Law Schools in the News: Cooley Losing Its Cool

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Here’s a fun tidbit to start your week off with.

Have you heard of The Thomas M. Cooley Law School? You should have, as they’re the second best law school in the country, according to The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. They do their own rankings, putting themselves above schools such as Stanford and Yale. This is quite different from where US News and World Report ranks them, which is right in the fourth (or “worst”) tier. To be fair, Cooley’s rankings count the important things that USNWR tends to ignore, such as number of chairs in the library and total square-footage. What good is a law school like Yale if there’s nowhere to sit?

What’s the point of all this? Well, it’s funny, and a good segue into some more Cooley news. Now that they’ve got the whole ranking business out of the way, Cooley has moved on to something a bit scarier – suing online posters who’ve disparaged them (http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110717/NEWS01/307170016/Cooley-Law-School-sues-over-online-postings?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE). You can check out the story there, but basically Cooley believes that anonymous posters have caused damage to them by accusing them of criminal conduct, and Cooley demands satisfaction. They’re apparently trying to protect their reputation by shutting up these detractors. Honestly, I don’t know about legal things such things as these, and have no idea whether they have valid complaints or not.

What I do know is that this probably doesn’t make them look much better to many potential students. If I was seriously considering a fourth-tier law school, I don’t think I’d want to be insulted by a ranking system like theirs. I tend to think law school rankings are deeply flawed, but making your own even-more-flawed ranking certainly isn’t the answer. And that’s their starting point. Now, on top of that, they’re suing Huffington Post visitors? Would the second-best law school in the country really view anonymous internet posts as a legitimate threat? I guess that’s for you to decide.

One Response

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