Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Cooley closes another campus

Cooley, which once rated itself the second best law school in the US, is closing another campus. The one in Grand Rapids will be gone at the end of the month.

Allegedly the closure of one more campus places Cooley "in a position of strength". If it is so damn strong, why has it closed three campuses in the past few years? Cooley's president blamed COVID-19 and changes in the demand for law degrees, without ever mentioning the utter shittiness of his ├╝ber-toilet. Yale, which Cooley left in the dust on the widely ridiculed Cooley rankings, managed to increase its first-year enrollment by 4% in precisely the same context. How is it that Cooley shrank by 46%? Might it be that something other than external factors contributed significantly to Cooley's fate?

Cooley has recently failed to meet one of the ABA's standards for maintaining accreditation. In practice, the ABA can be expected to extend the time for achieving compliance, which is a polite way of saying that it will not meaningfully enforce its own so-called standards.

The number of law schools that have closed in the past five years or so now stands at thirteen:

Cooley (one campus)
Hamline or Mitchell*
Indiana Tech
Whittier
Charlotte
Savannah
Valpo
Arizona Summit
Cooley (a second campus)
Thomas Jefferson†
La Verne†
Concordia
Cooley (a third campus)

Which school will be the next to close? Florida Coastal and Appalachian are strong contenders. Not far behind are Mississippi College, Golden Gate, Ohio Northern, Faulkner, Western State, District of Columbia, John Marshall, Vermont, and a number of others. Step right up and place your bets!

NOTES:

* Hamline and Mitchell merged. Which one closed is difficult to say: arguments can be made on each side. Anyway, the two schools became one, so effectively one of the two closed. The merger was a closure in dignified guise.

† Forfeited ABA accreditation and continued with only the accreditation offered by California.