Timeline - Cooley Law School From Its Beginning


A group of lawyers and judges, led by then-Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Thomas E. Brennan founded the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. They named the school for Thomas McIntyre Cooley, a legal scholar and practicing attorney of the 19th century.


Cooley held its first class in Lansing, Michigan


Cooley gained American Bar Association accreditation.


The 100th Cooley graduate walked across the stage at the Bushnell Class graduation.


Cooley’s library collection exceeded 100,000 volumes.


Don LeDuc is named dean of Cooley. (He served as dean from 1982 – 1987 and 1992 – present) The first volume of the Cooley Law Review was published.


Cooley Library installs first WESTLAW terminals


The Alumni present the Thomas E. Brennan portrait to Cooley Law School. Robert E. Krinock's death at the age of 45, stuns Cooley Community.


Cooley graduate John Engler was elected Governor of Michigan.


Library moves from Temple building to new location on Washington Avenue.


Cooley team wins F. Lee Bailey National Moot Court Competition Championship


Cooley Law Library reaches over 450,000 volumes


The first phase of the Cooley Center opens in Lansing.


The Higher Learning Commission granted initial accreditation to Cooley’s Lansing campus. Cooley was one of the first independent law schools to voluntarily seek accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Don LeDuc became president and dean of Cooley. Cooley began offering classes in Oakland County on the campus of Oakland University, where students could take up to 15 credits towards a Juris Doctor. Cooley named Law Library in honor of its founder and first President, Thomas E. Brennan.


Cooley begins offering classes in Grand Rapids, opens Master of Laws (LL.M) programs.


Cooley opened its Grand Rapids campus in a newly constructed 100,000-square-foot building.


The American Bar Association granted acquiescence for Cooley to offer its full 90-credit Juris Doctor program in Auburn Hills and Grand Rapids. The Higher Learning Commission granted accreditation to all Cooley campuses. The final phase of construction on the Cooley Center in Lansing was completed.


Cooley opened a completely renovated 66,000-square-foot building at its Auburn Hills campus. Cooley's Law library collection exceeds 550,000 volumes.


A 67,000-square-foot addition to the Auburn Hills campus building is scheduled for January completion.


The Lansing Lugnuts baseball stadium 'Oldsmobile Park' becomes 'Cooley Law School Stadium.'


The American Bar Association granted acquiescence of the Tampa Bay Campus. Cooley and Olivet College officially launch Michigan's first-ever LL.M./MBA Insurance program.


The first classes begin for the Tampa Bay Campus.



Timeline by Year

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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
Email: admissions@cooley.edu

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