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The Cooley Closet: A Fashion Reservoir

By: Dalton Carty
      Lansing Managing Editor

Attending law school requires an extreme outlay of capital. Travel, housing, food, insurance, tuition, and books must all be contemplated before making the decision to enroll. However, once one decides to start, there are still other expenses that may not have been completely cognizable beforehand. Miscellaneous costs like recreation and clothes may not have been fully considered by students before commencing a law degree. Clothing especially is a major factor because law students are expected to uphold a particular decorum as they participate in competitions, clinics, externships, and interviews. The lack of finances can make the need for clothes exceedingly burdensome. Luckily, Thomas Cooley has a wonderful initiative that aids students with this difficult and, sometimes, unexpected problem. The Cooley Closet helps students to secure appropriate professional attire to wear whenever necessary. Therefore, Cooley students need not worry about having clothes for professional occasions.   

Housed in two rooms on the third floor of the Temple building, the Cooley Closet on the Lansing campus is headed by Professor Nancy Wonch who is assisted by Kathleen Lawrence of the Center of Ethics, Service, and Professionalism. Together, Professor Wonch and Ms. Lawrence gather donations, assess their viability, separate them into men’s and women’s clothing, and store them in the two rooms-one for men and the other for women. Routinely, they must inventory the offerings to discern pieces that are no longer appropriate. These discarded garments are given to charities like Volunteers of America or Good Will. However, even after these purges, the Cooley Closet still has a wealth of clothes and shoes any student could use.

Although both rooms contain numerous pieces from exclusive designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, they also have clothes from lesser known designers. The men’s room has shoes, ties, suits, winter coats, blazers, slacks, and dress shirts. The women’s room has suits, shoes, dresses, skirts, pants, blouses, and winter coats. Moreover, both rooms have apparel in different sizes and styles to accommodate any individual.  Lastly, if one sees something he likes, but it does not fit properly, one may choose to use the Cooley Closet’s unofficial tailor Bill McDonald who provides excellent rates and discounts.

With the copious stress of law school, some students may not have time or money to consider their attire. Therefore, I encourage all who need decent clothes to engage the Cooley Closet because a good suit may be the means by which one secures a dream job.