Friday, January 07, 2005

Thomas Cooley Term I

My experience thus far at Thomas Cooley is very troubling to me. I plan to write about this in great detail shortly, both as a warning to prospective students as well as to current students who are barely holding on to C grades like yours truly. I believe Cooley overall provides the same level or degree of legal education as any other law school, but their overall business-model is something that prospective students may want to become more aware of. Unlike a lot of other ABA schools, Cooley will give you a shot, but in the end you just might regret taking them up on their offer.

What separates the A students from the C students is definitely NOT “studying” as I was a dedicated and diligent student. In fact, I am starting to wonder if perhaps I studied so hard that I ended up becoming downright myopic. The class I blew off the most ended up with a higher grade than the class I busted my ass on. This is equally troubling as it is perplexing to me.

The “system” or way things are done at Cooley doesn’t help. I am void-grading Property, but void-grades don’t post until Week 5. That’s fine, but when I went to the Registrar to “drop” Property II they wouldn’t let me do it. Why? Because my void-grade will automatically drop me out of Property II. What this means is far from clear to me. Technically, after Week 5 I will lack the prerequisite for Property II, but as part of the void-grade contract I have to take Property I during this semester. A Pink Floyd lyric from The Wall suddenly comes to mind: "If you don't eat your meat, how can you have any pudding? If you can't have any pudding, you didn't eat your meat..."

I might appeal my Contracts exam, but I will decide that for certain once I obtain the blue book. I am a few points away from being bumped into a higher-grade level and if I see grounds for an appeal I plan to act on that. Considering that Morgan has been doing Contracts for 20+ years at Cooley odds are I will lose, but on the other hand, he had to grade hundreds of blue books and just might have missed something. Since I am within striking distance of moving up a notch, and providing I indeed find grounds for an appeal, I think the misery of an appeal stands to be worth it.

I also came across another piece of information that troubles me. Cooley students that sit for the California Bar seem to be stuck in the 30% first-time pass range. Because of my long-standing business connections with all things California, I was planning to take the California Bar exam when I finished serving time at Cooley. Oddly enough, Concord (an internet-based law school) has a first-time pass rate of 50% compared to Cooley’s 30%. I had a chance to attend Concord in 1998 and now I’m wondering if all the ABA-based debt is going to be worth it.

California Bar Pass Rate for 2004 HERE

California Bar Pass Rate for 2003 HERE.


At Monday, January 10, 2005 3:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I do feel for you, give it a hard try next semester and see how those grades come out. The bad thing is the classes just keep getting harder and harder each semester, just toy around with some different study methods and you should pull through. If your still at a low C level after next semester I would get out though, there is no use to be throwing money away- Cooley costs way to much- and the chances of graduating are slim to none. You seem like a pretty smart guy I think you will do fine.

At Monday, January 10, 2005 4:14:00 PM, Blogger Evan said...

I know you shared some of my concerns about Cooley and I know you're a smart guy. Have you considered a transfer?

At Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your blog,
I graduated from Cooley five years ago, and opened my own practice. If you make it, there is no rush like saying "Your Honor; my name is xxxx, and I am here on behalf of Defendant ZZZZ, my p# is 00000".
I was just reliving the pain and suffering of my youth(at TMCLS).
I briefed every case from start to finnish, Outlined,(120 lbs of paper), then passed the bar (the first-time, unlike some Kennedys!)
After 5 years, I'm contemplating leaving the fast-law industry- to do something more honest (like open a topless bar, a brothel, or a crack house)(Michigan is a Home-rule state, like Mexico, Ireland, and New Jersey).
I don't think a transfer will help, unless its to Harvard. I know a Wayne State grad, Her father is a Circuit Court Judge, she couldnt get a job, and went back to teaching. Sometimes you win by losing, the important thing is you bona fide really try.
Cooley is highly underated, its the fast-law industry that is over-rated.

At Saturday, September 06, 2008 5:11:00 PM, Blogger Daniel L. McMurtry said...

Cooley, wow, lets see I did my first year there, I transfered out. I was able to transfer to a state school. I agree with one of the posters, it gets hard because they keep failing more people out and keep up the c- minuse curve. It is a brutal school, make the best of it, I hope it worked out for you.


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