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Michael Cohen: Cooley Law School's Problem Right Now

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 14, 2018 12:55 PM

Thomas M. Cooley Law School has a reputation problem.

No, it's not about the latest accreditation issue or its open-door-to-anybody policy. Those have been problems for years.

It's about Michael Cohen, its most famous graduate right now. That has turned Cooley into "the worst law school in America."

The Cohen Problem

Cohen -- President Trump's attorney/fixer -- is in a very bright spotlight. The FBI raided his office for possible evidence of campaign financing violations, if not collusion in the Russia affair.

And if it's not the $130,000 he paid to silence a porn star, or the $150,000 he paid to a Playboy playmate, it could be the $1 million linked to a Russian oligarch. All of it, however, is not a good look.

Cohen has not been charged with any crime, but he is in so much trouble that lawyers are already speculating about whether he'll get a presidential pardon. That's not good news because he won't get one if he gives evidence against the president.

It's a conflict of interest no attorney dreams of, but that's not important to Cooley Law School right now. Officials there are wondering how to get away from it all.

"It Is Disappointing"

The bad publicity has reached the law school, and it doesn't look like Cohen will be the next commencement speaker.

"In light of the current publicity about Mr. Michael Cohen, one of our graduates, it is disappointing to see all the gratuitous negative comments about our law school from people who know nothing about us," said James Robb, general counsel for the law school.

Robb said he has seen "incivility and bullying" toward the law school, which has been criticized for accepting about 85 percent of its applicants and graduating students who fail the bar about 50 percent of the time.

The school recently filed a motion to stop the American Bar Association from publishing a letter that says the school is below ABA standards. That request failed.

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