Mr. Chris Johnson
Thomas Cooley Law School
Following his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1973, Johnson served as an Army officer in Alaska and New Jersey and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. After his honorable discharge from the Army in 1978, he attended New York Law School from which he graduated with Honors in 1981.
His legal career started as an associate at a Wall Street law firm. In 1985, he left the practice of law to become a headhunter. It was with his last client, General Motors, that he made his last placement—himself—as an attorney in 1988. Accepting the role as GM’s attorney handling computer law matters, he rose through the ranks as that fledgling practice flourished, to Practice Area Manager, Assistant General Counsel and ultimately, Vice President and General Counsel of GM North America, a position he held for the last seven years in a twenty year GM Career which ended with his retirement in 2008.
While at GM, Johnson championed a number of initiatives in the access to justice, access to law school and diversity arenas. His commitment in those areas led him to Thomas M. Cooley Law School, which shares this commitment, and where he currently is a law professor and director/founder of the LL.M. program in Corporate Law and Finance. He is actively involved in Cooley’s high school and college pipeline programs, and its mission of access to law school.
In February of 2012 he led a statewide human trafficking awareness event which was simulcast to Cooley’s four Michigan campuses. He will also lead a Law Review Symposium and Conference on Corporate Responsibility and Human Trafficking on November 1-2 at Cooley.