Law School Discussion

Attending Cooley

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2004, 09:41:24 AM »
so then you're basically saying, lawgirl, that cooley was a good 'stepping stone' (not meaning to sound mean!) for you? i'm guessing you've only been there a semester or a year? thanks for all your insight you gave so far. i really appreciate it. :)

and evan? good luck w/that commute every weekend!! wow!! :o i definitely hope that this will make everything you want to do come to fruition. best of luck to you! :)

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2004, 09:49:30 AM »


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2004, 07:24:57 PM »
what was the suit against the ABA all about?

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2004, 08:47:32 PM »
If you go to Cooley's website (homepage), you can see the specifics. Basically, Cooley is suing because the ABA has withheld approval of Cooley's satellite campus programs. It is more involved than that, but that is the gist of it.


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2004, 07:48:51 AM »
Yeah, I found a Free Press article about it.....

I've done alot of research on Cooley, and as far as I'm concerned, Cooley is like a Devry or U of Phoenix as far as law schools pay them a ton of money and in return you get a piece of paper that saying you'er a firms know this which is why Cooley resumes go right in the trash..

Whether you agree or disagree about the quality of lawyers that Cooley turns out, the fact is that Cooley grads, the ones who actually do make it through 3 years of legal study, only make about $40,000 on average in the Private sector....

Take that salary that minus the payments to your student loans (assuming you will have them...Cooley costs $20,000+ per year for tuition btw) and you are talking about living close to the poverty level with a law degree...

The one attorney I know that attended Cooley is only employed because he did structural engineering for undergrad and the firm he works for does construction law....and even then, he was started at $45,000 whereas a Wayne State grad who also works for this firm was started closer to $60,000....

If all you are looking to do is work in the public sector, the you must have already taken the finances into account and Cooley would be just fine....

But private practive is pretty much out of the question if you're paying for school yourself and attend Cooley

you won't have many employment options, especially in the Southeast Michigan area, being that Michigan, DCL, Wayne State, Ave Maria, and Detroit Mercy are ALL in close proximity

U of D Mercy would be a better school to try to get into or to transfer to in my opinion

Evan Hanson

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2004, 08:30:28 AM »
John it's interesting that you say Cooley resumes go right in the trash because there are several Cooley grads working at some of Atlanta's best firms.  Of course I met David Gambrell once and it wouldn't surprise me that he would dig in the trash if he thought he could find a good attorney there.  Seriously, I think that if you look around at successful Cooley graduates you'll find they probably had the following characteristics:

They didn't pay for school. 

They graduated with honors.

Many of them published more than once before graduating.

I don't think Cooley's for everyone but it does provide some people the opportunity to get a legal education within the constraints of their schedule.


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2004, 09:00:01 AM »
I know what you are saying...

There are going to be a few lawyers who went to Cooley out there, if nothing else simply because the school admits everyone...I think they have the highest enrollment of any law school this year...something like 2, yes, with enrollment that high, there's going to be a few Cooley grads practicing law...but the majority will not have many employment options, regardless of how good of an attorney they would make...employers simply have no faitih in the school....I don't know what the reason is, but that's reality

The Cooley name is more of a liability than an assett in the legal world, and you only go to law school once, so going there should be given alot of consideration...

On average, a Cooley degree will earn you $40,000...private or public sector...those numbers are from the school itself, so I trust their accuracy....

To compare to other Michigan schools, U of D Mercy grads earn $54,000 to start and Wayne State grads earn $65,000 to start....

If you want to make about what a paralegal makes or less, then go to Cooley...of you want to practice law and be paid what you feel you are worth, there are other better options available

Evan Hanson

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2004, 10:36:57 AM »
John would you rather earn 40K with no debt or 60K with 20-50K in debt?  For someone who has no grand plans for a career at a big law firm the idea of a basically free education is very appealing.


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2004, 11:45:03 AM »
I'm going to Cooley this fall and there are plenty of firms that will hire a Cooley grad.

I grew up in Michigan where my father was an attorney for over 35 years (he went to Detroit College of Law back in the 60s.) From my personal experience, its not about the school you attend (unless its not accredited), but about the individual. I'm talking about work ethic, the ability to apply what they've learned, and the motivation to succeed. I think too many law school grads expect to graduate, pass the bar, and start cashing big fat checks - when this is seldom the case.

I've personally known many attorneys and judges who attended Cooley and are doing well for themselves. At the same time, I've known an attorney who went to Harvard who my old man regularly thrashed in the courtroom because, "he just didn't get it" (father's words.)

I'm not worried about Cooley's bar passage rates - just MY bar passage rate. When you have a school with a liberal admissions policy, flexible scheduling, an increasingly large student body, and satellite campuses (maybe someday, right? haha) the margin of error would seem to increase accordingly because face it, some people are just not cut out for law. We all rise to our own level of incompetence, right?  Statistically-speaking, half of all professionals (docs, lawyers, dentists, etc) graduated in the bottom half of their class.  I work for a government contractor and there's a person here w/ a law degree answering phones for 8.00/hr. Am I worried I'm going to turn out like that? No way.

My plan, as I see it, is to go to Cooley, excel, maybe field some job offers, but if all else fails, I could easily go into private practice and start pulling 60K immediately. Keep in mind, that's year 1. Salaries will only continue to rise, and faster than w/o the law degree.

IVYLAW and those snobs can fight over the 80-hour weeks in NYC where the cost of living eats into that six figure salary pretty quick. Have fun with all that. Maybe that's why they're here talking *&^% about Cooley instead of working or studying. 

Ultimately, we all must look within ourselves and decide if we are truly willing to undertake such a major investment of time, money, and effort.  They way I look at it, why not? I'm worth it and I'd rather not live my life wondering what would've happened had I gone to law school.

Believe me, there are plenty of firms that will hire a motivated, hard working, and knowledgable Cooley grad, I speak from experience.


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2004, 11:57:56 AM »
In the example you gave me, there's no question...I would take 60k with 50k in debt over 40k...reason being that your break even point is only 2 1/2 years....after that, you're talking about earning 50% more (which is huge) simply because you made the right choice by picking a more respected better quality law school

And it's not just about working at a big's about giving yourself options to pursuit the kind of law or career that you feel is right for you once you've gone through law school and been exposed to a few things...

Cooley leaves you with fewer options than any other school, and leaves you with almost zero options in Michigan....there's a better chance that you'll end up settling for the only job available to you rather than being able to pursuit the job you want...

There's absolutley no reason to choose Cooley unless you were rejected from every other school you applied to...and even then it's questionable if you are serious about wanting to practice law or enter a law related field...

And with alot of schools offering evening programs nowadays, there's no reason to go there simply for flexability anymore

With law school pumping out lawyers in record numbers, employers can be choosy as to who they hire, and for whatever reason, Cooley is dead last on alot of that doesn't neccessarily mean that the quality of education is poorer, but it does mean that employers think it is, and that's reality...

Picking a law school is too important of a choice to ignore the facts