Saturday, July 5, 2014

Crumbling Fecal Pile: Thomas M. Cooley Law School Cuts Entire First Year Class at Its Ann Arbor Campus and Will Reduce Faculty

The Toilet’s Announcement: Check out the entire text of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Statement, released on July 1, 2014:

“As with most law schools across the country, Cooley Law School’s enrollment and revenue have continued to decline while health care and legacy costs continue to rise. Despite ongoing cost control efforts, the school can no longer avoid the financial imbalance between the revenue and expenses it faces. As a result, the Cooley board of directors and administration are instituting a financial management plan to reduce expenses significantly and right size the organization.

The plan will help the school remain at the forefront of innovative approaches to legal education and continue to deliver the broad, high-quality access to legal instruction students have come to expect from Cooley. It demonstrates the school’s commitment to maintaining its high level of academic excellence and support for current and future students.

The plan includes:

• Faculty and staff reductions
• A system wide review of each program for capacity and quality
• A review of all campuses and facilities to reduce and rebalance costs
• A review of all purchases, travel and other expenses

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School has a history of making transformative decisions in response to its students’ needs, while remaining financially strong. This aggressive financial management plan is designed to ensure that Cooley can continue its outstanding academic program while preparing for its next steps in the 21st century.” [Emphasis mine]

I am glad to see this development. This is a watershed moment in the law school scam. After highlighting this filthy, vile indu$try for nearly five years, it feels great to see that others are avoiding financial ruin at the hands of the law school pigs.

Other Coverage: On July 2, 2014, OTLSS contributor “antiro” published an entry labeled “Cooley Law School Instituting a "Financial Management Plan." Enjoy the following excerpt:

“Quick summary: the law school is suffering financially and enrollment is continuing to decline, so the law school will be "reinventing" itself by firing faculty and staff, and review all programs, campuses, and expenses.

The date of the posting is yesterday: July 1.

It appears that something more might be going around behind the scenes, however. Above the Law is reporting that what was originally posting had this (and at the time of me posting this I do not believe that ATL has updated that Cooley has edited their original announcement):

As part of the plan, Cooley will also hold off enrolling incoming first-term students at the Ann Arbor campus for fall 2014, though all currently enrolled Ann Arbor students will continue to be able to pursue the school’s full curriculum.” [Emphasis in original]

According to this source, these “educators” chose to edit their statement above. I’m sure they had several good rea$on$ for doing so.

Staci Zaretsky posted a sweet-ass, July 2, 2014 article entitled “Much Maligned Law School Cuts First-Year Class, Announces Layoffs.” Feel free to celebrate this exhilarating news:

“The legal academy has been waiting with bated breath for something like this to happen, and now it finally has. A law school is cutting an entire class year from its enrollment logs at one campus and laying off faculty and staff — all at the same time.

Which law school seems to be in full on disaster mode right now?

If you guessed the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, then you were correct. Elie Mystal’s years of coverage about this law school have served a purpose after all. If you took heed of his warnings, then we must congratulate you, because it looks like he helped you to avoid a complete catastrophe.

That’s right, Cooley Law — a school with a total of five campuses across Michigan and Florida, whose enrollment dropped by 40.6 percent over the past few years — is finally raising its hands in defeat. After years of statements from Dean Don LeDuc that the school was doing just fine, and despite the fact that the S&P gave it a negative rating, and despite the fact that it recently raised tuition by 9 percent to presumably cover its operational costs, the school seems to be throwing in the towel. Not even affiliating the law school with a public university could save the program from itself. Sure, Cooley Law has weathered class-action lawsuits about its quality, but it could no longer stand up against the staggering decline of legal market.” [Emphasis mine]

Conclusion: Thank all of you who have helped spread the message about the law school scam, especially those who preceded the movement. Loyola 2L, “State of Beasley,” L4L/Skadden Farts and “the Calico Cat” deserve major credit. Unperson, Jobless JD, Esq. Never, JD Underdog, BIDER and the other scambloggers kept publishing the facts and we did not let up on the bastards. David Segal at the New York Times and Amir Efrati at the Wall Street Journal brought mainsteam attention to this situation. And, of course, Brian Tamanaha and Paul Campos greatly aided this cause with their voices. Once these tenured professors jumped on board, the law school swine were on the ropes.

This is merely another step in the right direction. We must continue to be vigilant in covering the scam. While TTTThoma$ M. Cooley Law Sewer is the largest trash pit of the 200+ ABA-accredited diploma mills, it is only one school. Plus, the rodents still have five campuses. Go ahead and enjoy this glorious development. Hold your heads up high, knowing that you have helped save others from financial hell. In fact, you did so by donating your time and energy to this just cause - without expecting a dime in return. Now, let’s continue the work of informing consumers about the perils of “legal education.”


  1. Don't forget Tom the Temp!

  2. Congratulations Nando.
    I wold say you (and others) Mushroom Stamped this law school.
    You deserve a beer tonight.

  3. I don't think many law schools will close. The ones in trouble will be purchased by large universities. But at least more people are avoiding financial ruin at the hands of the law schools.

    1. I keep on saying that Law School will not crumble; perhaps some of the mismanaged lower tier ones will. There are too many students with useless BAs who are willing to buy a ticket to hope.

      I think the word is out, yet way too many UGs are still applying to LS.

      What I think will be destroyed are college's English, History, and other BA programs that confer no employment enhancement, outside of the Ivys.

    2. There's clearly a bubble in undergraduate education also. That is just heating up. Even Ivy undergraduate institutions are experiencing significant (we're talking 5-15%) year-over-year declines in enrollment and more steep declines in applications.

      We're seeing failures of the undergrad scam institutions: Corinthian Colleges, ITT Tech. Corinthian alone was pulling something like 1.4 billion out of the federal lending programs each year.

      Every manner of small undergraduate institution is in trouble.

      So, until state bars decide you do not need an undergraduate degree to sit for the bar, I think the most likely scenario is the bleed from law schools continues or worsens dramatically. There are now fewer undergraduate degrees being produced, and I suspect that number will decline rapidly as tuition has not popped and deflated.

      After all, law schools are running through their last bail outs:

      IBR (avoiding prohibitively high cohort default rates), 10% of the class with no LSAT, slashing admissions standards, offering tuition discounts, etc.

      This gets worse for law schools, and thank god for that. They need to die.

    3. You have to understand, though, that UG programs are the 'pipeline'. The more useless degrees (I don't mean that in any other way than economically) that college produces, the more potential law school lemmings with no options.

  4. This is a satisfying moment. However, we have a long way to go. This movement must not end with 5 to 10 of the worst schools closed, and a score of others somewhat downsized. That would be the proverbial band-aid on a cancer.

    Rather, we must demolish, root and branch, the existing model of legal education whereby lazy and arrogant professors with meager actual legal experience, get rich off the gargantuan debts of naive kids who trusted them.

  5. Scambloggers: saving lives and doing the lord's work since 2009.

  6. How can this happen to the #2 best law school in the land?!??


  7. I have a few friends who just graduated, how soon do I know if there lives are ruined by looking at their linkedin job description?

    1. I also know two guys who graduated in 2012, working as a 'law clerk' and a 'compliance officer'.

      I'm guessing they struck out? Those jobs can't require a JD.

  8. Hopefully, more of these shit pits will be closing their doors soon. More importantly, though, is thinking of how many futures will be spared from a life of misery and indentured servitude. The legal industry is nothing more than one giant pyramid scheme, and those working to expose it for the sham it truly is are providing the public a valuable service.

  9. There's an independent business school in trouble: Thunderbird, near Phoenix. Apparently Arizona State University is going to buy it and keep it going. We can expect several law schools to undergo this type of incestuous mating.


  10. I graduated Cooley many years ago and never found a job despite passing the bar exam the first try. The reason why I chose to attend law school was because I had a physical disability that caused my job choices to be limited. I figured having a law degree would help me get a desk job and a rewarding career. I never found employment despite all my efforts. It seems all the rhetoric of diversity and employment opportunity for even people with disability is just marketing ploys by the ABA and the law schools.


    On July 2, 2014 12:45 pm, Debra Cassens Weiss posted an ABA Journal piece entitled “Cooley Law School won’t enroll new 1Ls at Ann Arbor campus, plans faculty layoffs.” Here is the full text of that article:

    “Law students hoping to start their first year at Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus this fall will have to change their plans.

    According to an internal announcement obtained by Above the Law, Cooley “will hold off enrolling incoming first-term students at the Ann Arbor campus for fall 2014.” The Ann Arbor location is one of four Cooley campuses in Michigan; a fifth campus is in Tampa, Florida.

    The Ann Arbor hold on enrollment is part of a plan “designed to right size and reinvent the school,” says the announcement on an internal portal. The “aggressive financial management plan” also includes faculty and staff layoffs.

    Students currently enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus will have access to the school’s full curriculum, the announcement says.

    “As with most law schools across the country, Cooley’s enrollment and revenue have continued to decline,” the announcement begins. “Despite our ongoing cost control efforts, it has become apparent that we must now reassess our costs, including our faculty and staff levels, in light of current enrollment.”

    The announcement also says that Cooley will work to keep tuition increases as low as possible, and its 2014-15 academic calendar won’t change.

    Cooley’s associate dean of external affairs and senior counsel, James Robb, confirmed the accuracy of the internal announcement and pointed to a public statement confirming a plan to reduce faculty and staff.

    "I can confirm for you that we do not plan to enroll an incoming first-term class at Ann Arbor this fall," Robb told the ABA Journal.

    "Due to our review and the decline of enrollment and revenue, we’re looking to right size the organization," Robb said. "That will include some faculty and staff reductions, the scope of which is under review now. And we’re reviewing our programs and we're reviewing our campuses and facilities to reduce costs."

    Asked if Cooley will phase out its Ann Arbor campus, Robb said there are no plans at this point to do so.

    Any incoming 1Ls already accepted to Cooley's Ann Arbor campus will be given the opportunity to attend Cooley at another campus, Robb said.

    News of Cooley's decision comes the same day that the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of Cooley's $17 million defamation suit against lawyers who unsuccessfully sued over the school's employment statistics.”

    1. That appeals court decision body-slamming the "more equal than others" Cooley pigs is even better news than their totally predictable financial retrenchment. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they timed the announcement of their Ann Arbor contractual default to divert attention from the dismissal of their ridiculous lawsuit.

      Remember, the fake lawyers at Cooley hate real lawyers, and actually sued them for bringing a standard lawsuit.

  12. can you please roast this piece of shit

    this blog should come up as the #1 link in Google when his name is googled.

  13. That picture of Mr. Insanity in the tropical sunset reminds me of something I need to tell him. "Joshua Ray Adams, you deadbeat welfare parasite, travel is supposed to be a reward for hard work, not an escape from hard work."

  14. Cooley is a cess pit. That said I don't see anything worse than them closing one campus down. But that's still something.

    1. We never expected things to change overnight. We've been at this since 2008. A small group of dedicated people online and through word-of-mouth are going up against a corrupt multimillion dollar industry with government backing, the revolving door, and huge ad budgets in their corner. After six years we are seeing real results.

      I will say this to the law school pigs reading this blog: we will not stop. You have ruined countless lives out of greed. We will continue to hammer away relentlessly online and through word of mouth against you and your filthy industry. I trash law school every week. I've talked at least five people out of law school and referred them to the scamblogs. They did not enroll. So you hear us you disgusting slobs? We will NOT stop.

    2. I think Cooley is finding out the hard way that losers--especially losers from Michigan--prefer to go to law school in Florida. Maybe their Florida campus can take up the slack.

  15. Dear Mr. Nando,

    Do you have guidestar - can get 990 filings? I think Cooley is carrying something on the order of 89 million in bond debt rated BBB-. So, that's a problem for them. ;)

    Taking bets on Cooley and Infilaw vis a vis bankruptcy...

    1. Definitely Infilaw goes down first. They borrowed money to make extra payouts to the equity holders, so their burden is much greater than Cooley's. At least Cooley borrowed to build some decent-looking buildings.

    2. Oh, I like this action. I haven't the discretionary income to actually put skin in the game, but I will watch with some interest.

    3. Maybe shorting these stocks would be the way to go. :)

    4. Infilaw: yes.

      Look at how the Dept. of Education and state attorney generals, and the CFPB are behaving towards for-profit undergraduate institutions with the same marks against them as Infilaw.

      That is, extremely poor employment outcomes, high real default (IBR) rates, and institutional insolvency.

      I hope Infilaw looks at the impending bankruptcy of Corinthian Colleges and quakes in its boots.

      I am not sure if the new, proposed "gainful employment" rule from the Department of Education applies to graduate schools, but it does not take a genius to figure out which way the wind is blowing for for-profit schools taking huge amounts of money directly from the federal government coffers.

  16. I recently read an article about the so-called "legal education crisis" in America. First off, the "crisis" was self-created by the law school industry. Law schools raised tuition every year so long as the Feds raised the student loan cap levels. My law professors used to jokingly say that a law license is a license to steal. After 20 years of practice, I can tell you that running a law school is a true license to steal--from the taxpayers. I think of places such as UC-Irvine which is fleecing the California taxpayer into subsidizing bloated salaries collected by Dean Chemerinsky, his wife, and his cohorts who happily came to Orange County for the nice weather and lifestyle. Law school is a racket and has been for a few decades now.

    Anyway, the article I read quoted some law school deans who erroneously believed that the declining enrollment is cyclical. No assholes, it isn't cyclical. Ever hear of "market correction?" Over the 4th of July weekend I was at a BBQ and met a recent college grad who thought of enrolling in law school this Fall. She actually did the research and determined not to attend law school. The word is getting out. The law school deans thought their scheme would see no end. Wrong motherfuckers. The endgame is already taking place. I await with anticipation until the day where we see this filthy industry in checkmate.

    1. Did the prospective law student say what she read that changed her mind?

    2. I'm not even a lawyer, but I read this blog because of my own graduate scam (pharmacy). I ran into a graduate thinking of law. I gave him all the argumetns in a friendly way. But he seems to be going with lawyer co-workers, saying his accounting degree married to law will pay out. People have dreams to cling to to avoid suicide. It's hard to reach those people.

  17. God bless all of you for the scamblogging. Praise the Lord ... and pass the ammunition.

  18. Burn baby burn!


    On July 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm, Debra Cassens Weiss posted an ABA Journal entry labeled “Cooley Law School loses 6th Circuit defamation appeal.” Here is the entire article below:

    “Dueling defamation suits by the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a law firm that unsuccessfully sued over the school’s employment statistics have both been tossed out of court.

    Cooley filed the first defamation suit against lawyers David Anziska and Jesse Strauss and their then-law firm, Kurzon Strauss. The suit claimed $17 million in damages as a result of a June 2011 blog post claiming the school “grossly inflates” employment data and salary information, as well as a draft class action, published on the Internet, claiming the school used “Enron-style” accounting techniques.

    On Wednesday, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld (PDF) dismissal of Cooley’s suit. The 6th Circuit agreed with a trial judge who concluded the school was a limited-purpose public figure and evidence of actual malice was lacking.

    When announcing the defamation suit, Cooley president and dean Don LeDuc alleged that the lawyers “crossed the line both legally and ethically.” That statement spurred a defamation suit by the Kurzon law firm, which was recently dismissed by a federal judge in New York on jurisdictional grounds.

    Cooley's 6th Circuit loss comes on the same day that news broke of its decision not to enroll a first-year class at its Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus. The school said it plans to "right size and reinvent the school" as a result of declining enrollment and revenues.”

    Seeing that the commode is cutting back on expenses, the pigs sure could have used $17 million. By the way, is anyone else tired of the corporatese? Honestly, what in the hell is “right sizing”?!?!


    Now, let’s take a look at some of the best comments from this article.

    “Paper Pusher” wrote the following on July 2, 2014 1:48 pm:

    “THANK GOODNESS. Finally showing some sense and awareness of reality. In know that it’s a free market, and a caveat emptor, world and no one owes anyone anything, but Cooley was doing no one (but it’s well paid employees) favors by pumping out expensive degrees (that the market isn’t excited to see) as fast as possible. Close Ann Arbor and Florida too.”

    On July 2, 2014 at 6:38 PM, unperson, the author of the epic Exposing the Law School Scam, posted the following remark – under the name “LeftistConservative”:

    “I had a hand in this with my now-closed EXPOSING THE LAW SCHOOL SCAM blog. Bwahahaha!”

    This man coined the term “law school scam.” He deserves an award for his work. In fact, ETLSS, Tom the Temp, and Big Debt, Small Law inspired me to start blogging about this indu$try.

    Courtesy of “JB,” posted on July 3, 2014 9:26 am:

    “Cooley, why not just release another law school rankings poll with you ranked behind only Yale and Harvard? Maybe all the recent LSAT takers did see the last edition you released, and just need to the new 2014 edition to confirm their belief that Cooley is the #3 law school in the country. hahaha”

    On July 3, 2014 2:43 pm, “Give it up” wrote:

    “Wow, soooo many pro-Cooley trolls. Always be closing…

    Cooley is the butt of the law school joke. Nothing is going to change that.”

    On July 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm, user “Don’t forget the price tag” provided this response:


    You forgot to mention the exorbitant HYS tuition that TTT Cooley now charges its students (who mostly experience horrible outcomes, BTW. Stats don’t lie. Thank you LST…).”

    In the end, TTTThoma$ M. Cooley Law Sewer is a rancid filth pile. It is the laughingstock of ABA-accredited schools.

  21. If you want to know how much of a scam higher education is, try this one on- my buddy only has a high school diploma and pulled down $50k/yr all cash tips as a golf caddy. Yep. He is down in Florida now in palm beach as a caddy master/course manager making $90k/yr. Base salary and moonlights giving golf lessons. He's got a nice apt in the suburbs and his wife is a school teacher and they are raising their son fine. Debt free, no state income tax, low cost of living.

    So when some piece of shit like Don LeDuc tells you law school is a good investment, think of my friend pulling down Six figures off of GOLF with a high school diploma and no debt in sunny Florida on a course all day next to the beach. If you're lucky you'll get shit law in a windowless office making $40k/yr paying off a huge debt bill. Enjoy retarded lemmings.

    1. Exactly. The lemmings will learn how low they really are in the rankings of financial life when it's too late. One does have to be especially deaf and retarded to go to law school now.

    2. I second that, I make close to that doing something that has nothing to do with the 'elite' UG program I went to. I wish I skipped college.

      Law school, my good what a scam. And I thought UG was bad?

    3. Jon, did you graduate from your "elite" undergraduate school?

  22. Cooley is the biggest shit pile of all. This is a big moment in the law school scam.

  23. I went to Cooley for three semesters. No way I should have been accepted in for reasons I don't need to go into here. But I was. I was on disability. I took out over 40 grand to further my legal education, ha. Bought a Caddy, a new gym for my basement. Quit Cooley when they wanted me to study more than I was willing. Had permanent disability, and student loans permanently discharged. All legal. All fair. They recently sent me some info asking if I wanted to come back. So cute. Not just no, but hell no. You have a great site here, I didn't realize it when I was going to Cooley, my mistake.

    1. You are very fortunate that you did not return to Cooley law school....especially in light of your permanent disability. If you check Copley's Wikipedia website you will see that Cooley students graduate with a debt load averaging $263,000 that includes undergraduate college. Your disability will prevent you to fall back on other jobs to try to make s living and pay off your student loans if you do not land a legal job. Its bad enough being disabled, worse yet being disabled and owing crushing loans. And despite what the legal industry and bar association preaches about non-member discrimination policies, the fact is disabled people are discriminated against in the legal field in a very subtle way. You will find an intimidating environment that is not receptive to physically disabled law alumni and law schools only have support systems that deal with the admissions and attendance stage. After you graduate you are pretty much on your own. The ABA and the NALP does not have any effective programs to assist physically disabled law school grads to be integrated into the legal community and have an equal opportunity to succeed. There is no inclusion. I graduated Cooley with a disability myself and found out the harsh reality there are no law offices or law firms that affirmatively pledge support for the disabled graduates. All you see is just a generic statement of non-member discrimination. Courts are not even geared for the disabled. It is a very hostile environment if you are disabled. A disability and a Cooley degree is the worst combination in the legal industry. It caused me to allow
      my law license to lapse after a futile attempt to find a job. I graduated over a decade ago from Cooley and never once was able to practice law. The


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