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 Journal of Practical & Clinical Law (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.
The 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.
The Western Michigan University Cooley Journal of Practical & Clinical Law consists of an Editorial Board and Associate Editors. The Editorial Board and Associate Editors perform different, interrelated functions that are essential to the 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 Journal members is crucial. It is especially important that all members are kept informed and accorded the respect that goes along with their responsibilities.
The Journal’s primary objective is to seek articles that provide insight into practical legal issues and enhance the academic standards within the legal community. The Journal is always in search for articles that practicing attorneys, judges, professors (and even students) can find insightful and helpful within their legal work. The Journal also seeks articles that explain the law as it is, not as it should be. However, the article can explain how the law should be applied.
The Journal’s expected publication schedule are three issues, once per term. Timely publication and a high-quality product are the cornerstones of the Western Michigan University Cooley Journal of Practical & Clinical Law. The Journal provides students with extra training in legal research and writing, and editors receive experience in leadership. Participating in the 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.