JD Journal has the unhappy task of reporting that Cooley Law School has put a plan in place for shutting down its campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan in December of this year.
This article explains what’s really going on at Thomas Cooley Law School: Thomas Cooley Law School Exposed (and Why Much of the Legal Profession is a Scam)
The Lansing law school has assured its current students it will help with their transition to further education when the 2014 fall term, beginning in September, ends in December. School officials say plans are not written “in stone” at this time, but expect to follow through with this announcement made on Monday.
Transition Tools for Students
School spokesman, Jim Robb, said the email announcement sent to students and obtained by the legal blog Above the Law was authentic. The school announced in June that in order to conserve funds, it was no longer accepting applications for enrollment on the Ann Arbor campus. Cooley’s overall enrollment of approximately 2,200 to 2,300 students represents a drop of 200 from the previous year.
School officials have produced a plan designed to assist students as much as possible in the transition. That is, if it becomes necessary. Robb disclosed the plan is actually a contingency only in the event the targeted campus does close. “No decision to close the campus has been made yet,” reported Robb. Neither has a timetable has been set while Cooley officials further assess staff and faculty outlays.
Students who have completed early enrollment will receive assistance in defraying costs engendered by the change of plans. Transportation costs, bar review expenses for graduates and other expenses associated with finishing a law degree will be provided. Cooley’s Ann Arbor students will also receive extra counseling services to help them through the transition.
Cooley campuses in Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, Tampa, Florida and the main campus in Lansing will be unaffected by the planned closure.
Partnership with Western Michigan University
Although Cooley Law School will survive, it will do so under a new name. Cooley has partnered with Western Michigan’s law school in an affiliation that has already received the blessing of accreditation boards. WMU President John Dunn announced Monday that the school will become known as Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Other law campuses besides Cooley are having their struggles, too. For U.S. law schools, The Wall Street Journal reported in January an 11% drop in enrollment from 2012 to 2013, a figure coming from the American Bar Association. The New York Times cites enrollment figures from the Law School Admission Council of 100,000 in 2004 dropping to an estimated enrollment of just 54,000 for Fall 2014 first year applicants.