Skip to main content, skip to search, or skip to the top of the page.

Jennifer L. Copland

Jennifer L. Copland
[Hi-Res Photo]
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 326
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
517-432-6897
jcopland@law.msu.edu

J.D. 1996, cum laude, University of Michigan Law School; B.A. 1993, cum laude, University of Michigan

  • Administrative Law: Food Safety and Labeling
    Administrative law is the body of constitutional, statutory, and common law principles that both constrain and seek to legitimize the exercise of powers by governmental agencies. The history of food safety and labeling regulations in the United States begins in the late 1800s and continues through present day, culminating recently in the 2011 enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which creates a new system of federal oversight of domestically produced and imported food products. This course introduces students to the essential elements of administrative law and follows the basic structure of an administrative law course, but diverges from the traditional study by using cases and problems that are specific to food safety and food labeling issues in the United States. The primary goal of the class is to provide students with knowledge of the fundamental administrative law principles applied in matters involving the regulation of food and food products, and the ability to apply these principles to problems similar to those encountered in actual practice. To the extent possible, this class will be taught from a practice-oriented approach, requiring students to engage in problem-solving exercises online.
  • Advocacy
    (Formerly LAW500K) Students learn the art of persuasive argumentation by drafting a 30-page appellate brief on a topical legal issue, complying with appellate court rules and then presenting a simulated oral argument to members of the bench. During the semester, students also attend appellate arguments or trial court motion sessions and prepare brief synopses of cases heard. Prerequisite: Research, Writing and Analysis, OR Research, Writing and Analysis: Intellectual Property Perspective, OR Research, Writing and Advocacy I, OR Research, Writing and Advocacy I: Intellectual Property Perspective.
  • Advocacy for Foreign-Educated Lawyers
    This course is designed to provide an opportunity for lawyers who obtained their law degrees in countries other than the United States to practice their public speaking skills in an American law school environment. Course components include the study and practice of the elements of oral advocacy, including critical analysis and the development of effective public speaking techniques. This is primarily an experiential learning course with a focus on the delivery and critique of short oral exercises. The course structure follows possible pre-trial developments in a fictional legal case; students will be asked to step into the roles of parties and participants and advocate their positions through presentations, negotiations and oral argument. Students must complete two practice arguments which may fall outside of normal class hours, and must attend and observe at least one hour of argument in a local courtroom. While some written work will be assigned, the focus of this course is on the oral elements of advocacy. The credits earned in this course cannot be used toward the minimum credits needed to satisfy graduation requirements.
  • Communication Skills for Lawyers
    This course is designed for students who desire to improve their oral advocacy and public speaking skills in a supportive environment. Course components include the study and practice of the elements of oral advocacy, including critical analysis and the development of effective public speaking techniques. This is primarily an experiential learning course with a focus on the delivery and critique of short oral exercises. Much of the course structure follows possible pre-trial developments in a fictional legal case; students will be asked to step into the roles of parties and participants and advocate their positions through presentations, negotiations and oral argument. Students will learn strategic interviewing and negotiation skills, the significance of nonverbal body language, effective ways to present a client’s “story” and persuasive oral argument and public speaking techniques. Students must complete two practice arguments which may fall outside of normal class hours. This course is open to both J.D. and LL.M. (foreign-educated lawyer) students. J.D. students must have completed RWA and Advocacy, LL.M. students must have taken RWA:LL.M. LL.M. students who have previously taken “Advocacy for Foreign-Educated Lawyers” are not eligible to take this course.
  • Moot Court Board
    (Formerly DCL 702) Prerequisites: RWA I and II, see scholarship policy Board members and candidates participate in and supervise intramural and inter-school competitions. Board membership is by invitation and carries one credit hour per semester. Students who have completed 29 credit hours are eligible to become candidates for the board. Candidates receive one semester hour of credit for participation in Moot Court Competition. Two semesters of credit as a candidate must be completed to qualify for invitation to the board.
  • Moot Court Competition
    (Formerly DCL 701) This is an instrumental Moot Court Competition open to all students after their first year. Students must elect this option during their third semester.
  • Research, Writing & Analysis
    (Formerly LAW500J) Students begin by learning the basics of the U.S. court system, common law, case briefing and legal analysis. They are then taught the fundamentals of non-electronic legal research and writing through the assignment of problems geared to exercise their analytical and problem-solving abilities. Throughout the semester, students produce several legal research assignments, objective office memoranda and a client letter.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Indiana, Michigan

Professor Copland’s experience in public speaking and advocacy began in high school, where she was a competitive member of the debate and forensics teams. In college, Professor Copland was a member of the University of Michigan debate team, and was ranked among the top five national debate teams. After graduating, she taught and coached debate at the University of Louisville for one year. She then began her legal experience as a student at the University of Michigan law school, where she was a finalist in the Campbell Moot Court Competition, a participant and coach in the Jessup International Moot Court Competition, a member of the University of Michigan International Law Journal, and a recipient of the “case club” award, several book awards, and the S. Anthony Benton Memorial Award.

After receiving her law degree, Professor Copland clerked for the Honorable Peter D. O’Connell at the Michigan Court of Appeals. She then practiced for a number of years in commercial litigation at Dickinson Wright, where she primarily represented various telecommunications and utility companies and organizations. Professor Copland was employed as Corporate Counsel for Sterling Commercial Credit until 2011.

Professor Copland is a member of the State Bars of Michigan and Indiana and is admitted to practice in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the Administrative Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association.

Professor Copland has taught Moot Court Competition at MSU College of Law since August 2009. Professor Copland also is the acting faculty advisor to the MSU Law Moot Court Board.


Skip to main content, skip to search, or skip to the top of the page.