Monday, March 21, 2005

Going from Cooley

Exams are just around the corner and I am getting anxious to get the show on the road and likewise over with. Odds are I won’t be coming back to Cooley after this term, although I’ve left the option open – just incase.

I started out this term feeling strong and clear, then things got a bit foggy in February, but now I’m back on track. My Contracts professor – a woman who is both loved and feared by some of my peers, including yours truly, does NOT grade on a curve. I thought that was rather interesting if not downright progressive.

My feelings by the end of this term are mixed when it comes to Cooley. The school has some excellent professors and it also has some real duds. This term I feel as though I really lucked out, as I happen to find all of my professors to be fairly decent (yes, at times irritating, frustrating, etc, but still good). I went to a T1/T2 during my undergrad and Masters programs and frankly it wasn’t any different – good and bad profs seem to come with the territory in any academic situation. I believe on balance the professors at Cooley fall into the “good” range, and a handful seem to be quite remarkable.

I am very concerned about Cooley’s lawsuit with the ABA. After reading the pleadings in the case I am less than optimistic about Cooley prevailing,
and worse I am concerned about Cooley’s overall ABA status. Mind you, I am no fan of the ABA, but I am also a realist, and going to war with the ABA rarely ends up with a positive result no matter how strong, wonderful, or airtight a case might seem. The ABA - the gatekeepers to the guild – is an organization with tentacles that run deep into nearly everything known as “law” in this country, and going against the guild is either very brave – or suicide. From what I’ve seen, it tends to be the latter. In the same breath, I also believe that this is going to change when thousands of Concord graduates hit the streets and attack the ABA Citadel from all sides (frontal attack i.e. litigation, and legislative attack i.e. running-for-office and changing the rules – this has already happened in a few states).

Check out this PDF of the transcript of Motion Hearing on December 20th, 2004 – go down to around page 50 (or so) and note that the ABA wants to sanction Cooley… well… pretty much no matter what it seems they’re going to sanction Cooley. It’s an interesting point in the transcript, because I suspect that unless Cooley screws all the kids that went to the non-Lansing campus, Cooley is going to be in perpetual “violation” of ABA rules…

“THE COURT: If we’re going to stick with the language of Rule 13, one of the things that I was intrigued with is your argument, that I didn’t think you really particularly fleshed out, that said merely closing the satellite/branch at the end of the spring term last year did not bring the school into compliance. So if their argument is you can only sanction schools out of compliance, why does the ABA contend, in the face of the action that Cooley took, that they are – that they were out of compliance at the time of the show-cause heart?

Mr. PRITIKIN: Well, there was a continuing violation, Your Honor…. What has happened is that – and I don’t know the precise number, it’s over a hundred students – maybe 116 students have been given credits for courses that were taken at the satellite campuses that were opened without prior acquiescence. These are credits that have been entered on the students records, these are students who are currently at Cooley, and these credits that are being counted toward the graduation by those students. This is a continuing violation.

THE COURT: So it isn’t just offering the courses, it’s offering courses that presumably the students pass –


THE COURT: -- for which they get credit?

MR. PRITIKIN: That’s right.

THE COURT: And I’m not suggesting that anybody would or could or should do this, but just for theoretical purposes, are you suggesting that if they had agreed to close these facilities and not give the students credit for the coursework that they took there, that might have then brought them into compliance?”

Ah… well fellow bloggers, if you are interested in the soap opera of Cooley v. ABA, you’ll have to read the transcript plus check out some of the pleadings available on the Cooley website. Mind you, when you discover just what a “sanction” means to Cooley and what the ABA wanted Cooley to do with regard to being sanctioned, it will either make you laugh or angry or both.


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