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Thursday, March 21, 2013 - Free summer institute at Cooley boosts prospective law students
By Katie Land, news editor

This summer, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School will offer a unique opportunity for prospective law students to make great strides in their studies. The Free College Pre-Law Summer Institute offers a significant advantage to students preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and planning to attend law school.

Designed to attract low-income, disadvantaged or historically underrepresented participants, ten spaces are reserved for Oakland University students.

From Wednesday, May 29, to Friday, June 28, participants will receive more than 100 hours of academic instruction taught by law school faculty in torts, logic and critical reasoning, legal writing, and trial advocacy. Cooley is Oakland University’s exclusive law school educational partner here in southeast Michigan.

“This program is a good opportunity for students because they will experience first-hand what law school classes are really like, improve their logic and critical thinking skills, and get a chance to write and advocate like lawyers, and get paid for their efforts in the bargain,” said John Nussbaumer, associate dean of Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus.

At the same time, this program offers a significant advantage to students planning to take the LSAT. Student participants over the past two years have raised their individual LSAT scores by an average of five points each.

“This unique program provides OU undergraduate students a unique opportunity to prepare for law school admission and to get a better understanding of what will be expected of them while studying law,” said Scott Crabill, OU interim vice provost for Undergraduate Education.

Open to college sophomores, juniors and seniors nationwide, the summer institute will include two practice LSAT exams, mock trial experience and career exploration luncheons with judges and lawyers.

To be considered, students must be from an historically underrepresented, low-income, or otherwise disadvantaged group. Accepted students will receive a $750 stipend upon successful completion of the program.

“Programs like this benefit the community by diversifying the pool of students headed towards the legal profession, at a time when people of color are on their way to becoming the majority of America's citizens,” Nussbaumer said. “We need a profession that looks more like the clients we serve.”

The program is sponsored by Oakland University, Cooley, ABA Council of Legal Education Opportunity, and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO). CLEO is a non-profit project designed to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 2, at the Cooley website. The courses will take place at Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills Campus, located at 2630 Featherstone Road. For more information, call Val Schnable at (248) 751-7800 or e-mail

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 265 academic degree programs. To learn more about programs, events, and achievements at OU, visit the news site at and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.