Law School Discussion

Attending Cooley

Evan Hanson

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2004, 12:37:11 PM »
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...

Popppycock.  What if you work two jobs and the only time you can attend law school is on weekends?  What if you are unwilling or unable to relocate and Cooley's flexible scheduling allows you to take classes?  There are scores of reasons why someone may choose Cooley over another school. 

As for Cooley graduates being unable to work in Michigan Martindale lists over 2000 Cooley graduates in Michigan, 90 in Detroit including several at Miller Canfield.

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2004, 08:27:37 PM »
Dan, I hear what you're saying and you make a lot of good points about the legal system.  Only in the field of Law is it such a big deal as to what SCHOOL you went to.  Med students graduate from any med school and immediately start practicing medicine at any hospital, regardless if they went to Harvard Med school or Arizona State Med school.  Law should be like that but its not. 

The practice of Law is very cut throat.  The entire profession is based on being better than the next guy.  From that standpoint, you have to conceed that Thomas Cooley law school puts you at a disadvantage in this legal world we live in.  I'm sure that you can succeed and become employed somewhere graduating from Cooley.  According to the new ABA data that was just released, the majority of Cooley graduates did find employment .  However there are still quite a significant % that are unemployed.  I mean can you imagine going through ALL OF THAT to not get a job?

Cooley was founded on the F this legal system philosophy which I can appreciate, however what I don't agree with is how Cooley operates.  Why is 2/3 of the school FIRST YEAR STUDENTS???  That is disturbing. That means that less than half of them are coming back for their 2nd year.  If Cooley really cared about its students then the numbers would reflect that.  Its seems they are welcoming on the admissions end, but then they try to weed out their 1L's.

The bottom line is, you could do all of the things that you stated in your previous post at any other law school.  Especially at a Law School that is not actively trying to weed you out.  I first started applying to law schools 2 years ago, and when i did, Cooley was the only one that my low LSAT score would allow me to enter.  But weighing my options, the reputation of Cooley, and my uncertain future if I attended, I decided to wait for an entire year, retake the LSAT, reapply to law schools for this year, and was accepted at a number of respectable institutions.

All I'm saying is that the easy road is not always the best road.  Good luck to you and to all of us.

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2004, 10:56:29 PM »
I applied to many law schools, and got waitlisted on half, rejected on the other half, and only got into Thomas M. Cooley. I will have 50% scholarship on tuition.
My question is: Is Cooley law worth attending? I have read about its poor name and reputation, and I also think that law school name is very important toward future employment (unlike med school). I do not want to blow 60k and then not have a job.

Now, what I want to do is government work. Will Cooley get me into the govt, or will the govt just throw out my resume, after seeing Cooley?

I got a 155 on the LSAT. In 4-5 months, will this score improve? I saw that someone else on this discussion retook lsat and reapplied, and was successful. Is taking 1 year off worth it?
i hope someone can give me some good answers, as I will need to make a decision soon.

Evan Hanson

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2004, 06:42:13 AM »
Choices, do you really want to be a lawyer?  If so than Cooley is worth attending.  That being said I think that we would all agree your job prospects your first year out of school are not going to be equal to a graduate of NYU.  You don't want to spend 60K and then not have a job I don't think anyone would, however you've got a couple of options.  With your 50% scholarship Cooley is going to run you about 10 grand a year in tuition.  Were you planning on working?  That could help defer the cost.  If you’re really worried about Cooley’s rep you could always transfer. You say you want to do government work, unfortunately that usually means low pay. My advice, register for the June LSAT try to get your score up by 8 points.  That would get you a 100% scholarship at Cooley, which would let you pursue your desired job with very little debt.

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2004, 01:31:39 AM »
I think Cooley students get an excellent education from knowledgeable, helpful professors -- if they are able to avoid being kicked out before graduation, that is -- but if you want to attend Cooley, there are some things you should be aware of. 

First, it seems to me that it isn't just the smartest students that "survive", but those who can best withstand exhaustion: While other law schools have a reading period and then an exam period that lasts two weeks (with a mandated break of at least one day in between exams), Cooley does not have a reading period and the exam period is only ONE WEEK -- meaning you may very well have five exams within five days.  Exam time is not enjoyable at any law school, but Cooley makes it especially stressful. 

In addition, many law schools allow open book exams and allow students to bring their outlines to the exams.  Every exam you take at Cooley, however, will be closed book with no notes allowed.  So you had better be very good at memorizing large quantities of material, because if your memory fails you during an exam you will have nothing to refer to.

It is also important to keep in mind that, should you choose to attend Cooley, you will have to take 63 credits' worth of required classes.  There will not be a lot of room in your schedule for electives, especially if you choose to specialize.  If I am not mistaken, no other law school has as many required courses. 

Many people attend Cooley believing they will be able to transfer to another law school after the first year, but this is a risk because transferring is difficult: You must be at the top of your class to transfer, Cooley professors are notoriously stingy when it comes to giving As and Bs, and there is a lot of competition among the students.  I think Cooley attracts many people who have poor LSAT scores but do not want to retake the test to improve their scores and delay law school for a year.  As a result, many Cooley students feel "trapped" when that school is the only one that accepts them and then they can't transfer.   Others, smart perhaps but not able to cope well with the demands unique to Cooley, end up getting kicked out -- effectively ending their dreams of becoming attorneys.  I personally believe it is better to get the best possible score on the LSAT -- even if you can't begin law school as soon as you would like -- and then to go to a school you will not want to transfer out of and that has an attrition rate MUCH lower than Cooley's.


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2004, 02:47:13 AM »
Everything Law Chica said is on point!  I go to Cooley and all I can say is please take her advice and retake the LSAT so that you can get into a better school. 

Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2004, 07:56:04 PM »
I would like to add some things to the message I posted recently.

The elitism that exists among law students concerning law school rankings is immature and unfortunate, and Cooley bears the brunt of this the most.  Shouldn't we all be on the same team -- regardless of which law schools we attend? 

I address this to those who attend law schools that fare better in the rankings than Cooley and therefore feel free to bash the school. Ask yourselves the following.  Do you think you could handle taking five exams in five days, as opposed to two weeks, with no reading period to precede your exam week?  Could you handle never being able to bring your books and outlines into your exams?  How does not ever having take-home exams sit with you?  If there were NO grade inflation, how high would your grades actually be?

I think I am safe in assuming that people who attend law schools that have the "padding" Cooley sorely lacks would not trade their more comfortable environments for the overly strict, stressful one provided by Cooley. And if the Cooley bashers were honest with themselves, they would admit their law school experiences would perhaps not be as successful if they were Cooley students instead. 


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2004, 10:53:16 AM »
I'm from New Jersey and will be going to Cooley in Jan. Anyone starting in Jan '05??


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2004, 11:15:29 AM »
I plan to start law school in fall 04 at the Oakland Campus.The low attrition rates do bother me. What is appealing to me about the law school is abilty to be finished in two years.     

Will I be able to find out job outside of MI?  I am not from MI and I do not plan on living and working in MI.

Do you know of any Federal Judges that graduate from Cooley? 


Re: Attending Cooley
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2004, 05:32:59 PM »
Attending Cooley is certainly better than not attending any law school at all.  If you want to be a lawyer, sometimes it's who you know, not where have you gone to school. 

With that being said, there are of course some firms that will immediately eliminate you because of where you have your degree from. However, if you are serious about being a lawyer, certainly an experienced interviewer will be able to realize this and where you went to school won't matter to that person. Moreover, if your peformance in law school was exceptional, again, it won't matter where you have your degree from.

I've personally seen graduates from Tier I schools get salary offers and accepted jobs far less than the Cooley average and less than experienced paralegals at a firm!!!. My point: going to a Tier I school does not guarantee a huge starting salary!   

If you are serious about being a lawyer or obtaining a legal education, Cooley should not be overlooked as a option.