Clinical Experiences

Thomas M. Cooley Law School believes that it is imperative that its students receive training, not only in the substantive law, but also in the practical application of the law. The Cooley curriculum is rigorous; it requires 63 hours of required substantive and skills-based courses and 27 hours of elective course work, including a minimum of three credits of an intense clinical experience.

We believe students immersed in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment study and understand the law more fully and are better prepared to serve their clients. Cooley requires a minimum of 3 credit hours in a clinical experience. Students may apply for clinic courses once they have accumulated 40 credit hours.

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 »

Immigration Rights and Civil Advocacy Clinic

A one- or two-term clinic with evening classes. Students work with experienced faculty to assist indigent immigrants with both immigration issues and civil matters. Matters may include asylum, cancellation of removal, foreclosure prevention, wage and hour claims, or similar issues. 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 Sector Law Project

A one-term clinic where students provide civil legal services of a transactional, advisory, legislative or systemic nature to government clients in management or elected office. The clinic is currently partnered with Kent County, Michigan, and is designed to accommodate the schedules of evening and weekend students.

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 »



Clinical Programs

A guide to the skills required to be a great lawyer. Learn about interviewing, counseling, negotiation, investigation, advocacy, and practice management.