Clinical Experiences

WMU-Cooley Law Clinical Experiences

Practice Ready

The law school's curriculum is designed to help you master the knowledge you’ll need to pass the bar examination and competently practice law. With 66 required credits – including Bar Exam Skills – you will have a class in almost every subject tested on the bar examinations in all 50 states.  The curriculum also teaches you the skills you need to be successful, even on your first day of practice. Unlike students at most schools, you will already have real-world practice. All students must participate in a clinic – essentially, an internal law firm of students who do pro bono work under an experienced faculty member’s supervision – or an externship with a practicing attorney or judge. Students have the option of participating in:

Access to Justice Clinic

The Access to Justice Clinic provides legal representation to those seeking to expunge their criminal convictions or remove their names from DHHS' Central Registry. The clinic also seeks to educate the public generally about issues facing ex-offenders as they seek successful reentry into society, through volunteering at community outreach events, and giving presentations on the topics of expungement and Central Registry name removal.

Debt Relief Clinic

The Debt Relief Clinic provides debt-related legal assistance on issues arising from past-due medical/hospital bills, loans, predatory lending, unfair/abusive collections practices, and more for under-served individuals in Hillsborough County, Florida. Students have an opportunity to represent clients in transactional matters, alternative dispute resolution, and pre-litigation resolution, all under the supervision of practicing attorneys.

Estate Planning Clinic

The Estate Planning Clinic here is a one-term live-client clinic, available for evening and weekend students. Students interview and counsel clients and draft wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives for the client, with priority for weekend and evening students. 

Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP)

The Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP) here is a two-term clinic in which students represent low-income people in family law and domestic violence matters in Oakland County Circuit Court. Students in this clinic work with FLAP’s staff attorneys under Michigan Court rule 8.120. 

WMU-Cooley Innocence Project

The WMU-Cooley Innocence Project here has the dual mission is to identify, provide legal assistance to, and secure the release of persons who are wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, and to provide its rstudents with an excellent learning experience. The clinic accepts cases where DNA evidence may establish innocence. 

Public Defender Clinics

students on either of two Public Defender Clinics here work on a variety of criminal cases (misdemeanors and felonies) in the Washtenaw County District and Circuit Courts and juvenile cases (delinquency, abuse, and neglect) in the Washtenaw County Probate Court. Students in Grand Rapids work with the Kent County Public Defender. 

Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic

WMU-Cooley's Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic here is a two-term, in-house, live-client clinic, provides free legal assistance to elderly residents of Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties. Students interview, counsel, represent, and advocate in a general civil law practice for clients who are 60 years old and older. 

CONTACT

WMU-Cooley Law School
300 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933 
(517) 371-5140

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Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. As an independent institution, the Law School is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. In corde hominem est anima legis.

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