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MSU College of Law



CONTACT: Kent Love, 517-432-6959,

MSU College of Law to Present Distinguished Alumni Award to Attorney John F. Schaefer

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law has announced attorney John F. Schaefer as the recipient of its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. Schaefer will receive the award at the Law College’s spring commencement ceremony on May 11, 2012.

MSU Law’s prestigious honor recognizes contributions to the field of law, as well as outstanding service to the Law College and the community. The award is named for the Honorable George N. Bashara, Jr., a member of the Class of 1960.

Schaefer is one of the country’s most prominent and highly respected lawyers in the field of matrimonial law, which he has practiced for more than four decades, throughout the United States.. His firm, which has offices in Birmingham and Grosse Pointe, handles some of the most complex family law cases in the nation.

One of MSU Law’s leading donors, Schaefer recently made a $6 million gift to name the Law College Library and endow a chair in matrimonial law—the first fully endowed chair in the school’s history. He also is a trustee emeritus who taught Family Law for more than 30 years as an adjunct professor at the Law College.

Schaefer is involved in numerous professional, civic, and philanthropic organizations. He has served as president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, president of the Oakland County Bar Association, and chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Family Law Section. He has been an arbitrator for the Michigan State Bar Attorney Grievance Commission, a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness, and a member of the board of trustees of William Beaumont Hospital and the Detroit Police Athletic League. As an instructor at the Michigan Judicial Institute, Schaefer educated hundreds of Michigan circuit court judges in substantive matrimonial law.

In addition to earning his Juris Doctor degree at Detroit College of Law (now MSU Law) in 1969, Schaefer received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1965 and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the Law College. He also attended the University of Notre Dame, and is a graduate of Cranbrook School.

The commencement ceremony also will feature an address by Richard Cordray, the first director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A total of 332 Law College graduates will be recognized at the event, including 295 Juris Doctor and 37 Master of Laws degree recipients. The faculty speaker will be Professor Clark C. Johnson, who joined the Law College faculty in 1973. Graduating student Amy Miller was selected to be the student speaker. Jennifer Stallings, another member of the Class of 2012, will sing the national anthem.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world's problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 320
East Lansing, MI 48824

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