WMU Cooley Law School confirms staff cuts, among other problems

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"It's not a pleasant situation, but it is something that's necessary," said Don LeDuc, President of Cooley Law School in Lansing.

The school is doing everything it can to keep from closing its doors.

Today the school confirmed to News 10 that it is reducing faculty and staff on campuses across the state.

"We held out as long as we thought we could," LeDuc said. "You don't like to have to go into a situation where you're letting people go."

But that's not the only problem. The school is just one of hundreds of law schools across the country facing low enrollment.

Law school enrollment numbers across the country are typically around 50,000 students per year.

That number dropped to about 39,000 per year in 2013. And for Cooley, that meant an enrollment drop of 40%.

"Law school applicants often graduate with $150,000 of student loan debt and poor job prospects," said Lansing attorney Mark Bailey. "The law school debt combined with debt for undergraduate degrees make the law school degree unobtainable for many. And with starting salaries around $50,000 or less, it's tough to make ends meet and service the debt."

But despite these events, LeDuc believes the school is heading in the right direction.

"To me all the basics are strong," LeDuc said. "And none of this at least at Cooley really reflects anything caused by us. These are almost all factors that are part of this national downturn."