Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Corporation Counsel Judy Cunningham is blazing a trail as the first public official to serve as president of the Oakland County Bar Association. She will serve until June of 2013.
"As the OCBA's 80th president, I consider it a privilege to be the first government lawyer and the seventh woman to lead this amazing organization in the coming year," said Cunningham.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Cunningham will be a great leader at the OCBA in the year ahead.
"Judy has a record of precedent-setting legal victories for Oakland County," said Patterson. "The passion and energy she brings to her role at the county will serve the bar association well."
Cunningham, the first woman to serve as Oakland County corporation counsel, began working with Oakland County as a part-time summer law clerk in 1980. She joined the county full time in 1983 as deputy administrator of the Circuit Court. In 1988, she became Circuit Court administrator – a position she held until Patterson appointed her corporation counsel in 1999. She is a 1983 graduate of the Detroit College of Law.
As corporation counsel, Cunningham oversees a staff of 11 attorneys which manages a total of about 1,250 assignments each year. More than 90% of Oakland County’s lawsuits are handled in house saving taxpayers significant legal fees that would otherwise be spent on outside counsel.
Cunningham has been an active member of the OCBA since 1983. She was elected to its Board of Directors in 2004 and re-elected in 2007 and 2010. She was the first co-recipient of the OCBA’s Distinguished Public Servant Award in 1999 and also received its Distinguished Service Award in 1985.
Cunningham was honored twice by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, a legal news publication. In 2008, she was among 20 attorneys in Michigan to receive MLW’s recognition of “In-House Leader in the Law.” She also was part of MLW’s “Women in the Law” ceremony for her contributions to the legal system and her mentoring efforts with young lawyers in 2010.
Cunningham, a resident of Bloomfield Hills, has two adult children: Meredith, who teaches high school Spanish in Waterford Schools; and Jacob, who is a recent graduate of Cooley Law School. Cunningham's favorite title is that of "grandma" to her 2-year-old granddaughter, Madeline.
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