Public Information and ABA Required Disclosures

The links below provide information about Cooley that may be of interest to prospective and current students, faculty, and staff. If you have questions, feel free to contact us directly at


About Cooley

ABA-Required Information
Standard 509 Report (pdf)

ABA Conditional Scholarship Retention Data

Admissions Data



Academic (JD & LL.M.)

Life at Cooley



Attorney Licensing

ABA Required Information

ABA Conditional Scholarship Retention Data

Cooley honors scholarships are continued for the duration of the student's enrollment at the law school as long as the student is not subject to sanction under the Honor Code or Disciplinary Procedures. 

Students Matriculating In: # Entering with
Conditional Scholarships
# Whose Conditional Scholarships
Have Since Been Reduced or Eliminated
Previous Academic Year
0 0
2011-12 0 0
ABA Interpretation 509-4 defines a conditional scholarship as follows:
A conditional scholarship is any financial aid award, the retention of which is dependent upon the student maintaining a minimum grade point average or class standing, other than that ordinarily required to remain in good academic standing.

About Cooley


The Mission of Cooley Law School | The Cooley Law School Strategic Plan (pdf)

The Mission of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is to prepare its graduates for entry into the legal profession through an integrated program with practical legal education as its guiding principle and focus. This 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.

The preparation for practice mission means that Cooley graduates must: (1) master the fundamentals and basic skills required for the competent practice of law and representation of clients; (2) demonstrate the substantive knowledge and skills required for passage of the bar examination and admission to the bar; and (3) understand and embrace the legal, moral, ethical, and professional responsibilities of lawyers.

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Accreditation and State Authorization

Thomas M. Cooley Law School has been fully approved by the Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association since its first class graduated. Provisional approval was granted in 1975; full approval was granted in 1978. The ABA also fully approved the programs at Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor, and it has granted acquiescence to Cooley's Tampa Bay location.

American Bar Association
Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
321 Clark Street
21st Floor NE
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 988-6738

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Thomas M. Cooley Law School since 2001. The Higher Learning Commission is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The NCA, founded in 1895, is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. Through its commissions it accredits, and thereby grants membership to educational institutions in the North Central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The Commission is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Higher Learning Commission
A member of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413
(800) 621-7440

Thomas M. Cooley Law School is licensed in Florida by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education. Additional information regarding this institution may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400, toll-free telephone number (888) 224-6684.

Copies of our accreditation and state authorization documents can be obtained from the Office of Planning, Assessment, & Accreditation, 9th Floor Cooley Center, 300 S. Capitol Ave, Lansing MI.

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Student Enrollment on October 5, 2013:

Fall 2013 Faculty: 271 total faculty: 142 full-time and 129 part-time

Student / faculty ratio is 13.22 to 1

Degrees Awarded: 1,179 degrees (1,121 JD and 58 LL.M.) were awarded October 6, 2012 through October 5, 2013

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Tuition & Fees, Cost of Attendance, and Financial Aid. JD figures for tuition and living costs can be viewed here » . LL.M. figures for tuition and living costs can be viewed here » .

Merit Based Aid. Eligibility and awarding information for each type of award can be found here »

Credit Balances. Title IV credit balances will be refunded to students after all aid has disbursed to the student account and a $0.00 balance is owed to the school.

Disbursements of financial aid are typically made in two installments at the beginning of each semester. For second semester and students on academic probation, disbursements are held until grades are posted.

Institution's cohort default rate: enter the following code in the OPE-ID field: 012627
Two-year Official Cohort Default Rates for Schools
Three-year Official Cohort Default Rates for Schools

Financial Aid Code of Conduct. As active institutional members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Professionals (NASFAA), the Financial Aid employees at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School (TMCLS) have historically adhered to the NASFAA Code of Conduct. The Code is intended to help guide financial aid professionals in carrying out their duties, particularly with regard to ensuring transparency in the administration of the student financial aid programs, and to avoid the harm that may arise from actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest. [read more]

Refund Policies. The institutional refund policy can be viewed here » .

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Academic Calendar. Cooley has a year-round academic program with 3 semesters per year: January (Hilary), May (Trinity), and September (Michaelmas). Students may begin their studies in September, January, or May. The academic calendar can be viewed here » .

Graduation Requirements. Graduation from Thomas Cooley Law School requires the completion of 90 credit hours of study with an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 or C, as well as a 2.0 or C average in required courses. The Law School confers the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.) upon its qualified graduates. Details about how the 90 credits must be earned may be found here.

Curricular Offerings. Every JD Cooley student must complete 90 credit hours, including 63 credit hours of required substantive and skills-based courses, plus 27 credit hours of elective courses in one of several concentrations of study. Download Cooley's JD course offerings (pdf).

The Graduate Program offers the following degree programs: a Master of Laws in Corporate Law and Finance, a Master of Laws in Homeland and National Security Law, a Master of Laws in Insurance Law, a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property, a Master of Laws in Taxation, a U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Attorneys LL.M., and a Self-Directed Master of Laws. LL.M. course offerings are listed by program:

Academic Requirements Cooley's JD requires the completion of 90 credit hours of study with an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 or C, as well as a 2.0 or C average in required courses. Details about how the 90 credits must be earned may be found here.

Cooley's LL.M. degree requires the completion of 24 credit hours and an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 or B on the total hours taken and completed. Details about how the 24 credits must be earned may be found by program:

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Life at Cooley

Student activities. Cooley has more than 50 active student organizations.

Nondiscrimination. Cooley abides by all federal and state laws against discrimination. In addition, Cooley abides by American Bar Association Standard 211(a), which provides that "a law school shall foster and maintain equality of opportunity in legal education, including employment of faculty and staff, without discrimination or segregation on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability."

Students with Disabilities. Thomas M. Cooley Law School is committed to complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 by providing access to campus facilities and reasonable accommodations in programs, services and classroom activities. Students with disabilities are responsible for ensuring that the Law School is aware of disabilities that require accommodations by contacting the disability coordinator for their campus.

Disability Access Guide More information about Cooley facilities, parking, accomodations, and classroom access can be found in the Disability Access Guide (pdf)

Transfer of credit. From the Student Policy Manual, Chapter 2 (pdf). For Joint Degrees: Chapter 5, Section 5.04 and Chapter 10, Section 10.13 (pdf).

Articulation Agreements. An articulation agreement is an agreement between or among institutions of higher education that specifies the acceptability of courses in transfer toward meeting specific degree or program requirements. 20 USC Section 1093(a). Cooley has established articulation agreements for students in joint degree programs with Davenport University, Western Michigan University, Oakland University, and Olivet College.

For more details, see Cooley's FERPA policy. From the Student Policy Manual, Appendix L (pdf).

Privacy: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, an educational institution may not release information other than "directory information" regarding a student or graduate without the written consent of the student or graduate. In compliance with this law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School has defined "directory information" to include whether a student is enrolled, and whether a person has graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. However, the law allows for several exceptions including a health or safety emergency.

Other information will be released only upon the written consent of the individual student, stating what information can be released and to whom the information can be released. Such requests must be presented to the Registrar. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act also provides for a right to inspect and review the student's education records, within a reasonable period of time of a request. If a student believes that information in the student's education records is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violative of privacy or other rights of students, the student may request that the School amend the records. The School, within a reasonable time, shall decide whether to amend. If the School decides to refuse to amend, the student will be informed of the right to a hearing.

As an enrolled student, you have the right to restrict the release of directory information. To restrict the release of directory information contact the Registrar's Office

Military Friendly policies: Students in the Military Called to Active Duty (pdf): From the Student Policy Manual, Chapter 7, Section 7.17.

Emergency Procedures. In the interests of protecting the safety of students, employees, and guests, Thomas M. Cooley Law School has established a set of procedures to use if an emergency arises. These procedures are based upon guidance provided by Cooley's Access Control provider and by key Cooley personnel.  Read Cooley's Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures Policy (pdf).

Crime and Security. Go to the U.S. Dept. of Education, Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool web page. Enter "Thomas M. Cooley" to obtain information for each of Cooley's campuses.

For detailed information about Cooley's response to emergencies, campus crime and crime prevention efforts, download our Campus Security Policies and Report (pdf).

Register to Vote. To register to vote in Michigan, visit the Michigan Secretary of State's Office and download a voter registration form (pdf). To obtain a Michigan absentee ballot, visit the same page and download an absent voter ballot application (pdf).

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What is copyright infringement?

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for the civil copy right infringement may be order to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United State Code, Sections 504, 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five year and fines up to $250,000 per offense.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at, especially, their FAQ's at

See Cooley's policies regarding peer-to-peer file sharing (pdf).

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Graduate Employment Data

Law schools collect and report graduate employment information to the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (ABA) and to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Cooley asks each graduate to complete the NALP Employment Report and Salary Survey. NALP designed this survey, which collects employment information by academic year, which both the ABA and NALP define as September 1 through August 31.

Cooley publicly reports employment data on its graduating classes in accordance with ABA and NALP guidelines. The graduates who voluntarily respond to the survey are the primary source of employment data. For graduates who did not respond to the survey, Cooley determined and confirmed a graduate's employment status from publicly available sources such as state bar records, social media (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook), law firm or business web sites, and other internet resources. Cooley also obtained employment information about some graduates from faculty members and classmates. Any graduate employment information that was indirectly obtained and that was deemed credible in accordance with ABA and NALP guidelines was reported. Reported information for the classes of 2011, 2012, and 2013 are included in the yearly summaries posted below, and they are presented in the format required by the ABA.

As with any statistics, it is important to understand the definitions of terms and the methodology used to compile graduate employment data and reports. An explanation of ABA reporting methodologies can be found here.

NALP instructions, definitions of terms, and reported outcomes, as well as national employment and salary data aggregated for all law school graduates, can be found on NALP's website.

If you have questions about Cooley's graduate employment data, contact Cooley’s Office of Career and Professional Development.

(2013 Graduates.pdf)

(2012 Graduates.pdf)

(2011 Graduates.pdf)

These reports are also available on the ABA Placement Statistics website.

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics for data on law careers.

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Attorney Licensing

Licensing Requirements

Every jurisdiction has licensing requirements for lawyers that include character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar. Applicants and students are encouraged to contact the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice to learn about that jurisdiction's requirements for admission to the Bar. As an ABA approved law school, Cooley's J.D. program satisfies the educational requirements for U.S. jurisdictions.

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