Case Western Reserve University School of Law offers new flexible-start option, accepts GRE

law students walking in front of school

Case Western Reserve University School of Law will be among the few law schools in the country to offer first-year law students the flexible option to start in January, Co-Deans Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf announced today.  For the first time, the Law School is also now accepting GRE scores from applicants, in addition to the traditional LSAT.

The new January start option allows students to begin law school in the spring semester and either graduate three years later in December, or two-and-a-half years later in May with the students who started the preceding fall.

The length, structure and content of the January start program mirrors the traditional fall start program, but students can “accelerate” by taking required courses during consecutive summers. Some summer courses will be offered remotely so students can still work and complete externships nationally and internationally.

“If a student is graduating college in December or is working and is ready to plunge back into school now rather than wait eight months, then they may wish to take advantage of a January start,” Berg said.

“While the change to the law school's entry policy was accelerated in response to the coronavirus, the addition of a January start for first-year law students was already under consideration after the school recently piloted a flexible start in our LLM program with promising results,” Scharf said.  

The law school designed a special program for students beginning their studies in January. The program starts with a week of orientation that focuses on study skills and provides personalized acclimation into law-school life. In addition, the January-start students will be enrolled in one substantive course specifically designed for entering students.

For those students who want to apply for spring admission, the deadline is December 1st. Scores from the October LSAT or GRE or earlier administrations of the LSAT or GRE are accepted. Scores are accepted going back five years.

“Our January-start option and accepting the GRE are among the ways we are adapting to the rapidly changing landscape of legal education and the practice of law,” Berg said. "Candidates admitted for the January start program or who apply using the GRE are eligible for the same generous academic scholarships that we offer for fall admission and to LSAT test-takers."

"We hope that by giving students the option to submit either LSAT or GRE scores, we will be able to broaden the applicant pool and make it easier for students to pursue a legal career, whether they would like to begin in January or in the fall," Scharf added.

Founded in 1892, Case Western Reserve University School of Law is currently ranked as a top law school in ten specialties (PreLaw Magazine), and its law faculty is ranked 30th in the nation in scholarly impact (Heald and Sichelman Study).