ABA Official Guides Show Cooley with the Most Minority Student Graduates
October 14, 2013 - Data from the last five annual editions of the American Bar Association (ABA) Official Guide to Law Schools show that Thomas M. Cooley Law School graduated 958 minority law students during the five years covered, more than any other law school in the country. Cooley's minority graduation total was first, followed by Harvard with 865 graduates, Loyola Marymount with 784 graduates, Georgetown with 775 graduates, and American University with 747 graduates.
Associate Dean John Nussbaumer will discuss Cooley's access to legal education programs and diversity initiatives at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession's upcoming State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession speaker series. The series, which runs from October through December, and visits Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Washington D.C., will focus on relevant diversity data and statistics, the various facets of diversity in the legal profession, and promising strategies, programs and initiatives from around the country. Dean Nussbaumer will speak at the Seattle session on Friday, Oct. 25 and the Washington, D.C., session on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
"Cooley's mission includes 'providing broad access to those who seek the opportunity to study law, while requiring those to whom that opportunity is offered to meet Cooley's rigorous academic standards,'" stated Nussbaumer. "One major benefit of this part of Cooley's mission is the extent to which we are helping to diversify the legal profession, and this is an extremely important task."
The ABA Official Guides track graduation numbers in several different minority graduate categories, including African-American graduates, Hispanic graduates, Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander graduates, and American Indian/Alaskan Native graduates. Dean Nussbaumer's research shows that only four schools in the country made the top 20 list in all four of these categories – American University, George Washington University, Harvard University, and Cooley Law School. Data showed that Cooley had 439 African-American graduates, 222 Hispanic graduates, 238 Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander graduates, and 17 American Indian/Alaskan Native graduates.
"The two largest racial and ethnic groups that face the greatest discrimination in American legal education today are African-Americans and Hispanics," Nussbaumer continued. "During the first decade of this century, nearly two-thirds of all African-American applicants, and nearly half of all Hispanic applicants, were denied admission to every ABA-approved law school to which they applied, compared to less than one-third of all Caucasian applicants. Among these two groups, Cooley ranked third nationally in African-American graduates, and eighth in Hispanic graduates."
"Cooley is working to reverse this discrimination by providing a high-quality and affordable legal education to thousands of students who otherwise would never have had the chance to become a member of the legal profession," said Nussbaumer. "I think this is one of our school's most significant accomplishments."
About Cooley Law School: Celebrating 40 years of excellence, 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 17,000 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 in Tampa Bay, Fla.