I'm brand new to this forum, but I'll jump into the discussion...granted, I've only read the first two pages and the last three pages of the thread, but I get the gist of the conversation. And, I'm a student at Cooley.First: http://www.cooley.edu/overview/thomasbrennan.htm#articlesThat is a link to a page where there are 80 essays from the schools founder (published in the Detroit Legal News) discussing the creation of the school. Much of the animosity towards the school came from U of M (and their pressure on the ABA). U of M was opposed to the new school and challenged its creation every step of the way.There is some insight in these essays to the motives behind the creation of the school, and I think even breezing through a couple of the essays is worth the time. To summarize, the judge that started the school wanted to give people a chance, and if they acheived, they could continue. (There is no mandatory number of cuts. If every student achieves, every student can continue. Many simply find they are not destined to be lawyers and leave. Many transfer. Many do fail. But they were given a chance here.) I think that's a pretty fair reason to start a school.Second, this school has many people looking to begin a second, or even third career. People here that intentinoally avoid the competition in T1 or T2 schools. People that are a little older, perhaps a little wiser, than someone who finishes undergrad, enters law school, and has never held a job or paid their own bills. (I know that's an unfair generalization, but I've never personally met a U of M, Harvard, Yale, or U of Chicago law student that has paid their own bills...and I've met quite a few students).Third, this school is affordable. Don't take my word for it:http://www.abajournal.com/news/mag_lists_50_law_schools_with_best_financial_aid_ratios/I can graduate with little debt, get the exact job I wanted when I entered lawschool, and move on with my life. Is there anything wrong with that?Fourth, this school offeres a practical leagal education. There is very little theory taught here, and everything is geared towards being able to practice law immediately upon graduation. Many of my friends in T1's and T2's tell me that isn't necessarily the case in their schools. Programs and clinics exist to prepare students to practice immediately, but that education is not integrated into every class. I'm not saying either is better, just pointing out some differences. This leads to a sharp difference in where graduates find jobs. BigLaw doesn't want to put a grad in the courtroom, they want to train you to fit their model, and they want to invest in their new hires to cultivate them to achieve in very complex legal matters. That's great...if that's what you want to do. The Cooley students that seek those positions usually find them, but chances are if that's the type of legal career you are after, you would choose a different school at the outset.Finally, This school is only 30ish years old. Competing against schools with reputations that are 150+ years old. Of course it will take time for the school to mature and the reputation to deveolp. Consider it a hazing process.Just my thoughts...take them or leave them.(I'm sure there is a spelling error or two, feel free to point them out)jagP.S. for the poster that bashed the MI Sup. Ct., here's a Wall Street Journal aritcle: http://www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110007396 ...If you are going to enter the corporate world, I would recommend you get to know the MI Sup. Ct. and it's holdings. That article is a couple of years old, but the Court contians perhaps the strongest collection of textualists in the nation.
I feel like I have to keep saying this, but I don't have that much of a problem with Cooley. If it didn't have its own rankings, it would get picked on so much. My biggest problem is with the people who claim that there is no difference between the education at Cooley and the education at the top schools. That's just silly.
Quote from: xerofactor on October 15, 2008, 04:48:29 PM You learn what you know by serving clients. I can't imagine that law is drastically different.
I don't think this is quite true. I worked for a judge last summer and saw huge differences in the quality of work on different cases. This may sound like I'm shilling for biglaw or something, but the large firms did vastly superior work. This was a big consideration (besides, you know, the money...) when I applied for jobs over the summer. I don't think anyone will dispute that there are terrific lawyers coming out of Cooley and other lower ranked schools, but come on-does anyone REALLY think that Cooley and, say, Michigan are comparable? If you knew that your life, liberty or property were on the line and I said I can get you a lawyer (cost being no object)-do you want someone who graduated from Michigan or from Cooley? How many would really pick Cooley? Maybe we should run a poll on that?Also, I think most (all?) schools require that their professors worked in the real world before getting hired as faculty. I know my school has a requirement of 5 years in practice before they will be considered. Many of them still do some practice on the side as well.