With its student body hovering around 3,5000 students, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the country. It was created with the mission to provide legal education to a diverse group of people through a degree of flexibility unusual in law schools. To that end, the school fulfills its goals--not only does it offer evening, morning and afternoon classes, it also teaches at three campuses scattered throughout Michigan. The newest branch, in Auburn Hills, opened in 2008. Cooley is also one of the few law schools that doesn't require a bachelor's degree for admittance (it accepts a certain number of college-level credit hours instead), and it also was the first to offer a weekend-only JD program.
Cooley operates on a 12-month academic year, with three 15-week terms that all accept applications for admission. Students can take anywhere from three to 15 credits at a time and mix classes from different part-time programs. The curriculum has two years of required classes instead of the usual one, after which students concentrate in one of four main areas or graduate with a general degree.
In Vault's surveys, students say that Cooley is easier to get into than to graduate from--the academics are notoriously rigorous, and school maintains a C to B- median in its grading curve. The main campus in Lansing is close to state courts, while the branch campuses offer a quieter environment as well as smaller class sizes.