WHAT MAKES OUR CURRICULUM DIFFERENT?
- learn leadership from our world-renowned business school
- spend a semester abroad studying at one of our 25 partner schools around the world
- pursue one of several concentrations similar to college majors
- work with clients beginning in the first semester
- learn transactional drafting, financial literacy, and statutory and regulatory analysis in your first year
- spend an entire semester working full-time in one of our on-campus clinics or externships in the U.S. or around the world
- spend your third year in Europe, completing a foreign LLM in addition to your Case Western Reserve JD, at no additional cost
- hone your writing skills and blend theory and practice
- build your e-portfolio to share with employers and help you land a job
You work with clients in your first semester. You also take the basics: Criminal Law, Contract Law, Torts, Property and Civil Procedure.
And you start a four-course sequence that involves legal writing, leadership, experiential learning, advocacy skills and professionalism. Concentrations will be identified in the spring.
The leadership portion of the curriculum comes from renowned faculty at the Weatherhead School of Management, which is located next to the law school. The other areas represent an expansion and enhancement of the school’s acclaimed (and often emulated) legal skills program.
- Criminal Law (3)
- Torts (4)
- Contracts (4)
- Legal Writing, Leadership, Experiential Learning, Advocacy and Professionalism (LLEAP) I (4)
- 1 unit emotional/social intelligence and professional development
- 3 units intro to legal analysis and writing skills, litigation focus
- Law, Legislation and Regulation (3)
- Property (4)
- Civil Procedure (4)
- LLEAP II (4)
- 1 unit litigation skills
- 3 units transactional skills
You build on the first year's core courses and begin classes that cover key bar exam subjects (Business Associations, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Wills and Tax).
You continue the four-course sequence. And you add electives.
You can follow a specialty concentration in health, international law, intellectual property or one of several other concentrations, such as business organizations or litigation and dispute resolution. Or you can take individual classes to identify the concentration that appeals to you most.
- Constitutional Law - Fall (4)
- Professional Responsibility - Spring (3)
- LLEAP III (3)
- 2 units: choice of advanced litigation skills or advanced transactional skills
- 1 unit: Financial principles for lawyers
- Concentration courses and electives
- Core Courses (e.g., Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Wills, Federal Courts, Business Associations, etc.) Some of these may be required as part of a concentration, others are strongly recommended bar tested courses.
- LLEAP II (4)
- e-Portfolios will be developed during the 2L year. These are designed to showcase student skills and writing.
- Students will have an upper-level writing requirement. This may be met through a seminar, journal, lab or other writing option.
It all comes together in the capstone.
It's a semester or even six months of intensive, real-world experience - an externship, an assignment through one of our clinics, even an opportunity that you create – so long as it involves subject knowledge, along with writing and practical skills.
Then it's more core courses and another specialty elective. The conclusion of the four-course sequence. And the sure knowledge that you are fully prepared for whatever professional path you pursue.
- Capstone Experience (8 credits either fall or spring, can also do optional 6 month Capstone which entails both 2L summer + 3L fall for additional 2 credits).
Clinic Capstone - On-Campus
External Capstone - in the U.S. or abroad.
- Core Courses
- LLEAP IV (4)
This is designed to work in conjunction with the Capstone. The focus is on further refining skills and writing, as well as developing professionalism. Students who are involved in Capstone experiences outside of Cleveland will participate via distance technology.
Want to know what employers expect in this new legal environment? Ask them. We did.
Conversations with more than 70 hiring partners, CEOs and other leaders provided a picture so precise it can be summed up in two words: client ready.
Yes, that phrase means graduates need to be able to apply theory to cases. But it also involves understanding how to engage clients, develop business and intuit the unique approach that each situation requires.
Our Leadership Courses (LLEAP- I-IV)
It's a carefully crafted model designed to bring out your best.
Yes, you practice the art of professional relationships. But you also study how to develop strategies that enhance options in even the most challenging circumstances.
You reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses - and learn what others see. You also study negotiation, ethics and practice management.
And you improve communication and presentation skills, whether the audiences are colleagues, big clients or opposing counsel.
The power of your prose puts you above competitors.
Our new curriculum does more than introduce such skills; instead, the emphasis stretches through the third year and roughly doubles requirements at other places.
How else can you master the multiple forms you'll face in practice? How do you break down a complex case in language a lay business client can understand? Or a memo to a foreign tribunal whose jurists are less familiar with tenets of international law?
Effective research and analysis applies in every instance. But you increase impact when you consider the reader - and apply an approach that matches their expectations.
We help you customize your law degree by concentrating in a particular area of law. Consider one of the concentrations listed below or design your own course package to suit your needs.
Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Law, Technology & the Arts
Public Interest Law
Each concentration has specific requirements, but they all share several common features:
- You must complete at least 15 credits, including required and elective courses.
- You must earn a GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses included in the concentration.
- You must write a substantial research paper in your field.
- You will receive a designation of honors in the concentration if you earn a GPA of 3.5 or better in all courses defined by the concentration.
- You will receive a special certificate at graduation for your successful completion of the concentration.