Double duty: Law Review editor also serves as moot court president


WMU-Cooley Law School student, Nancy Zieah (right) is pictured before a moot court competition.
(Photo courtesy of Nancy Zieah)

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Eight years of owning and operating a liquor store in downtown Detroit shaped the way Nancy Zieah sees the law.

“I had to find a balance between a neighborhood at odds with itself and the multiple law enforcement divisions in the downtown area,” she says.

Now a 3L student on the Dean’s List and Honor Roll at WMU-Cooley Law School, Zieah was drawn to the law by its ability to provide aid and assistance.”

The current president of the Melissa Mitchell Moot Court, Zieah earned the Trinity Term Top Advocate Award in 2021 for the highest score in a single round.

 Last year she was a member of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team that ranked amongst top 30 national teams in Advanced Rounds.

“My first term was particularly difficult and I wasn’t sure if this was the right career path for me, but Moot Court reassured me that law school is exactly where I was meant to be,” she says. “In our first year, we get so bogged down with preparing for finals that we don’t realize how much we have learned. Moot Court is where students are able to apply the material, and this helped us see how to approach those daunting exams.”

Her experience with expungement came from volunteering for Safe and Just, an organization that hosts expungement fairs in the metro-Detroit area.

“The most memorable clients were those who were motivated by principle and sought expungement for offenses that dated back to the ‘70s and ‘80s,” she says. “Today’s sentencing programs and options would have yielded very different results and while we can’t turn back the hands of time, it was humbling to see them find some solace.”    

Last September, Zieah started an externship at the Washtenaw County Office of Public Defender in Ann Arbor.

“I appreciated my supervisor for approaching this position with a ‘sink or swim’ mentality,” she says. “I didn’t spend weeks observing and conducting an endless amount of legal research. By the second week, she had me on the record and let me be uncomfortable.

She enjoys serving as editor-in-chief of Law Review; and last year was honored with the Dawn C. Beachnau Award,; and she  co-founded and serves as president of the school’s Chapter of Scribes..

She also has enjoyed serving as a Teaching Assistant for Evidence, and for Criminal Procedure.   

“The best part of being a TA is relieving students from their exam anxiety,” she says. “Everyone is troubled by the unknown, so it’s nice to give students a little insight into what they can expect and that helps them focus on the material that matters.” ”    

She plans on launching her career in the field of criminal defense.

“Hopefully, that helps set the foundation for appellate work. I enjoy areas of the law that are geared towards appellate work—specifically, criminal appeals. This area of the law is where I can combine my passions for writing and oral advocacy,” she says.


Subscribe to the Legal News!

Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more

Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year

Three-County & Full Pass also available