Thomas M. Cooley Law School to Open Campus in Ann Arbor


ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 8, 2009 – One hundred thirty-eight years after Thomas M. Cooley became the University of Michigan Law School’s second dean, the law school that bears his name announced that it will open a campus in Ann Arbor in September 2009.

Following earlier approval by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School received acquiescence to open a campus in Ann Arbor from the American Bar Association’s Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar at a meeting on June 5, 2009.

Cooley will occupy the facility that currently houses the Ave Maria School of Law, which is leaving Michigan to relocate to Naples, Fla. The 84,500-square-foot facility is located at 3475 Plymouth Road (Photos: Exterior, Interior).

“Cooley Law School opened in Lansing a little more than 100 years after Thomas M. Cooley became dean of the University of Michigan Law School,” said Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc. “That we will open a campus in Ann Arbor is one of the most exciting events in our school’s history.”

Classes will begin at the Ann Arbor location on Sept. 8, 2009. Just as the school offers at its campuses in Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Lansing, Cooley will implement a unique enrollment structure in Ann Arbor that admits incoming classes three times a year – January, May and September. The incoming classes in May will offer evening courses geared to professionals who need to attend classes after work.

“We have already received deposits from 84 students confirming their position in the incoming September class in Ann Arbor,” said Paul Zelenski, associate dean for enrollment and student services at Cooley. “The level of interest among these existing applicants demonstrates how desirable an Ann Arbor location is for a law school.

“Because a law school had already operated successfully at this location, we were confident that applicants would find it attractive,” added Zelenski. “But we did not anticipate that we could nearly fill the first class without marketing the location at all.”

“More than 1,000 students earning undergraduate degrees in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti apply to law school each year,” said LeDuc. “We believe that many of those graduates will jump at the opportunity to attend law school in Ann Arbor. When the opportunity came to obtain the Ave Maria facility, we decided that we would add this location to our campuses in Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Auburn Hills.”

Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the country. Founded in 1972, it operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Lansing. Today, Cooley Law School has more than 13,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at

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