In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 8 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A.E.S. (Juris/Doctor Master of Environmental Studies), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration), J.D./M.S.E.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Environmental Science), and J.D/M.U.P.D.D. (Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development).
Students must take 18 to 26 credits in their area of concentration. The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, labor law, litigation, civil litigation, and dispute resolution. In addition, the Employment Law Clinic offers from 6 to 10 credits, the Urban Development Law Clinic offers from 2 to 10 credits, the Fair Housing Clinic offers from 2 to 8 credits, and the Environmental Law Clinic offers 2 to 4 credits. Upper-level students may take seminars and up to 3 hours of independent research; seminar papers fulfill the upper-level writing requirement. A judicial externship is worth 6 credits; students work 24 hours a week in a federal or state appellate court. A U.S. Attorney externship is worth 4 credits; students are placed in a civil or criminal U.S. Attorney’s office. There are independent/public service externships worth 4 to 6 hours. Special lecture series include the Cleveland-Marshall Lecture Series, the Criminal Law Forums, and Labor and Employment Lecture Series. Students may participate in study-abroad programs run by ABA/AALS-approved law schools. Cleveland-Marshall also sponsors an ABA/AALS summer program in St. Petersburg, Russia. First-year students admitted to the Legal Career Opportunities Program are offered a course in Legal Process. An Academic Excellence program is offered. Cleveland-Marshall has a Director of Minority Affairs who oversees minority programs. A variety of special interest group programs are available. The most widely taken electives are Advocacy, Business, and Employment Law.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 41 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Writing, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Constitutional Law, Evidence, and Legal Profession. The required orientation program for first-year students is 5 days and includes social activities, legal writing and demonstration classes, library tours, peer adviser meetings, and technology set-up.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and have completed a course with an administrative component of law, evidence, and legal professions. A perspective course and upper-division writing requires a third semester of Legal Writing and a research paper.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1416 applied, 527 were accepted, and 215 enrolled. Twenty transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 60; the median GPA was 3.34 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 18; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, LSAT results, and general background. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is May 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, TOEFL, if English is not the primary language, 2 letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis beginning in December. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is June. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 90% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $17,238; maximum, $36,282. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and Law Aid Application. The aid application deadline for fall entry is May 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include a variety of funds available for students of color or who are disadvantaged. Students who complete the admissions and financial aid materials are considered for these funds. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 47% of the student body are women; 16%, minorities; 7%, African American; 4%, Asian American; 3%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from the Midwest (90%). The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 51. About 41% of students enter directly from undergraduate school and 7% have a graduate degree. About 14% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 86% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Cleveland State Law Review, The Journal of Law and Health, and the newspaper The Gavel. The college sends teams to various competitions throughout the U.S. including the National Appellate Advocacy, International Environmental Law, and National Criminal Procedure competitions. Other competitions include the Jessup International Law, Entertainment and Communication Law, National Animal Advocacy, Information Technology and Privacy Law, and Evidence competitions. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include Entertainment and Sports Law Association, Federalist Society, Student Public Interest Law Organization, ABA-Law Student Division, Delta Theta Phi, Black Law Students Association, Criminal Law Society, and the Association for Environmental Law and Sustainability.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered during the day only in the first year; afterward, during the day and evening, and must be completed within 6 years. For part-time students, courses are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7<1/2>-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.