MSU College of Law

J. Michael Buckley

Adjunct Professor
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 368
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

J. Michael Buckley has been employed by the United States Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) since 1990. Before being appointed as an AUSA, he served as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor in Detroit. Professor Buckley has extensive jury trial experience as both a state and federal prosecutor and, before that, as a criminal defense attorney.

Professor Buckley is currently the Deputy Chief of the Public Corruption Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit. For over seven years, Professor Buckley served the Office in the capacity of Senior Litigation Counsel (SLC), responsible for teaching AUSA’s the art of trial advocacy. He has handled some of the Office’s most challenging and complex trials. He is a guest instructor at the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, where he teaches trial advocacy to AUSA’s and Justice Department Trial Attorneys from around the nation. A recipient of numerous awards and citations during his career, Professor Buckley has three times (1998, 2005, and 2014) been awarded the Director’s Award for Superior Performance by an Assistant United States Attorney, in Washington, D.C., one of the most prestigious awards conferred upon its trial lawyers by the United States Department of Justice.

Professor Buckley teaches Trial II (Criminal) in the Trial Practice Institute.

J.D. 1984, cum laude, Detroit College of Law; B.A. 1980, University of Michigan

  • Trial Practice Institute-Trial II
    (Formerly DCL 542 and DCL 565, Formerly Trial Practice Institute-Trial IIA and Trial Practice Institute-Trial IIB ) Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program. This course caps the trial training program at Michigan State University-DCL College of Law. The purpose of the course is to provide graduating seniors with the opportunity to use the skills and education they have received to handle a complete criminal case, from their initial interview with the client (or making the charging decision based upon a law enforcement investigation and request for warrant). This program is unique in that the defendant, law enforcement witnesses, civilian witnesses, and expert witnesses will be students from the Michigan State University, Department of Theatre. The expert witnesses will be students from the Michigan State University Medical School. The objective for all students involved is to have hands on experience related to their particular college and curriculum at Michigan State University. Law students will have an opportunity to take a criminal case from start to finish, investigating the facts of the case, preparing for all aspects of the case through the development of the theory of the case, interviewing witnesses, conducting the preliminary examination, motion practice and culminating with the trial itself. The goal is to provide an opportunity to put into practice what students have learned over their law school career at MSU College of Law. Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program. Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.