Wednesday, March 7, 2018
ABA Journal, Denial of Cooley Law's Request to Open New Location Is Reasonable, ABA Motion Argues:
Given that Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School already admits students who don’t appear capable of finishing law school and being admitted to practice law, it was reasonable to deny the school’s request to open a new location that would likely bring in even more students, the American Bar Association argued in a March 2 federal court filing.
“Because Cooley is already improperly admitting students who do not ‘appear capable’ of completing law school and being admitted to the bar, nothing required defendants to approve Cooley expanding to admit yet more students,” the March 2 filing states.
The accreditation committee of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in September 2017 found that Cooley was not in compliance with Standard 501(b), which states that law schools should only admit candidates who appear capable of completing a legal education program and being admitted to a bar, and Interpretation 501-1, which discusses factors to consider in admissions. After a hearing with the law school, the section’s council upheld the accreditation finding, and a letter detailing the decision that was posted on the section’s website.
Cooley Law filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the ABA on Nov. 14, alleging due process violations, and unsuccessfully sought a temporary restraining order to remove the notice. An amended complaint was filed Jan. 31, alleging that the ABA illegally sent the compliance letter to state education and accreditation agencies. The filing asked the court to remove the accreditation notice from all ABA “publications, postings and the like,” stop interim and future monitoring until the ABA defines what it means by “appear capable” to pass a bar exam and order the ABA to grant the acquiescence for a Kalamazoo campus.
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