Welcome Message from President and Dean Don LeDuc
President and Dean
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School was established in 1972 to provide an opportunity to those who share the dream of becoming a lawyer. We excel in teaching not only the law but how to practice it competently and ethically so students can succeed in today's – and tomorrow's – world.
We are exceedingly proud of our affiliation with Western Michigan University, one of the nation's top 100 public universities. Western Michigan is rated by the Carnegie Research Foundation as a "high research" institution, by U.S. News as a top-tier university, and by Washington Monthly as a "best buy" and top-100 university. In Western Michigan we have a partner that enthusiastically shares our access, teaching, service, and professionalism philosophies. With three shared-degree programs already in place, we are looking to build many new opportunities for learning, research, and job placement in the coming years.
Our Philosophy of Knowledge, Skills, and Ethics Prepares Students Well to Practice Law
The Law School has always been a leader in innovative legal education by providing students with knowledge of the law, the skills they need to practice it competently, and the ethics they must observe while doing so.
We require academic competence and professional conduct comparable to the standards of the legal profession itself. Through our rigorous academic program and unsurpassed clinical and externship opportunities, our graduates enter the profession prepared to hit the ground running as effective and productive lawyers.
Our innovative, American Bar Association award-winning Professionalism Plan promotes a culture of professionalism that permeates every part of the school. Each member of our community thinks about, is exposed to, and is challenged to adopt professionalism as a way of life, every single day. We continuously encourage personal and professional growth and a commitment to community service and pro bono legal services.
The people of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School are its greatest asset.
Our outstanding faculty members are highly experienced practitioners who bring years of expertise to the classroom. Caring and accessible, but demanding excellence, their top priority is to teach and help our students become good lawyers. No other law school's faculty is as student focused or as collegial.
Our large, experienced, welcoming staff is devoted to supporting student achievement during law school and long after graduation. Our service programs – admissions, financial aid, academic support, professionalism, career and professional development, and alumni – are unrivalled in legal education. It is no wonder that students routinely tell us how warmly they are received at the law school.
Our students themselves, who come from across the nation and around the world, bring a wealth of diverse backgrounds and experiences that enrich life at the Law School. Through numerous student organizations, law school activities, informal gatherings, and study groups, students socialize, learn, and grow in a nurturing and supportive environment unlike that at most schools. Our alumni in every state and more than 20 foreign nations and U.S. territories lend important career connections to students.
Our academic program is a model of modern legal education theory and practice.
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School stresses legal knowledge, practice skills, and professional ethics, a philosophy that, while now the latest trend in legal education, has been our approach since we were founded.
We set high standards. Because we expect all graduates to pass the bar examination and to be competent, ethical practicing attorneys, our program of legal education is rigorous, challenging, and thorough. We require students to complete two years of course work on the fundamentals of law taught from the practitioner’s perspective, and then to complete a third year of electives. We require each student to complete a clinic or externship placement, the kind of live-client experience that serves the crucial transition to the practice of law.
Our curriculum includes scheduling options that allow students with varying needs a way to attend law school. You may choose from full-time or part-time programs; weekday, evening, or Saturday and Sunday classes; and from two, three, four, or five-year programs. No school offers a greater variety of scheduling options.
Our law school facilities are unmatched in size, scope, functionality, and beauty.
Our campuses – at Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Tampa Bay – house wonderful, energy-efficient facilities located in vibrant, exciting communities full of wonderful attractions. One of our buildings, the only LEED-certified law school building in Michigan, was just named by a national source as one of the 35 most impressive law school building in the world. With our appellate and trial courtrooms, high-tech classrooms throughout, and one of America’s largest law libraries – all of which are strikingly beautiful – WMU Cooley provides an exceptional setting in which our students can study and learn, our faculty can research and teach, and our staff can work and serve students.
Be proud to be a Western Michigan Bronco!
As you explore our web site, itself recently ranked among the best in legal education, I think you'll discover why Western Michigan University Cooley Law School is such a good place to learn the law.
Come study with us. Be part of a great law school within a great university. We will teach you not only the law but how to be a lawyer. You will see why we are so proud of our 19,000+ law graduates worldwide and why they are so proud of their law school. Let’s see if you have what it takes to succeed.
Please feel free to contact one of our admissions representatives or me to help you make your decision about attending Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
President and Dean