactions Clinic, a Human Trafficking Clinic, a Juvenile Justice Clinic, and an Entrepreneurship Clinic.  In her capacity as professor and associate dean, she conducted and supervised civil and criminal litigation at all levels of the state and federal courts.  The University of Michigan Law School’s clinical programs are now recognized nationally as one of the best places to be trained as a lawyer.

 

In 2008, then-Associate Dean McCormack cofounded the Michigan Innocence Clinic, in which students represent wrongfully convicted Michiganders.  The clinic has exonerated over 22 people so far, and has shined a light on the important justice issues underlying wrongful conviction. 

 

In 2014, the Attorney General of the United States appointed Chief Justice McCormack to the National Commission on Forensic Science.  In 2019, Governor Whitmer appointed her as Co-Chair of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. 

 

Chief Justice McCormack is an editor on the ABA’s Litigation Magazine, a member of the ABA Council on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, a board member of the Washtenaw County Chapter of Families Against Narcotics, a member of the University Musical Society’s National Council, and a board member of Kids Kicking Cancer.

 

Chief Justice McCormack publishes regularly in professional journals and media.

 

As the Chief Justice, McCormack has promoted statewide initiatives devoted to improving the courts service to the public, and in particular on improving equal access to justice.

 

Chief Justice McCormack is married to Steven Croley, a partner at Latham and Watkins.  They have four adult children and enjoy frequent family trips to west Michigan.​

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