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Lightfoot Lawyers Participate in Street Law, Inc. Program With Client General Motors

March 26, 2021

Lightfoot partners Brandon Essig and Sandy Hooper, along with associate Bridget Harris, taught virtual classes about the law this month to students at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School through a program run by Street Law, Inc. in collaboration with the firm’s client General Motors LLC (GM LLC). Street Law offers programs and teaching materials to inform people across the United States and around the world about law and government. 

GM is a longtime partner of Street Law and typically partners with its local partner firms to participate in its annual program, which includes teaching high school students from diverse backgrounds about the law and careers in the legal profession, with the hope they will go on to college and possibly law school. With the shift to online learning due to COVID-19, GM has expanded the program this year to include lawyers from across the country, which is how Lightfoot got involved. 

“This is an amazing initiative doing important work so that as many diverse Detroit students as possible learn about the law and how it can be a viable career path for them, regardless of their background,” said Harris, who is spearheading Lightfoot’s involvement. “We’re honored that GM asked us to participate this year.”

Essig, Hooper and Harris led a class on contracts law where students learned about disputes and participated in mock negotiations. Harris also taught a separate class exploring the various career paths available in the legal profession. 

Essig focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, corporate investigations, NCAA compliance and investigations, and general litigation. He joined Lightfoot after nearly eight years as a federal prosecutor for the Department of Justice in the Middle District of Alabama where he tried multiple felony jury trials each year. Prior to his time at the DOJ, Essig was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps where he worked as a prosecutor and deployed with an infantry unit to Fallujah, Iraq. 

Hooper’s practice includes product liability, premises liability, transportation litigation and medical device litigation. In particular, he has extensive experience defending automobile and heavy truck manufacturers and motor carriers in suits arising from catastrophic accidents. Hooper also defends medical device companies, suppliers of automotive components and a railroad service provider.

Harris primarily practices in the areas of product liability, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and commercial litigation. She advocates for her clients day-in and day-out, whether through mediation, arbitration or at trial. She was selected as one of the finest law firm writers of 2020 by the Burton Awards, a national program run in association with the Library of Congress and presented by Law360 for an article that she co-authored, “Diversity’s Next Step: Developing Minority Partners.” 

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