Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tom Cooley Sues..... Me?

Below is an email that Pres. LeDuc of Tom Cooley sent to students. Is he gonna sue me?  I'm a little scared.  But I won't let his threats affect my speech.  Doesn't Tom Cooley fall into some sort of "public figure" exception?  Ha. If I wrote bad things about Walmart, could they sue me too?  
Sounds like a load of horse shit, i.e. Motion to Dismiss GRANTED.  Good to know they are educating lawyers over there.  And they should solicit students to join the lawsuit on the side of Cooley.  I imagine it will strengthen their case as every Tom Cooley grad claims to have suffered from T. Cooley's insufferable reputation.  I imagine the students would join too, so long as they are promised immunity from prosecution when they graduate and "defame" Tom Cooley on their scamblogs.

Life is stranger than fiction.

Update:  They're not suing me!  Happy Day.  Check out the complaint right here.

To: Students 
From: President LeDuc 
Re: Litigation 
Date: July 14, 2011 
 Cooley filed two lawsuits in Ingham County today.   

The first lawsuit is against a small New York law firm.  Our suit contends that the 
firm has defamed us and tortiously interfered with our student relationships, and that the 
firm and two of its lawyers have been unethically soliciting former and present Cooley 
students to join in a class action lawsuit against us.  At our insistence, the firm previously 
retracted blatantly false online statements about Cooley, but only days later the firm 
moved their focus to Craigslist and Facebook, where they began circulating a draft 

complaint filled with more false and damaging statements about Cooley.  

The second lawsuit is against four John Doe defendants.  As with the law firm 
defendants, we contend the Doe defendants are defaming Cooley online and tortiously 
interfering with our student relationships through a series of false, damaging, and often 
vulgar statements in Internet blogs and comments to those blogs and other sites. 
Two main falsities run through the defendants' online statements.  

First, the bloggers state that Cooley is engaged in student loan fraud and stealing 
tuition money.  They say we are secretly employed as bankers, not professors, who are 
engaged in the fraudulent sale of student loans.  We are called criminals and said to be 
under investigation by two federal agencies. 
Second, the law firm defendants falsely state that we are fraudulently hiding a 
preposterous 41% student loan default rate and fraudulently reporting and 
misrepresenting our post-graduation employment and salary numbers, misleading 
students into attending law school. 
 The actual facts are as follows.  
Default rates—Student loan default rates are calculated by the U.S. Department 

of Education’s Default Prevention and Management Office. We are not involved in their  
calculation.  Cooley’s most recent default rate was 2.2%.  While the rate is slightly higher 
than in the previous four years, it is the same as it was in 2001, and is lower than our 
default rate in the mid-to-late 1990s, during the last recession. The most recent national 
average default rate was 7.0%. 
The past five years Cooley had overall default rates of 1.5%, 0.8%, 0.8%, 0.7%,  
and 2.2%.  The rates for Cooley graduates during the same years were 0.6%, 0.1%, 0.1%, 
0.1%, and 0.6%.  As you can see from above, even at the most recent 2.2%, Cooley’s 
default rate is very low compared to the national default rate. 

The defaulters are predominantly students who did not graduate.  

In the past five yea
rs, only 16 graduates entered into default.  The other 55 defaulters in that time did not 
graduate, and are likely to have lower student loan debt totals in default.  Not all of our 
students have loans, but of the current graduates who do, the average indebtedness is 
approximately $105,000. 
The defendants' statements about manipulation of students to obtain loans, selling 

loans, or having employees who are really bankers are just bizarre.  We have never been 
investigated regarding irregularities in our loan program by any governmental agency.   

Employment data—We have reported our employment data exactly as required 
by the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement.   
The reported figure we use publicly is the number that the ABA publishes in its 
Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. We are required to submit this 
information in a specific format that includes the number and percentage of graduates 
employed among those whose status is known.  In the 2011 Official Guide, Cooley’s 
reported employment rate was 78.8%. 
We have never manipulated the data or attempted to mislead anyone.  No school I 
know of, Cooley included, makes any promise or commitment about jobs for graduates, 
other than to say it provides placement counseling and assistance to graduates seeking to 
get jobs.  And, of course, all who pass the bar are equipped with the necessary skills to 

begin a solo practice, in which they may work as lawyers if they are willing to make the 
effort required to be successful.  In that sense, law students graduate with the means to 
begin working for themselves almost immediately -- something that cannot be said for 
most other professions. 
The entire conversation about employment in the law and legal occupations is 

almost entirely wrong: 
 1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate 

among lawyers in 2010 was 1.5%, for those in all legal occupations it was 2.7%, and for 
all occupations it was 9.6%, which drops to 8.9% when those who have never been in the 
labor market or are returning from military service are excluded. 
 2. The 2.7% unemployment rate for legal occupations, including lawyers, was 

better than the rate for all other occupations in the BLS category of management, 
professional, and related occupations except for health care practitioners and technician 
occupations (2.5%). This data shows that becoming a lawyer is a better choice for those 
considering a career, not a worse choice.   
 3. According to the National Association of Law Placement (NALP), the 

preliminary unemployment rate for the 2010 graduates of the 192 ABA-approved law 
schools that reported data to NALP was 6.2%, about the same as it was in 2002. 
 4. Cooley’s unemployment rate for 2010 was 17.05%, slightly higher than it was 

in 2002.  Like the national rate, Cooley’s rate fell during the decade until the recession, 
when it bumped up.  This reflects unemployment among the graduating class in 2010 and 
includes those who did not pass the bar on the first try and those who did not attempt a 
bar examination.  

While it would not be appropriate for me to publicly discuss our entire legal 

strategy, rest assured that we have given much consideration to these actions, and our 
Board has agreed that legal action is necessary to protect and defend the school's 
reputation and the value of your degree.  We could have done nothing, but then we risk 
being sued by the defendant law firm, and the media would then report only the false and 
defamatory hyperbole stated in the draft complaint that the firm has been circulating on 
Facebook and advertising on Craigslist. 
We are not suing anyone for expressing a negative opinion about Cooley online, 

and we are not attempting to police the Internet.  We believe these particular defendants 
have crossed the line both legally and ethically, calling us criminals who deceive our 
students and steal their tuition money, and ascribing to us fraudulent student loan 
activities and default rates that, if true, would cause either the Department of Education 
or Department of Justice to shut us down immediately. 

In short, we've determined that we need to protect Cooley's reputation and stand 

up for our students and more than 15,000 graduates.  And we continue to look at ways to 
counter the negative comments with positive comments about us, including online. 
From time to time, we will post updates about the litigation on the Portal. 
Thanks for your support


  1. The question is - will this lawsuit shut people up, cause more criticism of Cooley, or not have any impact at all on Cooley's internet image?

  2. NOTHING can impact Tom Cooley's image more than its graduates already do. Need I remind everyone of that fat tramp Zenova ... something. She posed as a starving law student for free publicity. And I've heard more than once that attorneys in Michigan think T. Cooley lawyers are shit.

  3. "And, of course, all who pass the bar are equipped with the necessary skills to

    begin a solo practice, in which they may work as lawyers if they are willing to make the effort required to be successful. In that sense, law students graduate with the means to begin working for themselves almost immediately -- something that cannot be said for most other professions. "

    Now THAT is delusional. I can think of nothing law school does less well than preparing one for the actual practice of law.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Huh? 78%?

    Considering how awful the reporting requirements are, do you have any idea - any idea! - how pathetic a 78% employment rate is? Holy . . . .

  6. I was threatened by Thelen a few months ago (you can see it on my latest blog post, and it includes links to one of the John Does who sent me things about Thomas M Cooley). I simply relayed the information to my readers. Thanks for covering this story - it's important to inform people.

    Founder & Exec. Dir.
    All Education Matters

    P.S. The original comment was removed because I hate TYPOS!!!

  7. Angel and Anon 10:46: Cooley has a great case, don't they? ;-)

    Cryn: I think this is the part where we start working more closely together.

    If it were in any other industry, an organization with the practices and success rate of Cooley and other bottom-feeder schools (including at least one in which I've taught) would have shut down long ago.

    Also, in just about any other industry, if people are complaining, on blogs and other media, about the product or service, the organization works to improve its offerings. But, as long as the government and banks lend students money to go to places like Cooley, they have no incentive to change.

  8. I wonder if there were any responses from Cooley students regarding this email. Conversely, I wonder if the school sent this email to alumni as well. If they did, I wonder how the response differed from students and alumni, or if those responses varied at all.

    If I received an email from my law school that wreaked of the same flavor, I know how I would respond.....

  9. This is a desperate Hail Mary pass by TommyCool's big lawfirm and investors. With jobs crashing, enrollment down, investors are getting antsy and admini$TTTTration scared they might have to get back to the salt mines. How many paid expert witnesses are really needed?

  10. This is a puzzling move. I'm not sure what they feel they would accomplish by this.

    Clearly they have TC grads working in their publicity services department. This is the worst response I have ever seen. Ask anyone who has worked in corporate or marketing. They will tell you the best way to handle something like this is to do...nothing! Why? Public acknowledgement = credibility. It doesn't matter if its a denial. This is not a court of law, its the court of public opinion. The rules are not the same. A denial will immediately create aura of legitimacy because now its a debate rather than some loan nuts making stupid accusations.

    Way to go TC. Fire your pub dept and legal dept because they are epic fails.

  11. Cooley's reputation is trash. The fact that they are suing a current broke-ass, third year law student makes them look like even bigger cockroaches.

    For instance, the guy who authored the weebly site told JDU that Cooley did not: (a) send him an email, requesting that he modify, alter, or remove the entry; or (b) post a message on his blog making such requests.

    These guys want to play hardball with a person who does not have any funds, and who is still looking to crack into the field. The commode must be aware that such a suit can damage this man's chances of ever practicing law. Yeah, crush someone's livelihood before they even take the bar exam, brave bastards.

    This is a vindictive and petty move, and shows you just how small Cooley is, in terms of vision.

  12. "Employment data—We have reported our employment data exactly as required by the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement."

    This is where discovery should get interesing.

  13. I think what is hilarious is that the neither of two attorneys representing Thomas M. Cooley law school in this suit are graduates of TMC.

    What is with that...if the goal of the suit is to quell people saying TMC is inferior why does their own choice of legal counsel seem to support the notion?



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