Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Alan C. Michaels Named Edwin M. Cooperman Designated Professor of Law

Like the Commander-in-Chief of The West Wing, Alan Michaels is not afraid to break new ground. A criminal law scholar specializing in mens rea, he launched a new theory on the constitutional limits on the use of strict liability in criminal law in a paper entitled "Constitutional Innocence." The paper won the Association of American Law School's competition for young scholars and was accepted for publication by the Harvard Law Review. Alan is first to hold the newly created position of Associate Dean for Faculty, which oversees curriculum, faculty research, and assists in institutional strategic planning.

An effective and charismatic leader, he is a standout in the classroom; he was named Outstanding Professor by the graduating classes of 1999 and 2000. He has been invited by the Association of American Law Schools to share his teaching techniques with a national audience at its annual meeting. Self-possessed and assured, he was equally successful in his pre-academic career as outside counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association and as a prosecutor for the Office of the District Attorney in New York County.

Alan Michaels
Michaels was voted Outstanding Faculty Member by the graduating classes of 1999 and 2000

Like a good executive, he is also reliable in a crisis. Just two weeks into the Associate Dean's position, Alan substituted for Dean Rogers on September 11, 2001. In constant cell phone contact with Dean Rogers, who was stranded in New York and working her way back to Columbus, Alan worked with her to calm students, promote tolerance, and accelerate an orderly return to the academic mission of the College.

Like The West Wing's Bartlett, Alan Michaels promotes thoughtful discussion of controversial topics. He has organized and moderated a host of faculty panels designed to enrich students' intellectual lives by applying classroom concepts to new and unusual circumstances, including the legal ramifications of the 2000 Presidential Election, September 11 and its aftermath, and the Enron collapse.

Comparisons to others aside, Alan Michaels is an original. His office is littered with the clutter of a life lived fully and well. Aside the photographs of his children and their artwork are his Moritz student bar association bowling trophy and team hat. Intermingled on his bookshelves are reprints of his scholarly articles and the props of his burgeoning career as an amateur magician. Somehow, it all goes together.

The Edwin M. Cooperman Designated Professorship in Law was established in 2000 through the generosity of Edwin M. "Ed" Cooperman, a 1967 graduate of the Moritz College of Law. Cooperman is the chairman of Edmarc Investments LLC, a privately-held company engaged in consulting and venture capital. Previously, he had a distinguished career at American Express, where he started as an attorney in 1972 and eventually became chairman and co-chief executive of Travel Related Services, North America. A 1964 graduate of Queens College, he earned a J.D. from Ohio State and an L.L.M. degree from New York University School of Law. He became an associate professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Ed is co-chair of The Ohio State University National Major Gift Committee for New York, a member of the Moritz College of Law's National Alumni Advisory Council, and is a director of The Ohio State University Foundation Board.