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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Cooley Law School Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Internet Foes

What is it about Cooley Law School's reputation that makes the folks over there so hyper-sensitive about how that veritable lawyer factory is portrayed?  Cooley just cannot seem to avoid repeatedly shooting itself in the foot on the Internet.

Yesterday, Cooley Law School President Don Leduc announced defamation lawsuits against a New York City law firm and several John Doe bloggers.  The lawsuits are splashed all over the law school's website.

The complaint against the bloggers (apparently a disparate group of highly dissatisfied former students) alleges the unknown defendants published false statements that Cooley law school representatives were committing fraud and other criminal acts in order to induce prospective students to attend the law school; that the business purpose of the school is to create, then transfer "securities" out of the robust stream of student loans coming into the school; and that the law school is under investigation by an undercover government task force for Title IV violations.

The complaint against the law firm alleges that Kurzon Strauss, a small New York City law firm, published false information relative to the law school's post-graduation employment rate and the school's student loan default rate in an apparent effort to attract litigants for a planned class action law suit against Cooley and other law schools.  This complaint sets out a series of business torts including defamation, interference with the law school's business relations, breach of contract, and "false light".

There is no doubt Cooley is taking this litigation seriously, hiring Michigan's premire "biglaw" firm: Miller Canfield.  The complaints were filed in the Ingham County Circuit Court on the basis Cooley's business injuries occurred in Lansing, MI, where the school is located.

Cooley apparently operates under the ancient Hollywood adage, "there is no such thing as bad publicity."  This blog wryly noted when Cooley purchased the rights to name a minor league baseball park (the former Oldsmobile Stadium; now known as Cooley Law School Stadium) and when the school's website shamelessly touted itself as the #2 law school in the country; second only to Harvard Law School.

These marketing gaffs come straight from the top of the law school's administration.  They do not advance the legitimate goals of Michigan's fifth law school, nor do they serve the interests of the legions of Cooley law graduates that have passed bar exams across the nation at historically higher than average rates.

Stay tuned for interesting developments on this one.  After Miller Canfield has earned about a half million in fees to conduct plenty of discovery, one of the sides will be filing dispositive motions sometime in 2013.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went there. We are GREAT grads, but yes, the ADMIN is detrimental to our success! We are ALL embarrassed to have that name associated with us, but we are lawyers now and we make our own success. I hope the NY law firm Wins! Good luck guys!

July 19, 2011 at 6:07 PM 
Blogger Timothy P. Flynn said...

Yes, we here @ the Law Blogger know many many practicing lawyers that graduated from Cooley; some are outstanding. Since this blog post was published, I received at least one email that appeared to be a plant from the law school, trying to bait us into trashing the place. We refrained from doing so but, the truth hurts folks.

July 23, 2011 at 5:57 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure that Cooley is in fact being honest about its employment statistics. People need to realize though that what they are failing to mention is that being employed as a lawyer counts just as much as being employed flipping burgers when it comes to computing job placement rates. Also, many unemployed people are too embarrassed to admit that they have no job after going to school for 7 years and therefore they will not report their status and therefore not be counted into these employment ratings. I graduated from Cooley's J.D. program as well as their LLM program and I am licensed to practice law in 2 states. I never got a single attorney job offer and after 2 years of looking for an attorney job I decided to move on. Yeah, I could be a solo attorney and have my own practice in theory, but again, what they fail to mention is that with student loan payments that are more then most people's home mortgage how exactly is that a realistic option for an unemployed grad? I know what I saw while I was there. They keep mentioning their high standard of ethics, concern for alumni and other dribble but we all know what is really going on here. I racked up $130,000+ in student loans that I will probably never be able to pay due to a lack of a high enough income coupled with the miracle of compound interest which will surely eclipse the principal borrowed here in a few years and to add salt to the wound I spent all that time preparing for a career that I will more then likely never even be able to enter into. Talk about a waste of human capital. Regardless, I only wish that I could have those years of my life back so I could have spent them working at something else more productive instead of chasing a pipe dream. I tried to be ambitious and be a productive member of society. In the end all I did was make a big financial mess for myself and I embarrassed myself and my family which has put a severe strain on many aspects of my life. I'm not looking for any sympathy though. Is it my fault I'm in the position that I am currently faced with? Maybe, but this country sure does a fine job bailing out every other irresponsible business, mortgage lender/borrower, etc. and there seems to be an abundance of protections afforded in matters that anyone with any common sense would question and say WTF no way. Life goes on, lesson learned. You can't win this game. They will chew you up because they must silence you because its bad for business. Technically they are following the rules and that's why it hurts so bad.

July 25, 2011 at 2:55 AM 
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Cooley grad myself I am shocked by what I have read online recently. I honestly cannot speak for others, but my law school training was excellent. I graduated in 2006 and immediately began working for a mid-size firm in Chicago.

After only 8 months in this position, I was offered a non-legal position in the west coast with a six figure starting salary.

After 5 great years of real world experience, I am now the founder and chief managing officer of my own company. My company is thriving and I owe this to the training I received as a Cooley student.

My Cooley concentrations were business organization, strategic planning, and business transactions. I planned my law school and career path long before I ever applied to Cooley. In my opinion, proper planning is the key to success. "if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail"

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