Cooley Law Back In Compliance With ABA Admissions Standard

Western Michigan Thomas Cooley Law School is now in compliance with admissions standards that require law schools to only admit candidates who appear capable of completing law school and passing the bar exam.

A public notice was recently posted on the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the bar, affirming that Cooley Law was in compliance with Standard 501(b). An accreditation committee had previously determined in November 2017 that the law school was not in compliance with that standard.

Following the accreditation committee’s finding in November, Cooley Law filed a temporary restraining order to prevent the ABA from making the decision public. The law school’s motion was rejected by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  A lawsuit Cooley filed against the ABA, alleging that posting the letter violated the Higher Education Act and common-law due process, is still pending, the ABA Journal reported.

According to the accreditation committee’s March 2018 decision, the committee found that the law school had taken concrete steps with respect to its admissions policy and demonstrated compliance with Standard 501(b) and Interpretation 501-1. 

“The ABA law school accreditation process includes opportunities for schools to address matters of noncompliance determined by the accreditation committee and the council,” Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, told the ABA Journal. “When that occurs, and the committee or the council conclude that the steps taken by a school have addressed the concerns that led to the finding of noncompliance, then the appropriate action is to find that the school has returned to good standing on those issues.”

Over the last three years,  from 2014 to 2017, Cooley Law’s median LSAT score has been below 146, and the median undergraduate GPA has hovered between 2.85 and 2.94.

A hearing previously scheduled for the accreditation committee’s June 2018 meeting was cancelled. Cooley Law remains an ABA-approved law school.