Benchmark Column Welcome


greetings from President james Mcgrath

McGrath web

It is my great honor to be asked to serve as the leader of this venerable school as we begin a new chapter in our history. Certainly, we face many challenges – but as I tell my students, you need to embrace your challenges as opportunities. I am going to seize upon our opportunities to restore WMU-Cooley’s reputation as a leader in using proven methods to prepare practice-ready, ethical lawyers. 

Our profession is also experiencing significant changes, to which we must not just react, but also anticipate future trends. Working with our incredible faculty, staff, students, and our board of directors, I will begin to roll out initiatives that will position our school well for the future of legal education. My goal is for our school to become a leader in modern legal education.  

One thing I have learned in my short time so far as President and Dean is the amazing loyalty of the WMU-Cooley alums. We boast more than 20,000 graduates, working in every state and in many countries around the world. My thanks to all of you who have supported our work in many ways, including by teaching and mentoring our students, by recruiting our graduates, and by being visible leaders in your community. Many of you have also been generous with contributions, and I will be contacting all of you with a challenge, or should I say opportunity to help keep our school strong. I am excited to be at the helm for this new chapter in WMU-Cooley’s history and welcome your participation. Feel free to email me personally at [email protected].


WMU-Cooley Law School
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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. The affiliation between WMU and WMU-Cooley, which are legally and financially independent institutions, will end on or before November 5, 2023. 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. 

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