On Monday night, May 7, the very first class at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Tampa Bay, Florida began classes, according to a press release from school officials.
“Cooley’s Tampa Bay Campus enrollment exceeded our expectations,” said Jeff Martlew, associate dean of Cooley’s Tampa Bay campus. “These numbers indicate the Tampa Bay area was ready for a law school. We are pleased to open our doors with such enthusiasm from the community and the students who have selected Cooley.”
The plans for the Florida campus were announced back in September by the school’s officials. Classes took place at night and the size of the first class was double the number that school officials predicted, coming in at 104 students. In September, morning classes will begin and in January of 2013, afternoon classes will be offered for the first time.
It will take a period of three years for the complete curriculum to be released to the students. At the Tampa Bay campus, close to 65 full-time faculty and staff and 35 part-time faculty and staff will be working by the time the curriculum is completely in place. The campus in Tampa Bay is located at 9445 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview, Florida. Renovations of an existing building began in September of 2011 in order to turn it into a law school. The renovations should be finished in the latter months of 2012. The building will house a 25,000-square foot law library, a 336-seat auditorium and 24 classrooms. Close to 700 students will be able to take classes at the campus, which is the fifth for Cooley and only the first outside the state of Michigan. The other campuses include Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Auburn Hills.