In 1996, students discussed the possibility of creating a second legal publication bearing the Cooley name. Their primary purpose was to enhance Cooley’s reputation in the legal and academic community. Less than a year later, the Western Michigan University Cooley Law Journal (Cooley Law Journal) was founded.
With the advice and support of Cooley faculty, the newly formed Editorial Board filed articles of incorporation, opened an office, and released the first call for article submissions. With a staff of 35 students, the first publication was released in August 1997, and a second issue was released in January 1998.
Law Journal was created in the spirit of Educatio Legis Utilis—practical education of the law. The mission was to publish articles from scholars, judges, and practitioners that offer insight gained through first-hand knowledge and experience. Law Journal’s articles offer unique perspectives that aid the legal and academic community in an ongoing effort to find practical solutions to inherent problems in the law.
Law Journal consists of the Editorial Board and Associate Editors. The Editorial Board and Associate Editors perform different, interrelated functions that are essential to the Law Journal’s mission. The Editorial Board makes policy and publication decisions and also performs the final editing stages in the publication process. Associate Editors execute the initial editing procedures by editing an article’s text and footnotes.
Smooth cooperation and interaction amongst all Law Journal members is crucial. It is especially important that all members are kept informed and accorded the respect that goes along with their responsibilities.
Law Journal’s primary objective is the timely publication of one issue per term. Timely publication and a high-quality product are the cornerstones of Law Journal. Law Journal provides students with extra training in legal research and writing. Also, student editors receive experience in leadership. Participating in Law Journal affords students unique opportunities and advantages outside law school. Many legal jobs prefer law review or law journal experience because these organizations prepare students for some of the realities of legal practice.
Law Journal’s establishment and success is based on the culmination of hard work and efforts by the entire organization. The Associate Editor Handbook is prepared to guide Associate Editors through the most important stage of an article’s publication: the sub-citing process.