Lansing State Journal, Enrollment Up, Scores Down at Cooley:
After five years of declining enrollment, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School brought in more first-year students last year than it did the year before, according to American Bar Association data.
But only by three students.
And halting the slide seems to have come at the expense of selectivity.
Cooley has long been one of the least selective law schools in the country, but the average GPA and LSAT scores of its most recent entering class are the lower than any class at Cooley in at least a decade.
The median GPA and LSAT scores for new Cooley students last year were 2.85 and 141, respectively. Students in the 25th percentile had an average LSAT score of 138. LSAT scores range from 120 to 180. A score of 138 falls in the bottom 11 percent of scores from recent years.
Cooley has not lowered its admissions standards, said Jim Robb, associate dean of external affairs. Students are evaluated using a complex admission formula that weighs an applicant’s LSAT scores and GPA, Robb said. In recent years, the school has placed more value on GPAs. ...
The Lansing-based law school has cut its number of full-time faculty in half since 2011. ...
Cooley students have struggled on the Michigan bar exam in recent years. Slightly more than half of Cooley graduates taking the exam for the first time passed in in July, compared to 72 percent of all first-time test takers. MSU and U of M graduates fared better, with 80 percent and 97 percent pass rates among first-time test takers, respectively. ...
Fewer than one out of every three 2014 Cooley graduates found full-time work that required them to pass the bar in the months after graduation, according to ABA data. Placement rates for MSU and U of M graduates were 59 percent and 92 percent, respectively.