Case Western Reserve University School of Law

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Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Case Western Reserve University seal.svg
Established 1892
School type Private
Dean Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf
Location Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Enrollment 507
Faculty 68 full-time

Case Western Reserve University School of Law is one of eight schools at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The law school is known for its innovation in legal education and blending of practice, theory, and professionalism. It has a long commitment to diversity and admitted students of color in its first entering class in 1892. It was one of the first schools accredited by the American Bar Association[1] and it is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[2]

According to Case Western Reserve's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 58.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[3]


Rear Entrance to the Law School
Front Entrance to the Law School

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Case's Juris Doctor program at 59th in the nation in 2013. Its health law program is 9th in the nation, and international law is #11.[4] In addition to the JD curriculum, the law school offers LLM and SJD degrees to lawyers around the world.

Employment reports indicate that 91% of the Class of 2013 were employed or enrolled in an advanced degree program nine months after graduation. This represents a 5-percentage point jump since the year before. Of those who were employed, 83% were employed in bar-required positions.

Case Western Reserve Model of Legal Education[edit]

In August 2013, by a near-unanimous vote, the faculty adopted a new curriculum to reflect changes in the legal industry. The model is designed to blend practice, theory, and professionalism in all three years of law school. Students begin working with clients in the first year of law school. Writing and skills courses track the content in their substantive courses to blend theory and practice. Students also learn transactional drafting, financial literacy, and statutory and regulatory analysis during the first year.

During the second year of law school, students specialize and continue to build on the skills they learned during their first year. The law school's well-known specialty areas are IP, health, international, and business law.

A Capstone semester is the hallmark of the third year. All students will practice law full-time by working on cases through the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center at the law school. Students may also practice law through an externship in the U.S. and abroad, or they may choose to spend their third year in Europe, completing a foreign LLM degree in addition to their Case JD, at no additional cost.

Students learn leadership through courses developed by faculty at Weatherhead School of Management, and students graduate with e-portfolios of their work to share with employers.


The "Bridge"

Centers of Academic Excellence[edit]

Gund Hall with Peter B. Lewis building in the background

Post-graduation employment[edit]

According to Case Western Reserve's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 58.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[3] The school ranked 85th out of 201 ABA-approved law schools in terms of the percentage of 2013 graduates with non-school-funded, full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs nine months after graduation.[5]

Case Western Reserve's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 27.2%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[6] 88.8% of the Class of 2013 was employed in some capacity while 2.6% were pursuing graduate degrees and 8.6% were unemployed nine months graduation.[3]

Ohio was the primary employment destination for 2013 Case Western Reserve graduates, with 56.8% of employed graduates working in the state.[3][3] The next two most popular locations for Case Western graduates to accept employment were Washington, DC and New York. In addition, seven graduates from the class of 2003 accepted positions abroad.[7]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Case Western Reserve for the 2014-2015 academic year is $69,112.[8] Case Western Reserve's tuition and fees on average increased by 4.89% annually over the past five years.[9]

The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $266,125.[9] The average indebtedness of the 77% of 2013 Case Western Reserve graduates who took out loans was $113,416.[10] For the 2013-2014 academic year, 79.9% of the JD students received some type of scholarship aid from the school, with a median grant amount of $27,000.[11]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Jonathan H. Adler - A contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to “The Volokh Conspiracy," Adler is frequently cited in the American media and is an expert in constitutional and election law, federalism, and health care reform, among others. He has been recognized as one of the most cited professors in the field of environmental law. Adler was among the first to raise the idea of a potential legal challenge to the IRS regulation of Obamacare, which prompted a series of lawsuits against the act. He has testified before Congress on a number of national issues and has been cited in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion.
  • Jessica Berg - Berg, a health law scholar, has been a member of the faculty for 14 years and is serving as Interim Co-Dean of the law school. She co-chaired the committee that developed The Case Western Reserve Model of Legal Education, a new academic model approved by the faculty last summer. Berg teaches Public Health Law, FDA Law, Health Policy, Bioethics & Law, and Human Subjects Regulation. Her publications include “Putting the Community Back Into the Community Benefit Standard” 43 Georgia Law Review 1 (2009); Making all the Children Above Average: Ethical and Regulatory Concerns for Pediatricians in Pediatric Enhancement Research, 48(5) Clinical Pediatrics 472 (2009); and “Of Elephants and Embryos: A proposed framework for legal personhood,” 59 Hastings Law Journal 369 (2007). Berg previously served as the Director of Academic Affairs and Secretary of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and Section Director of Professionalism at the American Medical Association.
  • Paul Giannelli - He has written extensively in the field of evidence and criminal procedure, especially on the topic of scientific evidence. He has authored or co-authored ten books, including Scientific Evidence (5th ed. 2013), and has written over 200 articles, book chapters, reports, book reviews, and columns, including articles in the Columbia, Virginia, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Fordham, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Hastings law reviews. Professor Giannelli's work has been cited in nearly 700 judicial opinions throughout the country (including seven decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court), as well as foreign courts. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2013, he received a National Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Italian American Bar Association.
  • Richard Gordon - Former Senior Counsel of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Gordon advised the government of Indonesia on the reform of tax, company, and securities laws. Following September 11, 2001 he was appointed to the select IMF Task Force on Terrorism Finance and was a principal author of the report on the role of the IMF and World Bank in countering terrorism finance and money laundering.
  • Lewis Katz - An expert in criminal law, Katz authors Ohio Arrest, Search and Seizure and Baldwin's Ohio Criminal Law. Katz is the original founder of Case Western Reserve University School of Law's Summer Law and Language Institute, a program designed to prepare international students for LL.M. and J.D. programs in the United States.
  • Max Mehlman - Co-Director of The Law-Medicine Center, Mehlman is a health law and genetics expert. He is the co-author of Access to the Genome: The Challenge to Equality; co-editor, with Tom Murray, of the Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues in Biotechnology; co-author of Genetics: Ethics, Law and Policy, the first casebook on genetics and law, now in its second edition; and author of Wondergenes: Genetic Enhancement and the Future of Society, published in 2003 by the Indiana University Press, and The Price of Perfection: Individualism and Society in the Era of Biomedical Enhancement.
  • Craig Nard - Director of the Center for Technology, Law and the Arts, Nard is a recognized expert in intellectual property and patent law. He is also a senior lecturer at the World Intellectual Property Organization Academy at the University of Torino, Italy, and principal advisor to the Center for Studies and Research in Intellectual Property in Calcutta, India. He is author of the patent law casebook, The Law of Patents (Aspen Publishers 2008), Fundamentals of United States Intellectual Property Law, (Kluwer Law International 2006)(with Halpern and Port) and The Law of Intellectual Property (Aspen Publishing) (2011, third edition) (with Madison, McKenna, and Barnes). Nard is co-founder of the FUSION program at Case Western Reserve University. The graduate-level interdisciplinary program combines law, business, and innovation resources to create a robust educational learning experience for students in multiple graduate schools in the university.
  • Michael P. Scharf - A noted expert on international law, Scharf serves as Interim Co-Dean of the law school and is the former Associate Dean for Global Legal Studies. He is frequently cited in media around the world. He assisted in the training of the judges in Iraq's Saddam Hussein trial, and is co-author of Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein, which won the International Association of Penal Law's book of the year award for 2009. Scharf is host of "Talking Foreign Policy," a radio program broadcast on WCPN 90.3 FM (Cleveland's NPR station). He serves as Managing Director of the Public International Law and Policy Group, an NGO. Scharf is the author of over 120 scholarly articles and 16 books, including The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda which was awarded the American Society of International Law's Certificate of Merit for outstanding book in 1999. His latest book is Customary International Law in times of Fundamental Change: Recognizing Grotian Moments (Cambridge University Press 2013). During a sabbatical in 2008, Scharf served as Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the Cambodia Genocide Tribunal. During the elder Bush and Clinton administrations, Scharf served in the Office of Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he held the positions of Attorney-Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Attorney-Adviser for United Nations Affairs, and delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

Notable graduates[edit]

Among Case alumni are prominent elected officials, particularly from the State of Ohio. Examples of such include current Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Attorneys General Marc Dann, Lee Fisher, and Jim Petro, and former U.S. Representatives Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Ron Klein.

Members of the federal bench who are Case alumni include Kathleen M. O'Malley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and John J. McConnell, Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Both were appointed to their current positions by President Barack Obama. Associate Justice John Hessin Clarke of the United States Supreme Court was educated at Case when the school was known as Western Reserve College.

Other Case alumni are prominent leaders in the fields of government, business, academia, and the judiciary.

Government and Politics[edit]

Business and Industry[edit]




In popular culture[edit]

  • In 2010, the show The Deep End on ABC features a main character, Addy Fisher, who graduated from Case Western Reserve Law School.[13]


External links[edit]