Clerkships: Law school grads earn coveted jobs with court


– Photo by Paul Janczewski

Three Cooley graduates are becoming familiar with their new jobs as federal court clerks. From left, Krystal Player, Jeffrey May and La Toya Palmer pose in the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub, where May is a law clerk.

By Paul Janczewski

Legal News

Cooley Law School continues to cement its reputation for sending capable graduates into the work force who are ready to step into important roles with law firms, businesses and in public service. Recently, three Cooley graduates have been added as clerks at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In fact, according to Cooley’s Associate Dean John Nussbaumer, Cooley had more graduates selected than any other law school in the state.

Each of the students — Jeffrey May, La Toya Palmer and Krystal Player — have taken different paths to law school, while all excelled once they were there.

May is a law clerk for Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub, while Palmer clerks for Judge Gershwin Drain and Player for Magistrate Judge Mark Randon. For May, a career in law was not on his wish list growing up.

“I never wanted to be an attorney,” he said. “I have several family members who are attorneys, and I just didn’t have any interest in it.”

He graduated from Western Michigan University in 2002 with a music degree and started a golf marketing business with several partners.

For the next six years, May also owned and operated a few other small businesses “with varying degrees of success” and earned a master’s degree in business information technology from Walsh College.

“I’ve always had a passion for technology, so I intended to go into the IT field at some point,” he said.

But while running those businesses and working with attorneys to handle contract negotiations, business acquisition, distribution agreements, trademark registrations and even a few lawsuits, May found himself “fascinated” by the work lawyers did, and started drafting some of the documents himself while asking the real attorneys to review his work.

May later decided to attend law school, and after looking at what a few had to offer, decided Cooley was “the right fit” for him because of its location, and night and weekend class schedule that allowed him to continue working.

He planned on focusing on business law, but when the economy crashed, so did his businesses.