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Case Western Reserve University School of Law

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Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs

At Case Western Reserve University School of Law our innovative and visionary curriculum combines the best of classical legal education with cutting-edge experiential opportunities. Our nationally recognized experiential program, our foreign study programs, and externships prepare our students to be ready at graduation to hit the ground running. Our courses are taught by accomplished and nationally known scholars who are always available to our students. We encourage our students to take advantage of all of these opportunities. We are an elite-sized law school that is part of a world-class university. Finally, while our reach is global, our home is Cleveland, an affordable and enjoyable setting to study law.

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The JD Program

Our curriculum combines experientially based instruction in fundamental lawyering skills with traditional doctrinal classes. The first year begins the LLEAP program (Legal Writing, Leadership, Experiential Learning, Advocacy, and Professionalism). This is a sequenced and comprehensive approach to teach students the foundations of law and regulation, legal writing, and the essential competencies of leadership and teamwork. Students learn to draft basic litigation and transactional documents, to make oral arguments, and to negotiate deals. In addition, first-year students take the basic building-block classes of criminal law, contract law, torts, property, and civil procedure. Our students also work with clients from the first semester on. In the second year, our students take important doctrinal classes in key bar-exam subject areas, continue the LLEAP program, and begin to specialize in one of our eight areas of concentration. In the third year, students complete a required intensive capstone of a semester or longer through an externship or one of our seven in-house legal clinics.

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All of our students work to solve the client’s real-world problems. And, depending on the clinic or externship you take, your experience can include writing briefs, arguing in trial or appellate court, or presenting to boards of directors or organizations. We were one of the first law schools in the country to start a clinical program. We opened to the community over 50 years ago, a long-standing history that demonstrates our commitment to clients, to the highest-quality representation and to excellence in education. Our clinic is a law firm within the law school and is staffed with faculty members who have years of practice experience themselves. You will represent clients and client groups who can’t afford their own lawyers. Our clinic handles hundreds of matters per year for a total of approximately 24,000 hours of pro bono legal work. 

Dual Degrees

We offer ten dual degree programs with graduate departments and other professional schools at the University. Because of double counting of certain courses, you can usually complete a dual degree program in about a year less than it would take to complete the two degrees separately.  For example, a JD/MBA dual degree program can be completed in four years whereas the JD takes three years and the MBA takes two years if they are undertaken separately.

Dual degrees are offered in the following areas:

  • JD/MBA (Management)
  • JD/MA (Art History and Museum Studies)
  • JD/MA (Legal History)
  • JD/MA (Political Science)
  • JD/MS (Biochemistry)
  • JD/MA (Bioethics)
  • JD/MSSA (Social Work)
  • JD/MD (Medicine)
  • JD/MPH (Public Health)
  • JD/MNO (Nonprofit Organizations)

Labs & Practicums

In our labs and practicums, students work on discrete legal issues presented to faculty by courts and practitioners who seek assistance on current cases. Our students research and discuss the issues presented and prepare memoranda or briefs for the referring lawyers, judges or organizations to use.

Law Journals

Through Case Western Reserve University School of Law's five law journals, you'll have the opportunity to collaborate with classmates, academics and practitioners on several professional journals:

  1. The Law Review
  2. Health Matrix
  3. Journal of International Law
  4. Journal of Law, Technology & the Internet
  5. Canada-U.S. Law Journal

Moot Court & Mock Trial

Our Moot Court and Mock Trial programs simulate real-life cases, giving Case Western Reserve University School of Law students the skills they need to excel in their careers. We compete nationally and internationally and have a long-standing track record of success.

Study Abroad and Concurrent Degrees

We offer over 20 exchange and concurrent degree programs on five continents, including six of the top law schools in China. Our students have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or, for those who spend a full year abroad, complete a concurrent JD degree and an LLM degree from one of our three prestigious partner schools in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Student Life

Living in Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Law is located in University Circle, one of America's highest concentrations of cultural attractions and performing arts venues. Cleveland was named 15th best place to live in the U.S. in 2016 based on affordability, cultural offerings, safety and green space.

Unique neighborhoods are within walking distance of campus and offer students and young professionals modern and safe places to live, shop, dine, and socialize. Accommodations vary from hip and modern lofts and condos to fun college town apartments. There are many affordable neighborhoods for student housing located near campus, including Coventry, University Circle, Cedar-Fairmount, and Shaker Heights.  Downtown Cleveland and near West-side neighborhoods are also popular with our students.

Student Organizations

There are more than 30 student organizations reflecting the wide range of our students’ interests, including the Black Law Students Association, Asian Law Students Association, Federalist Society, Lambda Law Students Association, and Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Our students contribute to the community through organizations such as Street Law. Our student organizations not only give students the opportunity to explore legal interests with peers, but also provide a valuable proving ground for leadership skill development. 

Career Placement and Bar Passage

  • Career Development: We believe that the type and quality of services provided by a career development office are important to consider in choosing which school to attend. We pride ourselves on offering comprehensive general programming to the entire student body as well as personal attention to each student’s individual career ambitions. Our Career Development Office provides our students with job opportunities with leading employers coast to coast. Our ambitious approach to employer development and outreach has resulted in great job success for our graduates.  In addition to year-round job postings, we coordinate two formal recruitment programs each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Both programs contain an on-campus interview and resume collect/direct opportunities. The fall program also contains early recruitment programs for targeted cities and regions, including New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Southern California.
  • Bar Preparation: We provide extensive support for our students on bar preparation, including a law school course that provides an introduction to the testing formats and required skills common to bar exams in United States jurisdictions, including the Multistate Bar Exam, the Multistate Performance Test, and essay questions in various substantive areas (which generally incorporate some state-specific content).  We also strongly encourage our students to take a commercial bar review course during the two months leading up to the bar exam.  

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Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Expected Cost of Attendance

Thanks to the strong support of our alumni, we are able to award significant scholarships to approximately three-quarters of each entering class. Every applicant with an exceptionally strong record is considered for a scholarship. Candidates who apply for admissions before February 1 have a greater chance of receiving an award.

Unlike many law schools, our scholarships are not conditional upon GPA. When you receive a scholarship from our law school, it’s yours for as long as you maintain good academic standing at Case Western Reserve.

Once you are admitted to our program, you will be automatically considered for our internal scholarships, which are merit based. There is no special application form or process that you need to complete for scholarship consideration.

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Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

Our selection process, while rigorous, is not rigid. We insist upon diversity in our student body because we believe the entire law school community benefits from it. We will consider with sensitivity any information about a candidate's special circumstances.  Each applicant receives full-file review. We have both a Spring and Fall start and accept the LSAT and GRE. The application fee is waived for candidates who apply online.

  • Spring: November 1 application deadline; December 1 notification of decision.
  • Fall: 
    • Early Decision (binding): November 30 application deadline;  December 20 notification of decision.
    • Regular Admission:  process begins in December and concludes by May 15, at which time a summer wait list is established.

On the application we ask for a resume and a personal statement detailing academic achievements, work experience, special interests, honors, community involvement, and other matters you believe will assist the Admissions Committee in evaluating your application. We also encourage applicants to submit optional statements on Diversity and Leadership.

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Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Case Western:

3.45 to 3.84

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Case Western:

156 to 162

25-75% UGPA Range at Case Western:

3.45 to 3.84

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Case Western:

156 to 162

25-75% UGPA Range at Case Western:

3.45 to 3.84

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Case Western:

156 to 162