10 Things You May Not Know About CWRU Law

Our Top 10 List
student studying outside

We have the nation's 20th best Bar pass rate at 95%.

Case Western Reserve University School of Law once again had the top Bar pass rate for first-time takers in the fall 2020 Ohio Bar Exam, and our overall pass rate across the country of 95% placed us as one of the top 20 law schools in the nation according to The National Law Journal.  A high bar pass rate translates into high employment numbers, and in the three years prior to the pandemic we averaged a 91% placement rate of our recent graduates (includes students enrolled in advanced degree programs).


speaker giving a presentation behind a lecturn, with a case western reserve university banner in front and back wall, and united nations flag in background

Few law schools have so many top-ranked programs.

The 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings issue ranked CWRU #11 in the nation in Health Law, and #16 in International Law.  And, in 2020-2021, PreLaw Magazine ranked us as a "Top School" in twelve specialty areas: Health Law (A+)(Back to School Issue 2020), International Law (A+) (Winter 2021), Intellectual Property Law (A+)(Spring 2021), Tech Law (A+) (Winter 2021), Environmental Law (A)(Spring 2021), Trial Advocacy and Litigation (A)(Winter 2020), Business and Corporate Law (A)(Fall 2020), Criminal Law (A-)(Fall 2020), Human Rights Law (A-)(Back to School Issue 2020), Public Policy Law (A-) (Winter 2021), and 9th best in the nation in Public Interest Law (Winter 2020), and 20th in Criminal Justice/Public Defense (Winter 2020). Prelaw magazine also ranked us 6th best in the nation with an A+ in Practical Training (Spring 2021). 

Photo of the Jessup International Moot Court Championship Cup

Our students have received national honors.

Our international war crimes research program was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for our students’ work on the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, and our Jessup International Law Moot Court team was the last American team to win the World Championship. Most recently, in 2021 our Jessup team won best brief and oralist awards, was the top U.S. team, and placed third overall in the World Championship rankings; our International Criminal Court Moot team won best brief and oralist awards and came in second at the competition for North and South America; our Vis International Commercial Arbitration team won best speaker awards at the Competitions hosted out of Geneva and Vienna; our National Patent Application Team won its regional competition and made it to the National Finals; our Mock Trial Team was best prosecution team in the Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition; our BLSA Mock Trial Team won the Midwest Regional Rounds of the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition and the award for best advocate among all competitors; and our National Moot Court team made it to the semi-final round of the Regional Competition and won the Second-Best Brief Award. 

students standing on the Great Wall

We lead the nation in study-abroad and work-abroad opportunities.

We have semester abroad programs with 17 foreign law schools on five continents, and three concurrent JD/LLM degree programs with universities in London, Paris, and Madrid. We also provide opportunities for students to spend a summer or semester interning at international courts and NGOs across the globe. Our multi-million dollar endowed Frederick K. Cox International Law Center provides funding to help defray travel and living expenses.

members of class of 1892 western reserve university law school

We're one of the nation's oldest law schools, with a strong commitment to racial and social justice.

We've trained exceptional minds in the theory and practice of the law for more than 125 years. Our commitment to social justice is equally historic: Our first class in 1892 included an African-American student; today, 20% of our students are under-represented minorities. We graduated the first African-American woman to sit on the Ohio State Supreme Court, the Honorable Sara J. Harper, and distinguished champions for justice in the civil rights movement such as Fred Gray and C.B. King. In 2017 we established the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Scholarships to help make it possible for students interested in public interest law to attend our school.

Learn more about how we continue to evolve our program of legal education to more effectively integrate racial justice more comprehensively into the curriculum, advocate for law reform at local and national levels and foster a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming environment in both the law school and our community. 

image of Jonathan Adler teaching class with law students in background

We have a faculty of leading scholars.

The 2021 Sisk/Leiter Study ranks our Faculty #36 in the nation in scholarly impact. Their work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Tribunals, and many other courts; they regularly testify before Congress and they frequently appear in the media -- and their first priority is the success of our students.

view of cleveland museum of art, looking over wade lagoon

We are located on a picturesque university campus in University Circle—the cultural hub of Cleveland.

The law school is just a short stroll from the Cleveland Museum of Art (ranked as the second-best museum in the U.S.), Severance Hall (home of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra), the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Natural History Museum and Perkins Wildlife Center and Cosmic Dave’s Rock Club—where the law school faculty/student band regularly performs. In 2021, USA Today ranked University Circle as the #1 arts district in the United States.

three case western reserve university students sitting on the grass in front of the rock and roll hall of fame in downtown cleveland

Our students enjoy a comfortable lifestyle - Cleveland is ranked 15th best place to live in the U.S.

There are many high-quality, reasonably priced housing options near the law school, as well as excellent restaurants at affordable prices. The law school is a quick ride to the second-largest theater district in the United States, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and three professional sports teams including the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including rolling hills reminiscent of New England, hundreds of miles of bike trails, state and national parks and Lake Erie, the 11th largest lake in the world. In September 2016, Time Out, the global entertainment guide, named Cleveland as the 15th best place to live in the U.S. based on affordability, cultural offerings, safety and green space.

college student thowing a frisbee in a grassy area

We have the feel of a small college, the power of a national law school.

Case Western Reserve is a small, personal school where you don't get lost in a crowd. Yet our national recognition brings almost two-thirds of our students from outside the State of Ohio, and over two-thirds of our alumni live and work around the nation and the world.

Photo of Fred Gray

We educate leaders.

Our more than 10,000 living alumni include Fred Gray (pictured), renowned civil rights lawyer who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman & CEO of EY from 2013-2019; Patty Inglis, Executive Vice President of the San Francisco 49ers; Donald Korb, Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service from 2004-2008; Martin Gruenberg, Chairman of the FDIC from 2012-2018; Mohamed Chambas, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa; Barry Meyer, Chairman of Warner Bros. from 1999-2013; Kathleen O'Malley, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and Austin Fragomen, founder of the nation's largest immigration firm.