It's a courtship that has gone on for many years. Cooley Law School and Western Michigan have been, shall we say, friends with benefits in such things as joint degree programs and shared facility initiatives. For three years, they've talked about more. Now it looks like they are planning to tie the knot, or, in press-release-speak, they are "discussing the possibility of a stronger alliance that would create a formal affiliation between Cooley, a private law school, and WMU."
From the press release, here's the description of what's already in place:
- 2002—Cooley and WMU launch a partnership that brings a law school to Grand Rapids for the first time, when plans are announced to open a Cooley branch campus in conjunction with WMU's Graduate Center-Downtown in the Arena District. WMU completed a $1.6 million buildout of one floor of its Graduate Center to to meet Cooley's needs. In 2005, Cooley moved to its own facility near the WMU Graduate Center.
- 2002—WMU and Cooley launch a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration degree program.
- 2008—WMU and Cooley launch a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration degree program.
- 2011—The schools launch their third dual-degree partnership, providing West Michigan with its first-ever Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work degree program.