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Cooley Law School’s Numbers Don’t Look Promising for Their Students
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Thomas M Cooley Law School

Summary: The recent data released by the ABA puts Cooley into a tough spot as their enrollment is down over 50 percent and employment rate is at 30 percent.

In just four years, the enrollment at Cooley Law School has dropped by over 50 percent. In 2010, they had 3,900 students enrolled now they have 1,880 enrolled. Law school enrollment for most schools has declined since 2010 but Cooley’s has declined three times as fast.


At one point Cooley had four other campuses, three in Michigan and one near Tampa. Now Cooley, or Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, has closed one Michigan location in Ann Arbor and laid off faculty members to cut costs.

In the spring of 2014, Cooley had 119 full-time faculty but now only has 49. The school says the reduction in staff was from retirements and layoffs.

Cooley is not a selective school since most of their students are part-time and are not the traditional law school applicants. With a smaller amount of applicants to choose from, they numbers have been more affected than other more selective schools. The more selective schools have had to accept students that they normally would not have to keep their numbers up, taking away from the applicants that Cooley, or other less reputable schools, would normally take.

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While the numbers don’t look great for Cooley, such as their employment rate of just over one quarter of their graduates finding full-time work that requires a law degree, the school does provide opportunities for those that would otherwise be looked over.

For those students that don’t look strong on their application papers but are willing to work hard, Cooley has been able to give them that chance. They are encouraged to build their resumes before they graduate so that they are ready to jump into the career field after graduation instead of having to doddle around to find internships first.




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