Seeing Law School in a Different Light

Amy Timmer, associate dean of students and professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, grew up in Flint in a family full of factory workers.

“All of my family members who worked in the factories made great money, had college educations—and it reframed my thoughts on Lansing when I first joined Cooley in late ’90s, when they were recruiting at the factories.”

In her current position, Timmer meets many people who work around a 24-hour clock, adults who have families and full-time jobs, mostly with folks who don’t think a law degree is possible.

Timmer is quick to tout why Cooley is a great choice for working professionals.

“The coolest thing about Lansing is that you can go to school for three years, on your time, at night or on the weekends,” Timmer says. “People in this area work in plants, at a hospital…this is a working town.

“One of the best things about Cooley is that if you sign up for morning classes or weekend/Saturday classes, you can do that schedule all three years; most don’t think this is possible to do working second or third shift.”

Cooley puts a heavy emphasis on professional development, to prepare students for real-world situations, which includes a mandatory 14-class session stretched out over a year and a half.

So where do students begin at the largest law school in the country? Timmer says to start with and click on Ethics to see the courses. There, those interested can also check out the pathway to success, pro bono and the 17 programs available through the department.

“There are 600 jobs that can be done with a JD, positions where it is extraordinarily helpful; of those 600, 599 aren’t law-focused,” Timmer explains. “This isn’t an elite, far-off, out-of-reach degree—it’s a degree that looks great in the real world. It’s time to look at the JD in a different way.”

Sarah E. Wardell








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