Capital University Law School

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Capital University Law School
Established 1903
School type Private
Dean Rachel M. Janutis
Location Columbus, Ohio, USA
Enrollment 475
291 Full-Time
184 Part-Time
Faculty 46
Bar pass rate 87.81% average (2010-2014)[2]

Capital University Law School is an ABA-accredited private law school located in downtown Columbus, Ohio.[3] The law school is affiliated with Capital University, the oldest university in Central Ohio and one of the oldest and largest Lutheran-affiliated universities in North America.[4] Capital Law is perhaps best known for public law, as many recent alumni have gone on to prominent political and judicial positions.

The school was voted a "Best Value Law School" on the basis of tuition by the National Jurist magazine in 2009.[5] In 2011, the National Jurist magazine, as well as preLaw magazine named Capital as one of the nation’s top law schools in preparing students for legal careers in public service.[6] In 2012, the magazines listed Capital as one of the nation’s top law schools in terms of preparing its students for the bar exam.[7] In 2014, Capital was named to the National Jurist Magazine's "Honor Roll" of law schools that provide practical legal education.[8] In 2015, Capital was once again listed in the National Jurist Magazine's "Honor Roll" of law schools that deliver a practical, experiential legal education.[9]


Capital University Law School is a premier legal institution. It transformed from the Columbus Law School, which was founded in 1903 as part of a national program sponsored by the YMCA to make legal education practical, accessible, and affordable.[3] Since its affiliation with Capital University in 1966, the law school has grown considerably. Its faculty now stands at 56 and its Law Library holdings have increased to more than 265,000 volumes, periodicals, and microfilms.


Capital University Law School is located in the heart of the Discovery District of Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States, while the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area is the 28th largest in the country by population.

The school is situated near the Ohio Statehouse, the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Tenth District, the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, the Franklin County Municipal Court, and the headquarters of numerous banks, insurance companies, state employment agencies, and Fortune 500 corporations.[10] This provides the law school's students with direct access to a variety of diverse internships, externships, and other real-world legal educational opportunities.

The law school building's front entrance is framed by elaborate polished brass relief artwork, commissioned by a well known artist, depicting a ship, most likely the Santa Maria, and surrounded by vintage Art-Deco era accents. At the suggestion and assistance of law school alumnus Michael A Massa, Dean Jack Guttenberg created a Wall of Class Portraits in the front lobby of the law school building in 2006.


Capital University Law School has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1950 and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1983.[11][12] The student-faculty ratio is 13.8:1.[1] The law school has been a charter member of the League of Ohio Law Schools since 1934.[13]

Capital's 2013 entering class was composed of 164 students.[14] Capital Law School maintains a Juris Doctor, an LL.M. in Business, an LL.M. in Taxation, and an LL.M. in Business and Taxation.[15] The school's J.D. program has a full-time day division, as well as a part-time day and a part-time evening division. The J.D. program has concentrations in children and family law, civil litigation, criminal litigation, dispute resolution, environmental law, governmental affairs, labor and employment law, and small business entities publicly held companies. Students in the J.D. program may also avail themselves to joint degree programs in: Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Theology.

Capital Law is home to The Family and Youth Law Center and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Capital University Law School also serves the legal profession and business professionals through certificate programs (paralegal, legal nurse consultant, life care planner, as well as mediation and dispute resolution) and a variety of scholarly symposia and conferences that offer continuing legal education credit. Capital also offers a general litigation clinic, a mediation clinic, a family advocacy clinic, and a small business clinic.

Bar passage[edit]

Capital graduates have performed exceptionally well on the Ohio bar exam. Capital’s average Ohio bar passage rate for first time takers of exams administered from 2010 through 2014 was 87.81 percent - the third highest of Ohio's nine law schools.[16] Capital has the highest Ohio bar passage rate among private law schools in Ohio among first-time test takers.[16]


A variety of notable Capital Law faculty and alumni have made significant contributions on the local, state and national levels.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Bradley A. Smith - former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission from 2000 to 2005
  • Jack Guttenberg - a legal writer, an expert on professional responsibility, and a co-author of the authoritative source on the Ohio new law of professional conduct for attorneys, Ohio Law of Professional Conduct.

A 2008 survey of faculty scholarship conducted by Roger Williams University School of Law found Capital's faculty to be one of the most productive scholarly faculties in the nation.[17]

Notable alumni[edit]

Employment Prospects[edit]

Capital University's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 17.8%, 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.[20]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Capital University Law School for the 2015-2016 academic year is approximately $54,526 for a full-time student.[21] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $181,156.[22]


U.S. News & World Report listed Capital's full-time Juris Doctor program as "Rank Not Published" in 2016, although its part-time Juris Doctor program was ranked 61st in the nation.[1] The law school is described as being a "regional" school rather than a "national" school by the U.S. News & World Report.


  1. ^ a b c Capital University. "Capital University | Best Law School | US News". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  2. ^ "Bar Passage Rate - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Our History - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "National Jurist - September 2009". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Best schools for public service". the National Jurist. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  7. ^ "News - Capital University Law School". 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  8. ^ "60 law schools earn top honors for practical training". the National Jurist. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  9. ^ "News - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  10. ^ "About Columbus - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  11. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools | Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  12. ^ "Member Schools - Association of American Law Schools | The Association of American Law Schools". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  13. ^ "Our History - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  14. ^ "Class Profile - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ a b "Bar Passage Rate - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  17. ^ "Capital University Law School Dean's Annual Report 2007-2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  18. ^ "Jennifer Brunner". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Paul Herbert". The Supreme Of Ohio. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Capital University Profile". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  21. ^ "Tuition and Sample Student Budget - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  22. ^ "Capital University Profile". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 

Coordinates: 39°57′47″N 82°59′31″W / 39.963°N 82.992°W / 39.963; -82.992