Justice Bridget Mary McCormack
Justice Bridget Mary McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013. Before her election to the Court in November 2012, she was a law professor and dean at the University of Michigan Law School.
Justice McCormack is a graduate of the New York University Law School, where she won the Anne Petluck Poses Prize for Advocacy. She spent the first five years of her legal career in New York, first with the Legal Aid Society and then at the Office of the Appellate Defender, representing over 1,000 clients in New York's trial and appellate courts. In 1996, she became a faculty fellow at the Yale Law School.
In 1998, she joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty. At Michigan Law, she taught criminal law and legal ethics. She focused on the professional benefits of clinical legal education, supervising the law school’s General Litigation Clinic. She also created new clinics at the law school, including a Domestic Violence Clinic and a Pediatric Health Advocacy Clinic.
In 2002, she was made Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. Responsible for the continuing development of the law school’s practical education, she continued to expand the clinical offerings at Michigan Law School, launching a Mediation Clinic, a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, an International Transactions Clinic, a Human Trafficking Clinic, a Juvenile Justice Clinic and an Entrepreneurship Clinic. In her capacity as professor and associate dean, she conducted and supervised many types of civil and criminal litigation at all levels of the state and federal courts. The University of Michigan Law School’s clinical programs are now recognized nationally as one of the best places to be trained as a lawyer.
In 2008, then-Associate Dean McCormack founded the Michigan Innocence Clinic, in which students represent wrongfully convicted Michiganders. The clinic has exonerated seven people so far, and has shined a light on the important justice issues underlying wrongful conviction. In 2010, McCormack won the “Justice for All” Award for the Clinic’s work, and in 2011 the Washtenaw County Bar Association gave her the “Patriot Award.” In 2012, she won the Cooley Law School’s “Distinguished Brief Award” for the best brief filed in the Michigan Supreme Court during the term.
Justice McCormack is married to Steven Croley, also a lawyer and law professor, currently on leave from the University of Michigan Law School to serve as Deputy Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel. They have four children in the Ann Arbor public schools, and enjoy frequent family trips to west Michigan.