The links below provide information about Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School that may be of interest to prospective and current students, faculty, and staff. If you have questions, feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WMU Cooley
Academic (J.D. & LL.M.)
Life at WMU Cooley
ABA Required Information
WMU 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.
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About WMU Cooley
The Mission of the Western Michigan University 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 the Law School'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.
Founded in 1972 in Lansing, Michigan, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School exists and operates as a single legal and accredited entity with campuses located in Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Lansing, Michigan, and Tampa Bay (Riverview), Florida. It is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). It is also licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education (FCIE).
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has been fully approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association since 1978, following provisional approval in 1975. The ABA also fully approved the programs at Auburn Hills and Grand Rapids, and it has provisionally approved the Tampa Bay campus.
American Bar Association
Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
321 Clark Street
21st Floor NE
Chicago, IL 60610
The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School since 2001. The HLC is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Founded in 1895, the NCA 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 HLC 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
Notice Inviting Public Comment About the Law School
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is seeking comments from the public about the Law School in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The Law School will host a visit September 14-16, 2015, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation. WMU-Cooley Law School has been accredited by the Commission since 2001.
The public is invited to submit comments regarding the Law School to:
Public Comment on Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
The public may also submit comments on the Commission's website at www.ncahlc.org. Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by August 17, 2015.
Western Michigan University 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.
Sexual Predator/Offender Registry Website - Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
TTY Accessibility: 1-877-414-7234
Effect of Branch Campus Accreditation
All students matriculate at, attend, and graduate from WMU-Cooley, not from an individual campus. Regardless of which campus they attend, all students have equal status; are free to take any class offered at any campus; are deemed by the ABA to be enrolled at, and are recognized as graduates of, an ABA-approved law school; and possess the same status of bar admission eligibility. This enrollment status applies at all times beginning with matriculation.
Inquiries regarding the status of Cooley's campuses may be directed to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar by calling: (312) 988-6738.
Copies of our accreditation and state authorization documents can be obtained from:
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Office of Planning, Assessment, & Accreditation
9th Floor Cooley Center
300 S. Capitol Ave, Lansing MI 48933
Student Enrollment on October 5, 2014:
- 1,880 students enrolled (1,742 J.D. + 138 LL.M.)
- 585 J.D. students are members of minority groups (33.6%)
- 938 J.D. students are women (53.8%)
- 102 J.D. students are from foreign countries (5.9%)
- 82.6% of J.D. students are enrolled part-time
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 Western Michigan University 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 » .
Academic Calendar. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School 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 Western Michigan University Thomas M. 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 J.D. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School 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 J.D. 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:
- LL.M. - Corporate Law and Finance (pdf)
- LL.M. - Homeland and National Security Law (pdf)
- LL.M. - Insurance Law (pdf)
- LL.M. - Intellectual Property Law (pdf)
- LL.M. - Self-Directed (pdf)
- LL.M. - Tax (pdf)
- LL.M. - U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Attorneys (pdf)
Academic Requirements Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School's J.D. 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:
- LL.M. - Corporate Law and Finance
- LL.M. - Homeland and National Security Law
- LL.M. - Insurance Law
- LL.M. - Intellectual Property Law
- LL.M. - Self-Directed
- LL.M. - Tax
- LL.M. - U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Attorneys
Life at WMU Cooley
Student activities. The Law School has more than 50 active student organizations.
Nondiscrimination. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School abides by all federal and state laws against discrimination. In addition, WMU Cooley Law School 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. Western Michigan University 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.
- AUBURN HILLS Enrollment Coordinator Angela Tyszka, (248) 751-7800 x7787
Office: 2nd floor, room 211 email@example.com
- GRAND RAPIDS Enrollment Coordinator Julie Renbarger, (616) 301-6800 x6731
Office: 2nd floor, Grand Rapids firstname.lastname@example.org
- LANSING Enrollment Coordinators, Melissa Crips, (517) 371-5140 x2248 and Ieva Inglis (517) 371-5140 x2282
Office: 2nd floor, Cooley Center email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- TAMPA BAY Enrollment Coordinator, Brianne Myers, (813) 419-5100 x5155 email@example.com or
Tony Alvarado, (813) 419-5100 x5125 firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 1st Floor Tampa Bay
Disability Access Guide More information about WMU Cooley Law School 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). WMU Cooley Law School 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 WMU Cooley Law School'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, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has defined "directory information" to include whether a student is enrolled, and whether a person has graduated from the Western Michigan University 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 email@example.com.
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, Western Michigan University 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 WMU Cooley Law School's Access Control provider and by key WMU Cooley Law School personnel. Read WMU Cooley Law School'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 WMU Cooley Law School's campuses.
For detailed information about WMU Cooley Law School'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).
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.
See WMU Cooley Law School's policies regarding peer-to-peer file sharing (pdf).
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). WMU Cooley Law School 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.
WMU Cooley Law School 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, WMU Cooley Law School 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. WMU Cooley Law School 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 2012, 2013, and 2014 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 WMU Cooley Law School's graduate employment data, contact WMU Cooley Law School’s Office of Career and Professional Development.
These reports are also available on the ABA Placement Statistics website.
Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics for data on law careers.
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.