Wednesday, June 2, 2010

CLEO Pre-Law Institute for Minorities is a Cooley Law Ploy

I see unemployment in your future

Cooley Law School and the ABA have developed a pre-law program called CLEO that brainwashes and swindles disadvantaged minority and low-income college students into believing that their future will be brighter with a degree from the laughingstock of all law schools, Cooley Law, or at another third tier institution. The Cooley and ABA pr machine have made this disgraceful ploy look like a gift to the African-American and Hispanic communities when it is really just another way to oil the billion dollar law school machine.

CLEO’s six-week summer institute is for college graduates attending law school in the fall. The program is $2,000 and covers room, board, and instructional materials. Classes in classical philosophy, contracts, civil procedure, professional responsibility, legal writing, and appellate advocacy are also taught by Cooley faculty members. In other words, it's a $2,000, six-week crash course of your high school civics class.

Another of their programs is the Sophomore Summer Institute (SSI), a four-week pre-law program “designed to prepare students to become more competitive law school applicants”. The SSI is free and the students in the program receive a $750 stipend to cover travel expenses to Detroit and lost income from potential summer employment. Students are eligible for two academic credits. Twenty-five seats in the program are available to Oakland University students, also the site where the institute is held.

Though students have no obligation to apply or attend Cooley Law School, who really believes that Cooley isn’t trying to recruit these kids? The institute is held in Michigan and targets demographics that make up a large percentage of Cooley’s student body: college students who attend lower tier local colleges such as Oakland University as well as low-income and minority students from the Detroit area.

If the ABA wanted to help these students, they would place them in judicial clerkships or paid internships with local law firms. Low-income and other disadvantaged students with little chance of attending a T14 school should not waste their summer at a pre-law summer camp. They’d be better off making money in an internship that could help them make connections, gain real world skills, or help them land a job after graduation. Or better yet, they shouldn’t go to law school in this recession if it isn’t Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. Unfortunately, law school was always meant for the rich and the few prestigious jobs that are left in this country are meant for the rich and well connected too. Attending a summer program sponsored by Cooley won't change those sad facts of life.

Cooley Associate Dean John Nussbaumer had this to say about the CLEO summer program, which he has taken a sabbatical to direct with the assistance of E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., Cooley professor and director of Cooley's Corporate Law and Finance LL.M. program (feel free to laugh out loud at the fact that Cooley has a LL.M program):
At a time when nearly two-thirds of all African American and half of all Hispanic and Mexican American applicants to law school are being totally shut-out from every law school they apply to for admission, programs like this one provide reason for hope that one day the legal profession will reflect the diversity of the clients we serve.
Oh, please. Stop lying and pretending that this institute is about helping poor minorities and not about lining your pockets with their money and luring them into getting a useless JD from your sorry excuse for a law school. Minority unemployment is a serious problem, but having more minorities attend Cooley Law School will only make the unemployment numbers worse. "A Law School Victim" at Life's Mockery, is an African-American law scam blogger who has documented the high unemployment statistics in the legal field as well as the unemployment crisis in the African-American community which has reached a 25-year high. Please stop by and check out Life's Mockery's long list of articles that discuss the plight of the African-American community in this recession. The statistics are frightening. It's a disgrace that Nussbaumer uses the educational inequality in low-income communities to his advantage to spread the law school scam. The CLEO program is just a means for Cooley to recruit unsuspecting students, many of whom are likely first generation college students. First generation college students are the easiest to con into believing that a law degree, even from Cooley, will open doors to better job opportunities.

The students who attend CLEO have overcome so much adversity to get a college education. I sincerely hope that they don't ruin their lives and go into debt to attend any law school outside of the T14 (not that a T14 degree guarantees a job anymore either), but especially not Cooley Law School or their $2,000 sham pre-law institute.

Video Credit: JD Underdog


  1. If you're a minority and do real well on the LSAT, compared to other minorities of course, there's bound to be at least one TTT that offers you a full scholarship. I was offered one, but I chose a T14 instead. Now I'm up to my eyeballs in 6+ figures of debt. That scholarship's looking a whole lot better now.

    Minority 0Ls,

    Here I am regretting T14 law school debt. Now imagine the regret if it were Cooley debt. DO NOT attend a TTT unless it is on a FULL scholarship, involving NOOOO loans.

  2. Anon: I think going to law school is a bad decision, period. But if you've decided you must go to law school, choosing a T14 over a TTT that offers a full scholarship is usually a better investment, at least in a good economy. Now, both TTT and T14 grads are facing unemployment. I would not recommend a TTT at all. Of course, getting a full scholarship is better than paying any money, but that doesn't mean you'll find a job after graduation. You'll still be considered overqualified for most entry level jobs. So, the best advice anyone can give to these 0Ls is to not go to law school until the employment and economic situation improves in this country, which could very well take a decade.

  3. Hamline, here in MN - another embarassment like Cooley - did this when I was applying to schools back in the late '90s (maybe they still do, don't know.) I found it disgusting and just another way to run the tab up for the poor and minorities.

  4. First, don't goto Law School unless it is a T10, period. Second, I have never heard anything good about Cooley. It is a big expensive diploma mill. I have to admire the Cooley grads. They come to their schools defense almost every time. But, you can see the weight of the school's baggage on them.

  5. cooley is awsome. why bash them?

  6. Thank you for this article. I am so glad you took the time to warn everyone. God bless you much!

  7. What an ignorant post!



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