New Leadership for the MSU Law Clinic

On August 1, 2021, Professor Kathryn Fort will take over leadership of the MSU Law Clinic as its new director. Clinical Professor Veronica Thronson, who has served as the director since 2017, will depart from the role on July 31, 2021.

“As I step down as director of the MSU Law Clinic, I want to take the opportunity to thank Clinic faculty and staff for making my job productive and enjoyable,” Professor Thronson said. “During my tenure, we faced significant challenges, from relocating the Clinic to the Law College building in fall 2017 to adapting to the pandemic. The pandemic created an enormous amount of additional work for the Clinic as the communities we serve faced new hardships.”

“I am very grateful to Interim Dean Jacobs for making sure we had resources to support these drastic adjustments,” she added. “Finally, I am excited that Kate Fort will assume the role of director and look forward to working with her in this capacity.” 

Professor Thronson joined MSU College of Law in 2010 as the director of the Immigration Law Clinic, which she co-founded with Professor David Thronson, and she will continue to assume that role.

“Veronica has done a phenomenal job supporting and advancing our students and training them to represent clients who deserve skilled and invested advocates,” said Assistant Dean for Experiential Education Veronica Valentine McNally. “Kate will make significant contributions as our Clinic director. She will strengthen our law school Clinic community, the legal community, and the broader community.”

After graduating from the College of Law in 2005, Professor Fort joined the Indigenous Law & Policy Center as a fellow. Today, she is a nationally recognized scholar and practitioner in Indian Law: she has published the leading casebook on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), she teaches an ICWA course, and she is the director of the Indian Law Clinic.

“The unprecedented challenges of the past 18 months demonstrated the importance of quality clinical legal education and the importance of pro bono legal work,” Professor Fort said. “I look forward to expanding our clinical offerings to offer more services and ensure our students have the opportunity to get on-the-ground legal experience all law students deserve.”