Everything You Need to Know About Attending a Law School Open House

The decision-making process for attending law school is a difficult one. First, you need to decide if you really want to go to law school, or not. Then you need to decide what law school is a good fit for you. Never a small factor, you need to figure out how to make law school affordable or balance law school into your already busy schedule. It's not for everyone. Law school and a legal career are only for those individuals who really want it, have the ability, and are truly willing to put in the effort. 

For those who are determined, driven and motivated, it’s more a question of what resources are available to make the whole process possible. WMU-Cooley Law School offers two Open Houses each year at each of its five locations. Over the years we have refined our Open Houses to take only two hours, in consideration of your time and other commitments. As always, you can arrange a personal visit or to sit in on a live class any time of the year. You don't have to wait for an Open House. 

If you do decide to attend a WMU-Cooley Open House, here's what you can expect.

Knowledgeable people to get answers to your questions. You will have the opportunity to talk to professors, students, alumni and staff during one of our Open Houses. Maybe you want to know how a current student juggles work, school and kids; perhaps a professor can tell you about what to expect in the classroom and the work load; or can tell you about the job market and what recent grads and other alumni are doing now.

According to one current Auburn Hills law student and Open House ambassador, Laurie Aaron, prospective students will be swept up into the information sharing process as soon as they walk in the door.

“Prospective students are greeted by staff and student ambassadors as they enter the building,” said Aaron. “Light refreshments are served throughout the event. Tons of meeting and greeting, exchanging ideas, business cards and making connections with new people.

“Prospective students can talk to the deans, staff, advisors and students. We do not leave any student standing alone during the Open House event. Everyone is engaged with someone at all times.”

You will also have the opportunity to speak to admissions, financial aid, and academic specialists. 

Campus Tours. Law school requires a serious commitment on your part. You will become intimately familiar with resources like the library during law school. You will be studying alone and with peers. You will also be taking part in on-campus events and activities. That means you will be spending a lot of time on campus, so a beautiful and comfortable facility is pretty important. Check out your preferred campus choice during one of WMU-Cooley Open Houses. Take the campus tour. Tours are conducted in small groups by guides and will include seeing classrooms, courtrooms, the library. You will get a sneak peak of the surroundings you will live in during your time in law school. 

For Kimberly Lewis, a student at the Tampa campus, the tour was a big part of her pre-enrollment decision-making process and she recommends it for everyone.

“It is critical that you go to the actual place and see the facilities first hand," stated Lewis. "That was one of my main goals: to see the place and to get a feel for the entire surroundings. Pictures on a website are just part of the initial inquiry. I wanted to see the school and the area, because once enrolled, I knew I would be spending a lot of time there.”

Classes and Lectures. Law school isn’t like undergrad. It’s much more demanding. There are high expectations for students, on every level. You will want to take advantage of sitting in on one of WMU-Cooley Law School's mock classes during your Open House. 

For Lewis, the mock class she visited at her Open House made a huge and lasting impression.

“I was really looking forward to the mock law class, that is part of every Open House," recalled Lewis. "For me, it was so impressive to sit in a classroom along with my family and get just a snippet of what is to come! This was an amazing experience for me, and I felt so lucky to have have Professor (Brendan) Beery, a pre-eminent Constitutional law professor, give us a taste of what Constitutional law was all about.”

Panel Discussions and Q&A Sessions. Few things are more helpful than having a small group of experienced and knowledgeable people, all in one place, ready to answer your questions or explain a process or topic. WMU-Cooley Law School convenes all our resources during Open Houses to best help you in your decision-making process. We have students, graduates, professors, and staff on the panel ready to address what is important to you. You will learn about “Succeeding in Law School” during a panel discussion, including fielding a range of questions from prospective students and guests. 

Kris Johnson, a soon-to-graduate student at WMU-Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus, was recently asked to be on one of the Open House panel discussions. The format included predetermined questions and answers, followed by an open floor for anyone to ask the panel questions.

As a student in her 40s and the mother of four, Johnson said she did not attend an Open House before enrolling, but now wishes she had.

“If I had to do it over again," said Johnson, "I would attend an Open House. It is such a valuable and worthwhile way to actually see the place you are going to spend your time during law school and to get a feel for what it might be like to attend law school."