Supporting the Mission
As a law student, you will find yourself spending a considerable amount of time in the Libraries; and the level of resources, services and comfort the library provides should play a major factor in your choice of school. Some statistics presented here were taken from information that the American Bar Association collects about accredited law schools.
Statistics about volumes, titles and serials reflect the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law Libraries' mission– making materials available to students and faculty in support of the curriculum, scholarship and research.
The Libraries have over 744,000 volumes and volume equivalents with an annual growth rate of over 17,000 volumes.
The libraries have over 755,000 titles. Title count is a true indicator of the quality of a library's collection. Core materials are available at each location and these are enhanced with many additional titles on legal topics to support the curriculum.
WMU-Cooley ranks 3rd out of 189 in the number of Librarians on its staff, with over 20 librarians many of whom have both law and library science degrees. Staffed 67 hours per week by Librarians, the Reference Desk supports legal research by answering questions, recommending research materials and strategies, and instructing patrons on the use of individual print and electronic sources. Additionally, students receive introductory training in the classroom on many of our resources.
Cooley ranks 4th out of 189 in the number of library staff with over 35 staff members.
Combined, the WMU-Cooley Libraries are the largest academic law library in the country. Comfortable and spacious surroundings are ideal for studying.
Number of Seats
Our ability to provide study areas for large numbers of students is excellent. There are over 1000 seats available for students to use.
Many students prefer the isolated study space that a carrel, as compared to open seating, provides. The Cooley libraries provide over 300 carrels to its students.
Hours of Operation
We are open regularly a total of 124 hours a week and open more hours than any other Michigan law school. All WMU-Cooley students have access to WMU-Cooley Library services and resources at all locations. Additionally, the libraries have extended hours during exams. See the hour's page for a calendar of specific changes.
WMU-Cooley ranks 4th out of 189 law schools in its annual library budget. WMU-Cooley has a commitment to continued improvement of information resources. Students benefit by having an experienced staff and a wealth of resources available in which to learn and practice the law.
CoolCat is the Libraries' Internet -based online catalog, providing author, title, keyword, and subject access to the Library's collection. The catalog is available on the Web at http://library.cooley.edu. Public terminals throughout the Libraries provide access to CoolCat and other electronic resources.
The Libraries are wireless zones allowing the ability to access WMU-Cooley's network from a laptop. Additionally, there are computer labs and plug-in points that provide access to word processing, computer assisted legal research, and tutorial programs. Students have access to LEXIS, WESTLAW, BLOOMBERG LAW and several other online research systems such as Hein Online, ProQuest Congressional, and RIA Checkpoint.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative arrangement between libraries to make available to researchers material that is not owned by their "home" libraries. WMU-Cooley provides Interlibrary Loan services at no cost.
The Circulation Desk is the place to go for Group Study Room sign-up, picking up Interlibrary Loan materials, and much more. It also contains both Course Reserves (i.e., items that faculty members have placed there for the convenience of students) as well as general reserves (items in high demand).
Tours of the Library are given to prospective students by WMU-Cooley Admissions staff. Other tours can be arranged through the Admission's office.