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Author Topic: Thomas Cooley Students  (Read 52739 times)

gotcha

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Thomas Cooley Students
« on: April 26, 2007, 02:42:16 PM »
I'm looking to atten Thomas Cooley this Fall 2007.  Any students attending this fall?  Are there any current students from Cooley who can give me a heads up about the school?  Thanks

djdvine

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2007, 07:19:40 PM »
I'm looking to atten Thomas Cooley this Fall 2007.  Any students attending this fall?  Are there any current students from Cooley who can give me a heads up about the school?  Thanks

Hi, I will be attending Cooley this fall, and I too am looking for as much information I can get.  I called the Cooley Alumni office and got the names and numbers for graduates in the Denver CO area, and they sent me a list.  I have already talked to one of them today, really nice guy, with a lot of good things to say.
Let's keep in touch.
Dave

Flashman

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2007, 07:06:21 AM »
Hey, guys (or gals): I am graduating next month from Cooley, so welcome! I had a great time here, but I'm glad it's almost done.  I did the 4 year, part time, night class thing because I work full time at Michigan State University during the day.

The good: very nice facilities, some really good professors, and some outstanding moot court or mock trial opportunities if you're into that. I am a big believer in you get out of law school what you put into it, and there are some really smart people here (a guy I started with graduated last year with a 4.0 and had scored 178 on the LSAT), so don't be discouraged that Cooley is ranked so low on the USNEW &WR rankings. 

The bad: Lansing can be a real culture shock for out of staters (I have lived all over the country, but in Lansing for the last 10 years, so I know how to amuse myself in this town).  If you are used to the bright lights big city routine, you WILL be disappointed.  The good thing is the vast majority of the student body here is out of state, so you will have plenty of people to commiserate with, and some nice downtown bars to do it in.

The ugly: Cooley has the largest student body in the country.  You won't notice that too much day to day because they have morning, afternoon, night, and weekend classes, as well as two satellite schools, so it's not like every class has 200 people in it.  Your first year classes will have your incoming classmates in them, so they will be generally the largest. 2nd and 3rd year classes are smaller. 

I was disappointed that there were not that many electives to take, even though the catalog lists a lot of interesting classes, many are not taught every term or fill up quickly.  You have different concentrations (litigation, small/solo practice, etc.) that you can take that have different required classes that eat up a lot of your electives, so plan ahead carefully as to what you are going to take.

Cooley has a high turnover rate.  Because of the easy entrance requirements, there are many students who start off at Cooley who probably shouldn't be in law school.  My cynical side says a high student population who doesn't graduate is necessary for the school to pay for such nice, modern facilities.  I've read that Cooley's take is that they give people an opportunity to go to law school who otherwise would never get the chance, and that's true.  Cooley does not coddle people; the grading is completely anonymous, so you have to be on your game for every class your entire time.  I will say that Cooley bends over backwards to help students succeed; if you don't succeed here, it's because you didn't try or law school wasn't for you in the first place.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who fit either or both of those categories.

In any case, going here was one of the best things that I've ever done, and I don't regret it at all.  If you have any more specific questions I'll be happy to answer.  Good luck.

brewha

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2007, 10:36:41 AM »
I bet you all made your decisions based on Cooley's self-ranking of 12th in the nation... or whatever insanity it is.
pudding is delightful

Flashman

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2007, 01:25:25 PM »
Uh, yeah, I had to laugh when I was looking up law schools about the ranking, too.  I think when I started 4 years ago they were in the "top 3", or whatever.  Silliness.  OTOH, about as silly and arbitrary as the rankings in USN & WR every year. Look, if you're not in a top 20 law school, does it really matter what ranking you are?  Michigan State University Law School went ape sh*t a couple of years ago when they moved from a 4th tier law school to a third tier (mainly because they changed their name from Detroit College of Law to MSU Law School).  The big three are class rank, Law Review, and moot court or mock trial experience. And even if you don't score on those three, you can still get a good job, you just have to hustle a little more.

djdvine

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2007, 06:59:22 PM »
Uh, yeah, I had to laugh when I was looking up law schools about the ranking, too.  I think when I started 4 years ago they were in the "top 3", or whatever.  Silliness.  OTOH, about as silly and arbitrary as the rankings in USN & WR every year. Look, if you're not in a top 20 law school, does it really matter what ranking you are?  Michigan State University Law School went ape sh*t a couple of years ago when they moved from a 4th tier law school to a third tier (mainly because they changed their name from Detroit College of Law to MSU Law School).  The big three are class rank, Law Review, and moot court or mock trial experience. And even if you don't score on those three, you can still get a good job, you just have to hustle a little more.

Flashman, thanks so much for the honest opinions.  I really appreciate your candor.  I'm glad that you have had an ok experience.  I will be attending full time starting in September.  Maybe you could answer a few questions for me?  First, as far as housing is concerned, could you please give me a half decent idea of a place to live in WALKING distance to the school.  I only need a one bedroom apartment. 
Second: So, let's be clear, even with the high flunk rate, if I go there, work my ass off, and get help from the teachers (by the way, are the teachers accessible out of class?), I shouldn't fail, right?  While I don't think I'm the smartest person in the world, I am very driven.  I really want to succeed.  I may need help of the teachers to do that, I'll be honest. 
Third: I think I am interesting in practicing litigation law of some sort, maybe even as a prosecutor.  Does Cooley have internship / externships avialable that would help me reach that goal? 
Fourth: As far as jobs go, is Cooley's reputation going to limit me finding a job outside of Lansing MI?  I know I don't want to work in a really big law firm, but still , I would like to be able to land a job somewhere.

I think I may be tapping you as a resource quite often, I hope you don't mind.  Thanks again for your help!

Dave

gotcha

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2007, 04:41:20 PM »
 :) Thanks for all the replies especially to FLASHMAN.  Congratulations to you and good luck in the real world  ;)

To DjDivine:  We can keep in touch - I will message you privately as well.  I am thinking of attending Thomas Cooley this fall.

To Flashman:  I might keep in contact with you if you don't mind.  I have a few questions to you and I think that you can be a great help.

Thanks guys. 

Flashman

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2007, 11:46:59 AM »

Flashman, thanks so much for the honest opinions.  I really appreciate your candor.  I'm glad that you have had an ok experience.  I will be attending full time starting in September.  Maybe you could answer a few questions for me?  First, as far as housing is concerned, could you please give me a half decent idea of a place to live in WALKING distance to the school.  I only need a one bedroom apartment. 
Second: So, let's be clear, even with the high flunk rate, if I go there, work my ass off, and get help from the teachers (by the way, are the teachers accessible out of class?), I shouldn't fail, right?  While I don't think I'm the smartest person in the world, I am very driven.  I really want to succeed.  I may need help of the teachers to do that, I'll be honest. 
Third: I think I am interesting in practicing litigation law of some sort, maybe even as a prosecutor.  Does Cooley have internship / externships avialable that would help me reach that goal? 
Fourth: As far as jobs go, is Cooley's reputation going to limit me finding a job outside of Lansing MI?  I know I don't want to work in a really big law firm, but still , I would like to be able to land a job somewhere.

I think I may be tapping you as a resource quite often, I hope you don't mind.  Thanks again for your help!

Dave

Hey, Dave:

No problem, glad to help.  As far as apartments go, there are several in walking distance of the school, of varying quality.  I will dig up some names of some places in the next couple of days, I just can't think of any off the top of my head.  My buddy on my Moot Court team lived in a place that wasn't too bad; I'll try to get the name of the place.  The downtown area is kind of schizophrenic.  The area clears out by 5pm everyday because it's mainly office people who work there.  The surrounding area is a pretty depressed area, economically, so there are some really bad apartments/houses for rent that you'll want to stay away from.  On the plus side, there are some older apartment buildings really close to school that have a lot of Cooley and Lansing Community College students living there, so they're much safer than they would ordinarily be without students.  Most people in school pretty much look out for each other too, so depending on your incoming class, you might meet some really cool people.

If you go there and work hard and are reasonably smart, you should have no problems.  All of the law school recommendations that I have ever read say that you should study for 3 hours for every hour you're in class.  So for a three hour class, you should study 9 hours outside of class.  Well, I have a family and work full time, so I was lucky if I spent more than 20 hours studying in any given week, even when I had 9 credit hours a term the first two years.  You can smack me for bragging, but I'll end up in the top 10% of my class when all is said and done. I say that because I am not the biggest brain in the room by any means.  A lot of it has to do with how you study.  There are some really good books on the subject; "Law School Confidential" is one, "Planet Law School" is another, and there is a book by Jeffrey Deaver (the mystery crime novel writer) that has good tips, but I can't remember the name of the book.  I have the books and won't need them, so if you come into town, give me a ring and I'll give them to you.

One other thing, "Planet Law School" recommended this essay writing system called LEEWS (Law School Exam Writing System), that is a series of tapes that explain how to take law school exams.  It was $150, and I bought it and thought it had some really good ideas.  I think it helped me get the book award in Torts I, as that was the exam that I used the system like I was supposed to.  You can go on their website (just google LEEWS), and order just the instruction book without the tapes for like $35.  I would recommend that.  Again, I'll probably keep my version, but you're welcome to borrow it.

Professors are very accessible at Cooley, and there is a learning resource center at Cooley that will offer all kinds of help, so don't worry about resources to help you.  My buddy from my moot court team scored in the high 150's on his LSAT, but he will graduate #1 or #2 in his class this summer.  He's one of the most driven guys I know, so that helps a lot for getting good grades.  The material really isn't that hard; it's how you assimilate it and prepare for the exam that's critical.  The guys who do well just figured out the system before anyone else, that's all.

Externships

Cooley has externships up the yin yang. In fact, to graduate, you have to do an externship of at least 3 credits (which means 12 hours at the job site).  They have a zillion approved externships, or you can get one on your own and get Cooley's approval.  So the sky's the limit.  Start early by making contacts wherever you want to practice.


The job search

Cooley's rep won't hurt you getting a job for the most part.  The big shot firms are an exception, but only because they draw their associates from the big name schools.  That said, I know a metric boat load of people from Cooley who have made the big firms.  As I said in my earlier post, class rank, Law Review, and moot court/mock trial experience are the three easiest ways to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack and get an interview.  From there it's up to you.  In many of the job postings, employers will say straight out that they want or require those three things right up front.  The most successful people I have met at Cooley could have easily done well at some of the big schools, and I've known people who have transferred to Michigan or Univ. of Chicago Law.  The key characteristic is that they have personality and a great work ethic.

Well, I hope I answered your questions, and don't hesitate to ask more.  The last thing I'll say is law school isn't nearly as bad as all the horror stories.  If it seems a bit much, you can always lighten your class load for a term and make up for it later.  Good luck!

Mike

Flashman

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2007, 11:52:05 AM »
:) Thanks for all the replies especially to FLASHMAN.  Congratulations to you and good luck in the real world  ;)


To Flashman:  I might keep in contact with you if you don't mind.  I have a few questions to you and I think that you can be a great help.

Thanks guys. 

Hey, no problem!  Ask away. We can always get a beer at the NutHouse when you get in town and you can pick my brain.  I'll tell you the professors you should stay away from, at the very least!

Mike


bertanth118

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Re: Thomas Cooley Students
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 01:29:32 PM »
I've wasted too many years during my undergrad wasting time and it looks like the only school that will give me a shot are a few T4, cooley being among them. I've read a variety of coments about Cooley, most of them bad. what's the real scoop. I'm totally motivated but I don;t want to waste my time and money if a degree from Cooley or the prospects of transferring out of cooley are impossible/meaningless?