The law school's curriculum is designed to help you master the knowledge you’ll need to pass the bar examination and competently practice law. With 66 required credits – including Bar Exam Skills – you will have a class in almost every subject tested on the bar examinations in all 50 states.
The curriculum also teaches you the skills you need to be successful, even on your first day of practice. Unlike students at most schools, you will already have real-world practice. All students must participate in a clinic – essentially, an internal law firm of students who do pro bono work under an experienced faculty member’s supervision – or an externship with a practicing attorney or judge.
Students have the option of participating in:
Access to Justice Clinic
A two-term clinic in which students provide general, civil legal services to clients referred by the Legal Assistance Center at the Kent County Courthouse. Most of the clients have family law issues, however, clients may also have property issues, consumer law issues, or a variety of other civil legal issues.
Debt Relief Clinic
The clinic provides debt-related legal assistance on issues arising from past due medical/hospital bills, loans, predatory lending, unfair/abusive collections practices, and more for underserved individuals in Hillsborough County, Florida. Students have an opportunity to represent clients in transactional matters, alternative dispute resolution, and pre-litigation resolution, all under the supervision of practicing attorneys.
Estate Planning Clinic
A one-term live client clinic, available for evening and weekend students. Students interview and counsel clients and draft wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives for the client, with priority for weekend and evening students. Learn more »
Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP)
A two-term clinic in which students represent low-income people in family law and domestic violence matters in Oakland County Circuit Court. Students in this clinic work with FLAP’s staff attorneys representing low-income people in family law and domestic violence matters in Oakland County Circuit Court under Michigan Court rule 8.120. Learn more »
Cooley Innocence Project
The project’s dual mission is to identify, provide legal assistance to, and secure the release of persons who are wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, and to provide its students with an excellent learning experience. The clinic accepts cases where DNA evidence may establish innocence. Learn more »
Public Defender Clinics
Students work on a variety of criminal cases (misdemeanors and felonies) in the Washtenaw County district and Circuit Courts and juvenile cases (delinquency, abuse, and neglect) in the Washtenaw County Probate Court. Students in Grand Rapids work with the Kent County Public defender. Learn more »
Sixty Plus, Inc. Elderlaw Clinic
Cooley's two term in-house, live-client clinic, which provides free legal assistance to elderly residents of Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties. Students interview, counsel, represent, and advocate in a general civil law practice for clients who are 60 years old and older. Learn more »