The Legal Beat
Despite Evidence To The Contrary, Cooley Law School Claims There Will Be A Lawyer Shortage
Posted on Wednesday July 10, 2019
Oh my, the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School just brings a nearly unending stream of amusement to us here at Above the Law. Whether they’re claiming they’re the number two law school in the nation (don’t worry, we aren’t living in the upside down — it was Cooley’s own ranking that put Cooley at #2 with a methodology we declared “intellectually insulting”), sponsoring a baseball stadium, or fighting with the ABA over whether they should be accredited (which they wanted to keep quiet), the law school is known for bringing the lolz. And whaddya know? They’re at it again.
A tipster sent us an interesting bit of Cooley Law School sponsored content that makes the pretty… interesting claim that there just aren’t enough lawyers:
If that doesn’t seem like it comports with the realities of the legal profession as it exists in 2019, well, you’re onto something. The truth is something we’ve documented repeatedly in the past — there now are more law school applicants than at any point since the recession. Within legal academia, there’s been a sort of a prevailing wisdom that the country’s slip towards fascism under Donald Trump has encouraged more people to become educated about the law, in a phenomenon (one that’s even been skewered by The Onion) known as the “Trump Bump.” And it’s something that’s been going on for several application cycles at this point. But Cooley is out there posting spon con on July 8th, 2019, as if it’s 2010 and the recession (complete with law firm layoffs) caused by the mortgage-backed securities disaster made laying out money for law school a bad bet.
Of course a law school like Cooley has a vested interest in trying to convince unsuspecting applicants that the jobs will be there, ripe for the plucking when they graduate. But the truth is, for the class of 2018, only 29.7 percent of Cooley grads have long-term, full-time legal jobs, compared with the national average of 68.3 percent. With even more people going to law school in 2019, and without a significant increase in the amount of legal jobs, the situation is bound to only get worse for those who fall for Cooley’s outdated puff piece.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).