Justice Thomas McIntyre Cooley Sculpture Dedicated
June 29, 2012 - Cooley Law School this week honored its namesake, Thomas McIntyre Cooley, with the unveiling of a bronze likeness of the former Michigan Supreme Court Justice. Identical life-size statues of the distinguished jurist, created by sculptor Matt Large, have been erected in the gardens of the law school's campuses in Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Auburn Hills.
At Tuesday's ceremony in Lansing, Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc noted that it was only fitting that a symbol of the scholarly Cooley grace the gardens of each campus to remind all who see it of the jurist's principles by which the school still operates. Cooley Law School was founded in 1972 by lawyers and judges under the leadership of then Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Brennan, who then named the school after the justice.
President LeDuc noted, "The school was named for Thomas McIntyre Cooley, Michigan's greatest jurist, a man whose work in the mid-1800s as justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and as a legal scholar is still cited today. The dedication of this sculpture is our way of honoring our namesake and providing our faculty, staff and students with a constant reminder of the school's guiding principles."
James Robb, associate dean of development and alumni relations, noted that Justice Cooley was a scholar and a populist, a strong believer in the power of the people, a newspaper editor who waged a poetic war against slavery, and an author whose signature publication, with its title of "Constitutional Limitations," gave a strong clue as to his personal and professional outlook.
Justice Cooley was a staunch believer in the healing power of the law, Robb said, and saw lawyers as having an important mission in resolving conflict. "He fully subscribed to the belief that lawyers have a role in solving problems; an obligation to help." Robb said. The Lansing campus continues to display Justice Cooley's quote, "Law students must not forget that they are fitting themselves to be ministers of justice," on the wall of the Temple Building just north of the garden and statue.
At the Grand Rapids campus, a companion statue, The Beneficiary, also created by Large, stands in proximity to the Cooley statue's outstretched hand, as if Justice Cooley is extending help to someone down on his luck.
About Cooley Law School: Founded in 1972, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 16,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and its new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.