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At A Glance

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Earn a J.D. degree plus a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in less time! The joint degree program allows select Cooley students to take up to nine credits of LL.M. coursework before they complete their juris doctor degree. The credits will count toward both degrees, permitting these students to save significant time and money while obtaining the knowledge, skills, and credentials for a successful law practice. Once the J.D. degree is awarded, students can either obtain their LL.M. in two semesters or take up to five years to complete the degree with classes convenient to their work schedule.

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The Thomas M. Cooley Law School's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 3095
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 142 - 151
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 2.57 - 3.36
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 72.14%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 69.67%
Tuition $37,140

Overview

Overview

About The Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Earn a J.D. degree plus a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in less time! The joint degree program allows select Cooley students to take up to nine credits of LL.M. coursework before they complete their juris doctor degree. The credits will count toward both degrees, permitting these students to save significant time and money while obtaining the knowledge, skills, and credentials for a successful law practice. Once the J.D. degree is awarded, students can either obtain their LL.M. in two semesters or take up to five years to complete the degree with classes convenient to their work schedule.

Reviews

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan is the “the largest law school” in the United States in terms of enrollment. There are four Michigan campuses—one in the state capital of Lansing, one in the northern suburbs of Detroit, one in Grand Rapids and and one in Ann Arbor. Cooley’s newest campus in Tampa Bay, Florida opened in May 2013. Cooley prides itself on “flexible” and “accommodating” scheduling. There are “daytime, nighttime, and weekend” classes. There are “three terms year-round” as well, and you can start in January, May, or September. Students tell us the price tag is “very affordable.” Either way, Cooley offers “a lot of financial aid and scholarship opportunities.” Technology is also “cutting-edge,” and the law library is one of the most extensive in the country.Students here describe Cooley as an “underrated” “lawyer-making machine.” It’s not the place for you if you want to imbibe legal theory, though. “The school promotes practical application so you are ready to jump into your career” immediately upon graduation. Real legal experience “is required.” Every student must complete a clinic, internship, externship, or otherwise demonstrate the equivalent in work experience. “Lectures are practical and grounded instead of theoretical.” Course selection is broad and specializations are available but the number of mandatory courses is “a little ridicu­lous,” and it “may prevent you from taking many electives and delving deeply into a particular area of interest.” Basically, “Cooley’s thinking is that if it is tested on the bar, it should be a required class.” “This law school prepares you for the bar exam.” Period. Some students love the “hard-working” administration. Others say that the top brass is “frigid.” Far and away, the biggest administrative complaint is that Cooley takes its sweet time posting grades. Like, “forever.” The faculty is “interesting, entertaining, and knowledgeable,” and it’s full of professors who have “actually practiced law.” There are also “many adjunct professors.” They’re typically judges, partners at big law firms, or general counsel for major corporations. Outside of class, faculty members are very approachable. “The accessibility of the professors is second to none,” beams a 3L. The “rigorous” academic atmosphere here is “not for the faint hearted.” “Class sizes tend to be quite large.” Professors generally “employ the Socratic Method and are always seeking to test your knowledge of the material.” “The majority of students get C’s.” “Exams are tough, and an A is well earned.” “Cooley lowers the bar for admissions, but after that you are on your own to sink or swim,” warns a 1L. “Cooley is very hard to stay in.” Although the school has a fully staffed academic support resouce center, students uniformly promise that “you will struggle to survive through all three of your years here.” “You better know the law,” they say. “If you slack off, you’ll fail out.”

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 1143

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Graduates Last Year: 20

Description: An advanced, professional study of the law and process related to the regulation of businesses and the financial services industry. Includes instruction in corporate law, antitrust law, securities law and regulation, negotiation, incorporation, partnerships, trusts, and related topics

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 16

Description: An advanced, professional study of the law, policies, and regulations related to copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and related issues. Includes instruction in patent law, copyright law, trademark law, intellectual property licensing and litigation, and applications such as art and entertainment law, communications law, information technology law, sports law, and chemical and biotech patent law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Graduates Last Year: 14

Description: An advanced, professional study of tax law and taxation procedures in U.S. or Canadian jurisdictions affecting individuals and corporations.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 3

Description: A program that prepares lawyers educated outside the United States to understand U. S. or Canadian law and jurisprudence.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD/MBA, JD/MPA, JD/MSW: 3-6 years with Western Michigan University JD/MBA, JD/MPA: 3-6 years with Western Michigan University JD/MBA: 3-6 years with Davenport University LL.M/MBA in Insurance Law: 1-3 years with Olivet College JD/LL.M.: 3-6 years JD/MBA 3-6 years with Oakland University JD/MPA 3-6 years with Oakland University JD/LLM 3-6 years

Specialty Law Programs

  • Commercial
  • Constitutional
  • Corporation Securities
  • Environmental
  • Government Services
  • Human Rights
  • International
  • Taxation
  • Intellectual Property

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 327
Full-Time Faculty 103
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 28
Part-Time Faculty 196
Faculty Gender 62% Male
37% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 19 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 50% Male
50% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 62%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0%
Multi-racial 4%
International 6%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Ethnicity Unknown 2%
Black or African American 15%
Asian 4%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $37,140 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $37,140 $37,140

Financial Aid

90% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision:

Incoming Class

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 147 - 155
LSAT Part-Time 141 - 149
LSAT Total 142 - 151

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 2.65 - 3.37
Part-Time 2.57 - 3.36
Total 2.57 - 3.36

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Undergraduate GPA

Admission Requirements

Required: Standardized Test Scores, Undergraduate GPA

Optional: Recommendations, Work Experience, Extracurricular Activities, State Residency, Personal Essay, Interview

Rankings

Rankings

The Princeton Review

#4 Most Competitive Students

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 77%
First Time Pass Rate 72%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 83%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 19
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 70%
Average Starting Salary $50,000
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 214 32%
Firm Sized 11-25 32 5%
Firm Sized 26-50 11 5%
Firm Sized 51-100 8 1%
Firm Sized 101-250 7 1%
Firm Sized 251-500 5 1%
Firm Sized 501+ 2 0%
Business Industry 176 26%
Government 86 13%
Public Interest 21 3%
Federal Clerkship 2 0%
State Clerkship 41 6%
Academia 18 3%
Unknown Employer Type 2 0%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 49 5%
Unemployed, Seeking 215 20%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 29 3%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
FL 3%
IL 4%
MI 33%
International 2%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of The Thomas M. Cooley Law School include:

  • Bill Neilsen - Director of Industry Outreach, Developer of XBOX360 and Bing for Microsoft
  • Hon. Hiroe Makiyama - Councillor, House of Councillor, Diet of Japan
  • Jane Markey - Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals
  • Bart R. Stupak - U. S. Representative
  • John Engler - Former Governor of Michigan

Associations & Memberships

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