Accreditation Status of Cooley's Branch Campuses

Thomas M. Cooley Law School exists and operates as a single legal and accredited entity. Cooley is an ABA-approved law school that has five campuses: Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Tampa Bay. The ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar identifies and lists Cooley as an approved school and as a single entity.

The Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids campuses are not separate legal entities and are not identified or listed by the ABA as approved law schools, even though the Law School received full approval to operate each as a branch campus. Similarly, the Law School operates the Tampa Bay campus with the permission of the ABA as a result of a process known as acquiescence. The branch campus approvals and the past and current grants of acquiescence to each branch campus included the determination that Cooley operates as a single entity with a single identity, which is confirmed by the official listing of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School on the Council's website, the exclusion of the branch campuses from the official listing of approved law schools, and the single listing of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the ABA LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.

All students matriculate at, attend, and graduate from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, not the individual branch campuses. Students attending each of the five campuses have equal status and are free to take any class offered at any campus.

Acquiescence is the status granted by the Council to schools that wish to open branch campuses. A school first receives acquiescence to open a branch from the Council. Once granted acquiescence to open a branch, a follow-up visit is conducted after classes commence. After that the school may seek provisional and full approval of a branch that is operating with acquiescence. All of Cooley's branch campuses have been opened with Council acquiescence.

A student attending classes at any of Cooley's branch campuses, whether the branch has provisional approval, full approval, or acquiescence, is enrolled at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and is deemed by the Council to be a student enrolled at an ABA-approved law school. This enrollment status applies at all times beginning with matriculation. All students, including those taking classes at branch campuses operating with acquiescence, have the same status as all other students taking classes at the Lansing campus or any other campus, are recognized as graduates from an ABA-approved law school, and possess the same status of bar admission eligibility.

Inquiries regarding the status of Cooley's branch campuses may be directed to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar by calling: (312) 988-6738.


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American Bar Association

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Higher Learning Commission

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