Cooley students Tara Lay and Andrew MacLeod met through pure luck. Here is their story.
Tara: “After getting my chemistry degree from Middle Tennessee State University, I received a postcard from Cooley about scholarship opportunities based on my LSAT score. I knew nothing about Cooley but was intrigued and researched the school on the Internet. The more I saw, the more I liked. The next thing I knew, I was driving my deposit all the way from Tennessee to meet the deadline to begin in January 2010. I had never been in Michigan and had no idea about which of Cooley’s campuses to attend. So I Googled my favorite stores – Whole Foods and Trader Joes (I love to cook!!) – and found that they are both near the Ann Arbor campus. On the basis of that lawyerly research, I became a member of Cooley Ann Arbor’s second entering class.”
Andrew: “I’m from Calgary, Canada. Because of my degree in English from the University of Calgary, I was interested in law school. I have to admit that my work ethic in college was a bit lacking; and despite a strong LSAT score, my applications to some Canadian law schools met with no luck. Out of the blue, I received a postcard from Cooley about scholarships. I realized that I qualified for a 100% scholarship. Like Tara, I had never been to Michigan. But the amazing scholarship had me packing my bags. I wanted a fresh start in how I approach education and thought that a smaller campus with smaller classes was just what I needed. So I picked the Ann Arbor campus. As luck would have it, I started at the same time Tara did.”
Tara: “Andrew and I met at the very first mixer ever held by the brand new campus Student Bar Association. It was just after midterms. We both remember shyly comparing how we did on our exams.”
Andrew: “A week later our paths crossed again when we happened to join the same study group. I got up the nerve to ask her out for coffee.”
Tara: “And I got up the nerve to accept. We discovered that we lived in the same apartment complex. We were both serious students, so we became true study partners, and our relationship grew from there.”
Little Did They Know What Was In Store
Fast forward to today and meet beautiful baby Sam, born in September 2011, the first baby born to an Ann Arbor student couple. Tara and Andrew could not be more delighted. Sam has changed their world and all for the better. The term during which Sam was born yielded the best academic performance yet for both parents. Despite a new baby and a rigorous schedule of five classes each, both “booked” at least one class in their long string of mostly “A” grades. How did they do it?
Tara: “Our time management skills improved dramatically. We have learned to compartmentalize everything and do things with much greater focus and concentration.”
Andrew: “And we also spend a lot less money. We eat in more and eat much better. My father told me that this is the first time I have ever come in ‘under budget.’ No doubt, it’s Tara’s cooking that did it.”
Tara: “We plan to graduate in December 2012 and then move to Calgary, where Andrew hopes to work with a major Canadian oil and gas company. He interned there last summer working on international joint operating agreements, redrafting the company’s intellectual property policies, and assisting with the sale of a $900 million joint stake in one of the company’s natural gas operations. He hopes to do it again this summer.”
Andrew: “And Tara is a very strong student who wants to go into trademark and patent law. In fact, she is positioned to take the patent bar at the end of this month. She is looking to extern at a Calgary patent firm.”
Cooley Was a Great Choice
Tara: “Coming to Cooley has made me think how much my life has changed for the better. Cooley caused me to grow up and get focused, to put my head down to achieve my goals. I now realize how much I enjoy learning.”
Andrew: “I couldn’t agree more. Truthfully, my initial plan was to do well and then consider a school closer to home. But once I got here, I did really well and I liked it a lot. I really don’t want to leave.”
Tara: “I want to thank the professors for the high quality of instruction we have received. The great teaching has given us all of the needed tools. All of the professors are really approachable about career advice.”
Andrew: “I have enjoyed all of the required courses and the electives, too, all taught by practicing lawyers who have actually done what you want to do when you graduate. Cooley has definitely prepared me every bit if not more than any other school could. Last summer, the other interns at the company were asking me questions. I’m convinced that a Cooley education is second to none, and I stand ready to defend that to anyone.”
And As For Baby Sam . . .
Sam is likely to be just as pleased that his parents picked Cooley. After all, he’s a true Cooley baby.