Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Carnegie Report PDF

Rankings in the News

EDITORIAL: Legal Education Reform
(New York Times, Published: November 25, 2011)
A version of this editorial appeared in print on November 26, 2011, on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Legal Education Reform.

What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering
(New York Times, By DAVID SEGAL, Published: November 19, 2011)
A version of this article appeared in print on November 20, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering.

The Rankings Revolt
(TIME Magazine, Mar 22, 2007, Julie Rawe, Time Inc.)

The $8.78 Million Maneuver
(The New York Times, July 31, 2005, Alex Wellen,
Education Life Supplement Late Edition - Final,
Section 4A, Page 18)

  Educating Lawyers - Read the Report Online pdf

Educating Lawyers

These recommendations, which came about in 2007, are precisely the type of education Cooley has provided since its founding in 1972.

Cooley's mission is to continue to push for the delivery and substance of legal education so that lawyers are ready to practice from day 1.


Carnegie's recommendations:

1: Offer an Integrated Curriculum.

To build on their strengths and address their shortcomings, law schools should offer an integrated, three-part curriculum:
(1) the teaching of legal doctrine and analysis, which provides the basis for professional growth;
(2) introduction to the several facets of practice included under the rubric of lawyering, leading to acting with responsibility for clients; and
(3) exploration and assumption of the identity, values and dispositions consonant with the fundamental purposes of the legal profession. Integrating the three parts of legal education would better prepare students for the varied demands of professional legal work. In order to produce such integrative results in students’ learning, however, the faculty who teach in the several areas of the legal curriculum must first communicate with and learn from each other.

2: Join "Lawyering," Professionalism and Legal Analysis
from the Start.

3: Make Better Use of the Second and Third Years of Law School.



4: Support Faculty to Work Across the Curriculum.

5: Design the Program so that Students—and Faculty—Weave Together Disparate Kinds of Knowledge and Skill.

6: Recognize a Common Purpose.

Amid the useful varieties of mission and emphasis among American law schools, the formation of competent and committed professionals deserves and needs to be the common, unifying purpose. A focus on the formation of professionals would give renewed prominence to the ideals and commitments that have historically defined the legal profession in America.


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Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) Michigan educational corporation and
is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
300 S. Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 13038, Lansing, MI 48901
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