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Author Topic: Starting Cooley in May  (Read 7227 times)

FalconJimmy

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 12:38:36 PM »
Honestly,  that is  a very good question!  Unfortunately, for me, I really messed up during my UG.  My LSAT score is high enough to get a 50% merit scholarship at Cooley, but I honestly feel that I wouldn't have a chance at acceptance from UM or MState. 

Why don't you think you'd get accepted at State?  What about Wayne State?  Detroit Mercy?

Cooley's sticker price is right there with the very best schools in the country.  So, a 50% scholarship doesn't really make them much more affordable than Wayne State.

In any event, best of luck.  I'm going to a T4, so I have no room to bag on anybody else's school.

politicolaw

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 10:17:16 AM »
Just wondering, what campus at Cooley are you attending? I will be starting there in the fall, but I would also imagine where you are in the state could also have an impact. I've noticed, in Grand Rapids there are no other law schools in the area to compete with - I'm not going to GR, but just an observation.

I'm from Florida and I've met a handful of Cooley alums here and all were doing well & had good things to say. Best of luck!

blue54

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 10:50:13 PM »
I have had close interaction with a number of Cooley grads. They are all nice in general, but a few have warned me about the school. From what I have heard, the attrition rate is horrible-it hovers around 26%. So that means that more than a quarter of the entire incoming class leaves after the first year. True, many of these are transfers. But many of them aren't, and that's the scary part.

You have a 50% scholarship, good for you. What happens when they place you into a section with everyone else who has a scholarship (it doesn't take much to get one at Cooley)? You are graded on an extremely tight curve. I believe the first year curve at Cooley is 2.0.  You probably have to maintain at least a 3.0 to keep your scholly.  Do the math, it is incredibly difficult to keep that scholly. You are stacked against hundreds of other students with scholarships, clawing their way to keep them. And when you lose it, you are paying the same amount for tuition that you would at many higher ranked schools. Also, since you have a 2.0 curve you could be in the top 25% of your class but barely break 3.0. This looks bad on a resume.

A friend of mine transferred into MSU from Cooley. He told me that Cooley doesn't give + grades, so you are basically screwed into getting a lower GPA, thus losing your scholly (no B+, only B and B-, no C+, only C and C-, etc.). MSU and Wayne State may not be T14, but at least those schools don't screw you into losing your scholarship and have a normal first year curve. Furthermore, they have a much lower attrition rate.

My suggestion is to take a year off, study hard for the LSAT, and get a higher score. If you are interested in working in Michigan, go to MSU or Wayne State, as both are highly respected within the state. If you are coming in from out of state, there are tons of better options locally for you. Lansing is a crappy place to live, anyways. It's run down, and the weather in mid-Michigan is horrible. Many Cooley students choose to live in East Lansing because it's much more pleasant, but if you are going to live in East Lansing, why not just go to MSU?

If there is so much hate out there against Cooley, there must be some logic behind it. People just don't spend countless hours posting horror stories and real facts because they have nothing better to do. Law school is not something you should take a chance on because you feel like everyone else is wrong and you will be the exception to the norm. You've made it this far-you're smart.  Continue to do your homework. With the legal market the way it is, you are crazy for dropping 150K (or even 75K) on a T4 school with such a negative stigma attached to it, especially one in an area you are not connected to. If you can't get above a certain score on the LSAT, then maybe law isn't for you. Does that sound elitist? Perhaps. But I sure hope my doctor didn't bomb the MCAT. Law is a professional degree in the same way.

Final words: all attorneys must do their due diligence. Research, research, research! You are going to spend a ton of money and 3 years of your life in law school, so listen to others. Read reviews. Look at stats. It's all at your fingertips here on the interwebz.   

politicolaw

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 01:15:51 AM »
* just to keep all the "facts" correct here.. the Cooley scholarships only require that you keep a 2.0. I have one, I would know.

* the attrition rate, as posted on the LSAC data shows a quarter of the first year class leaving, but its evenly divided between transfers and those leaving because of being kicked out.

Also consider, most Cooley students go part time and work - don't work the first year and focus and you should be able to stay on top of everything.

Lastly, when researching weigh the quality of information. Find out about Cooley from current or former students, its much more valuable than the "I had a friend who went there" stories.

politicolaw

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 01:17:30 AM »
Also, the scholarship info has been discussed in this same category here:

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=4025079.0

blue54

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 09:04:50 AM »
Still shouldn't matter. 50% tuition at a T4 school in a legal market that is the worst in the country in a dying city (seriously, have you visited Lansing lately?) still isn't worth it. The COA at Cooley is over 30K/year.  That means that you will still pay 60K to go there, plus room and board (law books are about $500/semester, you can get a decent apartment in Lansing for $400/month, but you have to pay for parking all over the city).  75% discount on tuition at Cooley will put you 30K (plus room and board) in debt.  Please, someone make me a compelling argument as to why this appears to be a smart move? Law school is all about arguments, right?  Prove to me that taking on massive, non-dischargeable debt at a T4 that is the laughingstock of the legal community is a smart idea.

I am by no means elitist, and not against T4 schools. But there is a difference between a school like Detroit-Mercy and a school like Cooley.  UDM doesn't pretend it isn't what it is; Cooley places itself ahead of Yale in its own rankings. That should be warning enough for you there.

You don't need to actually go to Cooley to understand all of this or have an opinion about it. You can rely off "friend of friends" (this isn't court, after all: hearsay forms the basis of opinions all the time) or, better yet, just Google it. If Cooley didn't have so many problems attached to it, there wouldn't be so many former disgruntled students (try Googling Yale and see if you yield similar results. Hint: you won't.  Try Googling Detroit Mercy, Toledo, Wayne State, MSU, or any other schools in the area, you won't find the same negative reviews).

If you can only get into a T4, then by all means go for it, especially if you can get a scholly and you absolutely must be an attorney. But go to one in your local geography that has a decent reputation.  They are located in and around all major cities and will afford you many more opportunities then Cooley Law School will, as local reputation and alumni connections will be stronger. Cooley has such a negative stigma attached to it in the legal community that you shouldn't even consider it as a viable option unless you can get a full rid scholly and can come out of law school debt free and at the top of your class, and even then, jobs will be very difficult to come by.

I think this will be my last post on the subject, as people are apt to follow their hearts and not the informed advice of someone else (such as myself, as I am in Michigan and I work in a mid-size law firm which only hires Cooley law students as unpaid interns to satisfy their externship requirement and then lets them go after that (free labor is free labor)). People will do what they want to do, and won't heed the caution of others. If you are going to go to Cooley, you only have yourself to blame when you are thousands of dollars in non-dischargeable debt and can't secure a job.

politicolaw

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 07:01:48 AM »
Still shouldn't matter. 50% tuition at a T4 school in a legal market that is the worst in the country in a dying city (seriously, have you visited Lansing lately?) still isn't worth it. The COA at Cooley is over 30K/year.  That means that you will still pay 60K to go there, plus room and board (law books are about $500/semester, you can get a decent apartment in Lansing for $400/month, but you have to pay for parking all over the city).  75% discount on tuition at Cooley will put you 30K (plus room and board) in debt.  Please, someone make me a compelling argument as to why this appears to be a smart move? Law school is all about arguments, right?  Prove to me that taking on massive, non-dischargeable debt at a T4 that is the laughingstock of the legal community is a smart idea.


Living expenses should be taken out of consideration, you will always have living expenses as long as you remain living. And let's say you have the 50% scholarship, that would put Cooley in the tuition area with in state tuition at most state law schools. laughingstock? really?.. just really? Its a smart move to those who want to be a lawyer, and this ends up being their best option available. Any law school is better than no law school if becoming a lawyer is the goal.


I am by no means elitist, and not against T4 schools. But there is a difference between a school like Detroit-Mercy and a school like Cooley.  UDM doesn't pretend it isn't what it is; Cooley places itself ahead of Yale in its own rankings. That should be warning enough for you there.

Detroit Mercy actually has a lower bar passage rate than Cooley based on lsac percentages. Substantially so.

You don't need to actually go to Cooley to understand all of this or have an opinion about it. You can rely off "friend of friends" (this isn't court, after all: hearsay forms the basis of opinions all the time) or, better yet, just Google it. If Cooley didn't have so many problems attached to it, there wouldn't be so many former disgruntled students (try Googling Yale and see if you yield similar results. Hint: you won't.  Try Googling Detroit Mercy, Toledo, Wayne State, MSU, or any other schools in the area, you won't find the same negative reviews).

On this discussion forum specifically there are the same complaints about Toledo and UDM and various other t3/t4 schools. No one in their right mind is comparing Cooley to Yale.

If you can only get into a T4, then by all means go for it, especially if you can get a scholly and you absolutely must be an attorney. But go to one in your local geography that has a decent reputation.  They are located in and around all major cities and will afford you many more opportunities then Cooley Law School will, as local reputation and alumni connections will be stronger. Cooley has such a negative stigma attached to it in the legal community that you shouldn't even consider it as a viable option unless you can get a full rid scholly and can come out of law school debt free and at the top of your class, and even then, jobs will be very difficult to come by.

A law degree does still happen to be a professional degree in which you can have your own law office. You can also pursue teaching and various related opportunities. If you have a doctoral degree and no job, I firmly believe your not creative enough.

I think this will be my last post on the subject, as people are apt to follow their hearts and not the informed advice of someone else (such as myself, as I am in Michigan and I work in a mid-size law firm which only hires Cooley law students as unpaid interns to satisfy their externship requirement and then lets them go after that (free labor is free labor)). People will do what they want to do, and won't heed the caution of others. If you are going to go to Cooley, you only have yourself to blame when you are thousands of dollars in non-dischargeable debt and can't secure a job.
Still shouldn't matter. 50% tuition at a T4 school in a legal market that is the worst in the country in a dying city (seriously, have you visited Lansing lately?) still isn't worth it. The COA at Cooley is over 30K/year.  That means that you will still pay 60K to go there, plus room and board (law books are about $500/semester, you can get a decent apartment in Lansing for $400/month, but you have to pay for parking all over the city).  75% discount on tuition at Cooley will put you 30K (plus room and board) in debt.  Please, someone make me a compelling argument as to why this appears to be a smart move? Law school is all about arguments, right?  Prove to me that taking on massive, non-dischargeable debt at a T4 that is the laughingstock of the legal community is a smart idea.

Only at most a third of Cooley students go to lansing. And all campuses except for Auburn Hills have access to transit.

I am by no means elitist, and not against T4 schools. But there is a difference between a school like Detroit-Mercy and a school like Cooley.  UDM doesn't pretend it isn't what it is; Cooley places itself ahead of Yale in its own rankings. That should be warning enough for you there.

We all plead for Cooley to abolish its dreadful rankings!

You don't need to actually go to Cooley to understand all of this or have an opinion about it. You can rely off "friend of friends" (this isn't court, after all: hearsay forms the basis of opinions all the time) or, better yet, just Google it. If Cooley didn't have so many problems attached to it, there wouldn't be so many former disgruntled students (try Googling Yale and see if you yield similar results. Hint: you won't.  Try Googling Detroit Mercy, Toledo, Wayne State, MSU, or any other schools in the area, you won't find the same negative reviews).

Google will lead you to lots of things, some you might not want to rely on.

If you can only get into a T4, then by all means go for it, especially if you can get a scholly and you absolutely must be an attorney. But go to one in your local geography that has a decent reputation.  They are located in and around all major cities and will afford you many more opportunities then Cooley Law School will, as local reputation and alumni connections will be stronger. Cooley has such a negative stigma attached to it in the legal community that you shouldn't even consider it as a viable option unless you can get a full rid scholly and can come out of law school debt free and at the top of your class, and even then, jobs will be very difficult to come by.

I think this will be my last post on the subject, as people are apt to follow their hearts and not the informed advice of someone else (such as myself, as I am in Michigan and I work in a mid-size law firm which only hires Cooley law students as unpaid interns to satisfy their externship requirement and then lets them go after that (free labor is free labor)). People will do what they want to do, and won't heed the caution of others. If you are going to go to Cooley, you only have yourself to blame when you are thousands of dollars in non-dischargeable debt and can't secure a job.

Thats nice, I have no interest in working for  a firm.

blue54

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 10:25:58 AM »
Alas, there's no arguing with the ignorant...but please, if you aren't going to believe me on this subject, read any of these sites (some of which back up their statements with actual data): 

http://thomas-cooley-law-school-scam.weebly.com/1/post/2011/02/the-thomas-m-cooley-law-school-scam3.html

http://politicalcartel.org/2010/03/03/thomas-cooley-law-school-is-an-embarrassment/

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/2010/03/smoldering-steaming-pile-of-excrement.html

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=110283

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/02/latest-cooley-law-school-rankings-achieve-new-heights-of-intellectual-dishonesty/

http://www.qfora.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=15411

The first link is extremely informative.

Oh, and to answer everything else: Bar review courses are set up to help you pass the bar exam, and if you ask many people who have taken a bar review course, they say that they learned more from those about the information tested on the bar then what they actually learned in law school.  Law school is all about teaching you how to "think" like a lawyer.  That is where school reputation comes into play.  And secondly, of course cost of living should be computed into your cost of attendance, because the ABA doesn't allow a full-time law student to work more than 20 hours per week.  In addition, you have to factor in lost opportunity costs.  For example, I was offered a position pre-law school at 45k/year.  Instead, I went to law school.  I don't make much at my part-time job, let's say 10K/year.  So that places my lost opportunity costs at 105k.  Add that into the cost of tuition, books, and not to mention how much it costs to take the bar (last I checked, somewhere around $600 to apply in Michigan, plus 3k for a bar review course), and you have spent a ton of money for a degree that will be trumped by any other of the 200+ ABA accredited law schools.

And lastly, not being a lawyer IS better than being a lawyer if you don't live the rest of your life a slave to your loan debt.  If you were truly meant to be a successful lawyer, you would have rocked the LSAT, had a solid UGPA, and had money thrown at you from a decent school.  But you didn't, so try another career path.  Not everyone is meant to be an astronaut or a doctor, and the same holds true with being a lawyer.


FalconJimmy

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 11:34:14 AM »
Perhaps appropos of nothing, but I went to undergrad in Texas.  (transferred before graduation due to a family illness, but took most of my undegrad work in TX.)

I still have a lot of friends down there.  You make a lot of friends in a small liberal arts school when you go full-time days.

A lot of them are attorneys.

When I told them I was considering going to law school, one of them shot back a note that says, "You'll do great.  Just don't go to Cooley."

Now, at the time, I wasn't even considering Cooley, but I was curious why there was exactly ONE law school in the entire world that this person thought to single out by name.

This, by the way, is a person who graduated from Wesleyan, which was only newly ABA accredited when she went.

So, I asked why and she just said, "It's an awful law school.  Everybody knows that.  Just don't go.  Really."

I thought that was being more than a bit unfair, and shot back, "You know, they used to say the same things about Wesleyan". 

She shot back, "Yeah, but that was because wesleyan was new.  It's not anymore.  Cooley is the worst.  Don't do it.  You'll be sorry."

This is from an attorney in Texas who probably never met a Cooley grad.

Now, I think her opinion is overly harsh, personally.  Once Cooley started pinging me about a scholarship offer, I considered going there.  If I re-took the LSAT, it's highly likely I'd have gotten a full-ride.

As far as I'm concerned, all law ABA schools use basically the same books.  The professors were all trained in the same schools.  Everybody gets taught the same stuff.

Also, a top grad from Cooley would have been, in my opinion, a top grad anywhere.  Maybe he'd be top 50% at the very best of the best schools, but that's still darned good. 

However, Cooley has a horrible reputation.  No getting around it.  You can argue that it's fair or unfair (and personally I think it's more unfair than fair), but it's there and there are real consequences to it. 

Increasingly, in the law, there's room for a handful at the very top.  Room for good law school students in the middle, and for the guys at the bottom?  There's nothing.

The guy who graduates last in his class at Harvard or Yale can still probably work in the law.  If they'd gone to a lesser school, heck, they'd probably have been a top student. 

As you move down the food chain, though, it gets harder.  Schools at the very bottom?  Their top grads will get good jobs, but probably not the very best jobs.  The rest of the grads?  They'll be left to their own devices.

They can still work in the law, but their future is probably going to depend largely on how well they can set up their own practice and market themselves.  When the slip and fall guys are putting their pictures on the back of the phone book, they don't put where their degree came from. 

Maybe after a while, it won't matter that a person went to Cooley.  They can be a divorce attorney and bill $150 an hour.  Gross $300K a year and net $190 after all their expenses.  Not a bad way to go.

However, if you want to be employed, Cooley will make that very, very difficult.  I'd say that other than giving you a right to hang out a shingle, a degree from a school like this could really present some challenges.

Not saying you shouldn't do it.  And the guy who graduates first in his class from Cooley is going to be a badass on the scale of badasses from any other school.  But the guy who graduates in the bottom 50% (and half of the people who graduate will fit this description) really will have difficulty getting employment.

bigs5068

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Re: Starting Cooley in May
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2011, 10:52:27 PM »
For the record I have known quite a few successful Cooley Graduates in California. Some of them were even judges and law school like anything else is what you make of it. I don't think anyone is going to be at Cooley's graduation drooling at the prospect of signing someone to a 100K a year contact, and the burden will be on you to find work. Still that is how it is in every profession. If you go to any court proceeding or read document filed with the court no lawyer every brings up what law school they went to. 

If you went to Harvard and turned in a Habeus Corpus Death Penalty Motion late your client gets executed, which is exactly what happened in Coleman v. Thompson. 501 U.S. 722. When you file something in court there is no special line for Harvard Grads and there is no basement cellar that a Cooley Grad has to file in the real world whether or not you succeed will for the most part be on you. Having a Harvard Degree does help though and there is no disputing that, but whether you go to Harvard or Timbucktu state whether or not you become a successful attorney or not will depend on you. Also remember law school is a long-term investment you don't graduate then earn 200k a year. I would say somewhere between 1-3% of law school graduates nationwide do, but the vast majority of law school graduates have to do work and their ability and effort overtime will determine how successful they are.

The bottom line is go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. There might be some employers out there that burn resumes from Cooley in a ceremonial fire, but I would say most people don't. There is probably someone out there that woudl never hire someone from Harvard employment etc is very subjective and the point of this entire rant is that if you want to be a lawyer to go to law school. Then do the best job you can in everything you do. The legal profession is no different than anything you will get back what you put in.

Just remember when reading posts ridiculing anything extensively it is probably written by someone that does not know what they are talking about. You will notice that in all facets of life those who know the least know it the loudest. I have never been to Cooley so I can't attest to it's greatness or it being awful, but I have worked for two graduates from their that were smart, hard-working, and successful attorneys. I have no other experience with the school, but the limited experience I had with graduates from their was a pleasant one.