Thomas Cooley Law School's Reputation Is In The Dumps... So It's Thinking About Changing Its Name
from the beats-actually-improving dept
Of course, our friends over at Above the Law have written many, many, many more posts about the somewhat infamous Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and the name has become something of a punchline among lawyers and legal followers. So what's a law school with the reputation of a joke to do when faced with the fact that anyone with a Google account can find out about its actual standing in the world? Why, change its name, of course.
Apparently, the law school may be ditching the name of the former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court with a sort of merger-but-not-merger with Western Michigan University, that would allow Cooley to take on Western Michigan's name in exchange for... well, that part's not clear. The two would remain financially separate, but might have students share certain services and classes.
The law school would get a new name but it would maintain separate finances and leadership under the proposal that leaders are considering. Details are still being ironed out, but the alliance could open the door for Cooley law students to take classes at Western Michigan University and utilize its student services, and vice versa, said Associate Dean for External Affairs James Robb. The partnership could also allow faculty to engage in interdisciplinary teaching and research, he said.WMU's reason for doing this has something to do with the fact that it already has a medical school. Yes, I said medical school. What does that have to do with anything? Your guess is as good as mine.
"The result of such an affiliation with Cooley would make our University one of fewer than 90 universities in the nation to have both a law school and school of medicine," notes WMU President John M. Dunn. "The benefits that accrue from that distinction would pay dividends to our students, faculty and staff for years to come. The opportunity is made even more intriguing by the common mission and values of our two institutions."So, um, they could be better at... malpractice law? Forgive me, I'm just not seeing how that's a benefit. It sounds like WMU decided it needed a law school for the prestige part, but the way you do that is by starting a law school, not giving your name over to the joke of the law school world. And, as Above the Law points out in its post on this, it's not like this is about money from students, since Cooley will keep its finances separate (though, you wonder if there's possibly a payment involved in all of this, rather than a cut of the tuition fees). But if it's prestige WMU wants, a simple Google search would suggest that this sort of partnership probably won't bring very much.