Juris Doctor Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to help you master the knowledge you’ll need to pass the bar examination and competently practice law. With 66 required credits – including Bar Exam Skills – you will have a class in almost every subject tested on the bar examinations in all 50 states.

The curriculum also teaches you the skills you need to be successful, even on your first day of practice. Unlike students at most schools, you will already have real-world practice. All students must participate in a clinic – essentially, an internal law firm of students who do pro bono work under an experienced faculty member’s supervision – or an externship with a practicing attorney or judge. The law school also offers several skills-based classes, like Pretrial Skills, Trial Skills, and Appellate Advocacy.

Finally, the school’s curriculum includes a strong emphasis on ethics, which is essential in the practice of law. WMU-Cooley prides itself on teaching students to exceed the ethics’ rules’ requirements by volunteering in their community and always acting above reproach.

Whatever area of law you pursue, WMU-Cooley’s programs will give you the knowledge and practical skills you will need to succeed.


Choose the right schedule: Daytime, Afternoon, Evening, or Weekends. Take from 2 to 5 years to complete your degree. Part-time or full-time, you'll be taught by the same full-time faculty and have to meet the same graduation requirements.

Graduate LL.M. Programs »

Cooley offers a broad array of graduate legal education programs. Students may earn an LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property Law, Tax Law, Corporate Law and Finance, Insurance Law, U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Attorneys, or in a Self-directed Program.

Dual-Degree Programs »

Cooley has developed dual degree programs with several institutions of higher education, giving students the opportunity to earn the Juris Doctor degree and Master’s degrees in Business Administration, Public Administration, and Social Work. These programs allow students to apply credits earned in one degree program to the completion of a second degree program, which in the end saves time and money.

Foreign Study »

Students have the opportunity to enrich their legal education by studying in various locations around the world. Students have the opportunity to enrich their legal education by studying in various locations around the world. WMU-Cooley offers a semester program in Australia and New Zealand, summer programs in Toronto and Oxford, and an exchange program with the University of Münster.


Students have the option of focusing their third year curriculum in a specific area of study, or concentration. Concentrations are designed to familiarize a student with the problems that might be encountered in a certain field of practice.

Students focus in the following areas of study:

Students may elect not to enter into a concentration, or may decide to switch concentrations. Students who complete all the requirements of a concentration will be issued a certificate at graduation, indicating that they have earned a certificate in the chosen field. Students may earn more than one certificate of concentration.

In addition, students can build their own concentration or choose to be undeclared. Each concentration includes a skills course and a clinic or externship.

Learn more about Concentrations.

- Visit the campus
- Be a "Law Student For A Day"
- Sit side-by-side with a current student
- Meet with Enrollment and Student Services

Contact Us

Admissions Office
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
300 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: (517) 371-5140, ext. 2244
Fax: (517) 334-5718

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.