Law School Wants to Stop ABA From Disclosing Accreditation Warning

By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 15, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Beleaguered Thomas M. Cooley Law School has been fighting to defend its reputation for a long time.

With the American Bar Association, the battle started a decade ago. Now, according to reports, the end may be near.

Jacob Gersham, a legal reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says Cooley Law School wants a temporary restraining order to stop the ABA from publishing an "accreditation warning."

"Accreditation Warning"

It is a rare story because, among other issues at the law school, the media thirve on publishing controversies. Yet Gersham is defending Cooley's quest to keep the ABA action quiet.

"The irreparable reputational harm to Cooley which would result from the ABA publishing and disseminating the Letter to the public is now immense," he said on Twitter.

The ABA has not disclosed the letter, but Gersham apparently has seen it and published some details. He said the ABA has given the law school two years to rectify problems to avoid "adverse action" to its accreditation.

Although "adverse action" may be two years away, Gersham says, "Cooley risks losing scores of potential students" in the meantime if the ABA publishes the letter.

Run-In, Reputation

This is not the law school's first run-in with the ABA over accreditation, and not the only controversy over its reputation.

The association previously denied accreditation to Cooley's proposed satellites and sanctioned the school for operating without approval. The law school sued, but the courts threw out the lawsuit in 2006.

Another time, Cooley sued two lawyers and their law firm for $17 million, alleging they defamed the school in a blog post. But a federal judge dismissed that case, and an appeals court affirmed.

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