According to a report from The National Law Journal, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School could soon be known as the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in what would be an affiliation, not a complete merger.
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The law school would acquire a brand new name, mentioned above, but it would keep separate leadership and finances under the new proposal that leaders from the two schools are considering. If it all works out, Cooley law students would be able to take classes at Western Michigan University and use the school’s student services. The same would happen in the reverse, according to Associate Dean for External Affairs James Robb. Faculty members would also be permitted to take part in interdisciplinary teaching and research.
There are four Cooley locations in Michigan and Western Michigan University has eight locations in the state. Robb noted that first-year law classes might be taught at one of the university’s campuses.
The idea of the partnership came into focus roughly three years ago. In December, the boards for both schools agreed to take initial steps to investigate the opportunity. The boards will receive a proposal for the alliance after officials from Cooley and Western Michigan University look into how the alliance would impact finances, accreditation, students, faculty, and growth.
“Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University share common educational and public service philosophies and have a long history of cooperation,” said Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc. “Students, faculty, staff and alumni of both institutions will benefit from the tremendous opportunities that would arise from this alliance.”