Cooley Law School: ‘We’re number 2!’

From this morning’s Lansing State Journal:

In the most recent edition of “Judging the Law Schools,” Thomas M. Cooley Law School is ranked No. 2 in the nation, second to Harvard but solidly ahead of Yale (which came in 10th), the University of Michigan (12th) and Stanford (30th).

It is the first time Cooley has cracked the top 10. The last time the rankings were released, in 2009, it came in at No. 12. In 1996, the year Cooley founder Thomas Brennan began producing Judging the Law Schools, it ranked a modest 72nd.

In the ranking’s introduction, Brennan and Don LeDuc, Cooley’s president and dean, write

that while total objectivity is not possible in any comparison and that the selection of criteria on which to base a comparison is itself subjective, Judging was designed intentionally to use only objective data in its comparison. …

The intent is to provide an objective, data-based alternative to the subjectivity of the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Cooley is “unranked” in the 2010 U.S. News and World Report rankings. The publication explains that “School did not supply enough information to U.S. News to calculate a ranking.”

Cooley’s methodology and complete rankings are contained in
Judging the Law Schools.

Want to create your own rankings based on factors you select? Check out The Ranking Game.

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Lansing district judge sends heavyweights to fight AG’s ouster attempt

Over the weekend, The Lansing State Journal reported that former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Brennan and attorney Lawrence Nolan are going up against Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is seeking to oust Lansing District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.

Schuette, you’ll recall, says Clarke is illegally occupying his judicial office: “Schuette seeks to unseat Lansing district judge.”

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Clarke in December to fill a vacancy created by Lansing District Court Judge Amy Krause’s appointment to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

According to Schuette, Clarke’s appointment could only last until the end of Krause’s term of office, which ended at noon, Jan. 1.

Krause had been re-elected to the district court in November. Schuette’s position is that Clarke can’t serve the term to which Krause had been re-elected but had not begun serving when she was appointed to the COA.

Brennan and Nolan want the Michigan Supreme Court to bypass the COA, which has original jurisdiction of Schuette’s quo warranto motion to unseat Clarke.

From The LSJ:

Schuette, a Republican who took office Jan. 1, says Clarke’s appointment should have ended on Jan. 1. He further argues that Gov. Rick Snyder has the legal authority to fill the seat once held by Krause.

In their response, Clarke’s attorneys say that state law has an appointee to the District Court bench fill the seat until the “next general November election, at which time a successor is elected and qualified.”

Brennan also argues that the Michigan Supreme Court does not have the power to remove a judge without a recommendation from the Judicial Tenure Commission. Further, such removals can occur only in a specific set of circumstances, none of which apply to the dispute over Clarke.

“We stand by our position. It’s a matter of principle and precedent based on a previous case involving a Supreme Court justice,” said John Sellek, a spokesman for Schuette. Sellek added that due to the lateness of the filings Friday, the Attorney General’s Office had not had a chance to look them over.

In the meantime, Clarke continues to preside over his court.

“I have a parking place. I’m going to work every day, working for the people of Michigan,” Clarke told The LSJ.