Cooley Law School is accredited by two entities: The American Bar Association (ABA), and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

American Bar Association

Cooley Law School has been fully approved by the ABA since its first class graduated. Provisional approval was granted in 1975; full approval was granted in 1978.

The ABA has fully approved additional campuses at Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has acquiesced in the opening of a campus at Tampa Bay, Florida.

Accreditation Status of Cooley's Branch
Campuses »

 Higher Learning Commission

Cooley is accredited by the HLC, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation is given to the single institution and extended to Cooley's Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids campuses in Michigan and to the Tampa Bay campus in Riverview, FL.

The Higher Learning Commission - North Central Association has extended Thomas M. Cooley Law School's accreditation, allowing the full three-year Juris Doctor program to be offered at our campus in Ann Arbor, as well as at our campuses in Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Auburn Hills. The final stage in this approval process occurred on April 20, 2009, when the Commission's Board of Trustees validated approval of the new campus.

This decision is the culmination of a series of favorable HLC actions over the past few years. Cooley Law School has been fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 2001. In 2006, the Commission's Board of Trustees continued Cooley's accreditation for 10 full years--the maximum time allowed under HLC standards. The HLC staff extended accreditation to the full program at Oakland (now Auburn Hills), and at Grand Rapids in 2006.

The Higher Learning Commission is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The NCA, founded in 1895, is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. Through its commissions it accredits, and thereby grants membership to, educational institutions in the north central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The Commission is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Cooley was one of the first independent law schools to voluntarily seek accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

Reports from the HLC are available upon request.

American Bar Association

321 Clark Street
21st Floor NE
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 988-6738

ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools

Complaint Procedures: Complaints about compliance with ABA standards may be filed with the American Bar Association.


Higher Learning Commission

A member of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413
(800) 621-7440

Higher Learning Commission Institutional Accreditation: Overview