Knowledge, Skills, Ethics

Cooley stresses legal knowledge, practice skills, and professional ethics, an approach that is the latest trend in legal education and new to most law schools, but has been in place at Cooley since its founding in 1972.


Master the substantive knowledge required for passage of the bar examination and admission to the bar.

Every Cooley student must complete 90 credit hours, including 66 credit hours of required substantive and skills based courses. Plus 27 credit hours of elective courses in one of several concentrations of study. The curriculum also requires actual practice experience before graduating.


Master the basic fundamentals required for the competent practice of law and representation of clients.

Our clinical programs provide students with the kind of invaluable real-world experience that allows them to start their careers the day they graduate. Besides being able to explore their chosen field of work, externs can establish professional relationships in the geographic areas where they plan to practice after graduation.


Understand and embrace the legal, moral, ethical, and professional responsibilities of lawyers.

How does a law school create a culture of professionalism, so that each member of its community thinks about, is exposed to, and is challenged to adopt professionalism as a way of life, every single day?

Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism - Supporting the law school's mission of preparing law students for professional practice, the Center models and teaches ethics and professionalism, fosters and encourages service, and promotes commitment to our communities.

18 Initiatives (pdf) - The Plan comprised 18 initiatives that touched on every aspect of what we do and who we are. The initiatives comprised a deliberate plan to take a student from orientation through graduation with a focus on ethics and professionalism.

E. Smythe Gambrell Award - Cooley Law School was honored Aug. 4, 2006 by the American Bar Association for its innovative and far-reaching Professionalism Plan.



- Visit the campus
- Be a "Law Student For A Day"
- Sit side-by-side with a current student
- Meet with Enrollment and Student Services

Contact Us

Admissions Office
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
300 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: (517) 371-5140, ext. 2244
Fax: (517) 334-5718

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.