“Look to your left, look to your right; one of you won't complete your law school journey.” I remember getting this from deans and professors when I first started at WMU-Cooley. I also remember thinking one of the “ones” should have been me.
Michael Terner: Success is not where you start, but where you finish
Virginia Cairns: Graduates understand exactly what is meant by Cooley's rigorous curriculum and standards
My name is Virginia (Susie) Cairns. I graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1982 as a member of the Brooke Class. Some time ago I was reading some offputting remarks about TMC as it relates to a graduate from the law school at that time. I do not recall him from my days at Cooley, but I do know TMC.
Jan E. Strand: Cooley opened a whole new world and gave us this amazing opportunity
I entered Thomas M. Cooley Law School after an established career as a high school English teacher, one of the few career options for women at that time. I had three young children at home when I started making the drive to Lansing from Grand Rapids, when Lansing was WMU-Cooley's only campus option. It was interesting times, and I wanted to do more. I wanted to be an attorney.
Kelly L. Morris: Path to law school far from straight, but exactly right for me
Guest Blog writer Kelly L. Morris is a September 1992 graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School and is the Chief Deputy Prosecutor Noble County in Rome City, Indiana. She shares her From Where I Stand story from being a law student through her successful career.
What does being a Cooley grad mean to me? In a word, Everything!
Shemia Francisco Washington, Esq. is a May 2002 WMU-Cooley Law School graduate, and works for the City of Atlanta's Office of City Solicitor. She shares her From Where I Stand story below.
Mark S. Michael: Grades and Success Based on Competence; Nothing Else.
Having graduated WMU-Cooley 41 years ago I was given the opportunity to engage in a successful Securities, Oil and Gas, and Business practice, as well as partner in two successful businesses. Admission was easy compared to other law schools, but staying in was a challenge. A somewhat different standard than most law schools where admission is difficult but staying in was almost guaranteed. WMU-Cooley was better suited to prepare one for the real world practice of law, as well as other endeavors. You receive the same privilege to practice as one graduating from any other school. Every graduate has achieved much on their path to success. Here are some of the things I have done on my career journey:
Joy Fossel: In Law and in Life; Be Proud, Be Open, Be Engaged, and Be Honorable
WMU-Cooley graduate Elizabeth Joy Fossel, of counsel, Varnum Attorneys at Law, imparts words of wisdom and sage advice to new WMU-Cooley graduates during their commencement ceremony on May 20, 2018. Read excerpts from her keynote address and #FromWhereIStand story below.
Sarah Miller: Learned More Than Just the Law; Taught the Definition of Hard Work and Sound Character
My legal success story is atypical, but nonetheless fully attributed to WMU-Cooley's thoughtful and practical approach to the legal profession as well as dedicated and knowledgeable faculty. Because of WMU-Cooley's networking events and skills courses, I was able to land a job right after graduation with a notable firm in Muskegon, Michigan.
Samantha Pepprock: It was eye-opening how much more I knew
I was admitted to WMU-Cooley Law School and only two other law schools. I had a very high GPA in college and a very strong resume of volunteering and leadership, but my LSAT score was average. Many law schools judged me based solely on my LSAT and said goodbye.
WMU-Cooley Law School Mission Motivated Mexican-American attorney: Legal education not only for the privileged
From where I stand, as a Mexican American attorney from a mid-sized All American city in Texas, I say our critics can be our motivators. In 2008, I knew the rumors about WMU-Cooley's supposed open admissions beforehand, but did some research and saw things differently. They give qualified people a chance. And I knew I was qualified. I was working full time with undocumented immigrant children and decided to go to law school.