Where does CWRU School of Law Rank?

Sign reads George Gund Hall School of Law

U.S. News and World Report, which belatedly issued its controversial 2023 law school rankings in May, is one of several organizations that publish annual law school rankings. Some of these rankings prioritize areas of specialization, where Case Western Reserve University School of Law particularly excels, while others rank law schools on faculty scholarly impact and moot court and mock trial success, where CWRU is a national leader. Here are CWRU’s latest rankings from each organization, indicating the factors that went into each. 

Overall Ranking

In 2023, TFE Times ranked CWRU the 63rd best law school in the nation (up from 66th in 2022), based on mean LSAT score, mean starting salary, mean undergraduate GPA, acceptance rate, graduates employed at graduation and graduates employed three months after graduation. 

In 2023, Princeton Review ranked CWRU the 61st best law school in the nation, giving equal weight (20% each) to admissions selectivity, academic experience, professors teaching, professors’ accessibility and career placement.

The May 2023 rankings issue of U.S. News and World Report ranked CWRU the 80th best law school in the nation (2nd best law school in the state of Ohio) based on peer assessment score, lawyers/judges assessment score, undergrad GPA, LSAT scores, acceptance rate, faculty/student ratio, grads employed in law jobs ten months after graduation and the school’s bar passage rate. The peer assessment score, which counts as 25 percent of the overall ranking, is based on surveys of faculty, deans, judges and practitioners who rank all law schools on a 1-5 scale.

Ranking of Specialty Areas

The new rankings issue of U.S. News and World Report ranked CWRU #10 in the nation in International Law, #11 in Health Law, #44 in Environmental Law, #46 in Legal Writing, #47 in Trial Advocacy, #57 in Constitutional Law, #59 in Clinical Education, #60 in Intellectual Property Law, #66 in Business and Corporate Law, #72 in Contracts/Commercial Law and #84 in Criminal Law. The U.S. News specialty rankings are based on surveys by one expert in each specialty at each law school.

Over the past year, preLaw magazine ranked CWRU as a "Top Law School" in 12 specialty areas: 

These rankings were determined through an analysis of six academic areas: concentrations (30%), clinics (20%), externships (10%), specialty journals (7%), student groups (8%) and other factors such as LLM programs, labs and the breadth of the curriculum (15%). Only a few of the most elite law schools in the nation received this many top specialty rankings from preLaw magazine.

In addition, the Spring 2023 issue of prelaw magazine ranked CWRU the 10th best law school in the nation in Practical Training. 

Ranking Moot Court and Mock Trial Success

CWRU School of Law’s nine moot court and mock trial teams are annually among the best in the nation. Based on their extraordinary success over the past year, NICA recently ranked CWRU 8th best in the nation in moot court success. Last year, Gavel Rankings ranked CWRU 5th best in the nation in mock trial success. 

Faculty Rankings

In 2023, Princeton Review ranked CWRU School of Law 26th best in the nation in terms of the quality of teaching, based on surveys of students.

The most recent Heald and Sichelman study of scholarly impact, ranked the CWRU law faculty 30th best in the nation based on SSRN downloads and HeinOnline citations.

The most recent Sisk/Leiter study ranked the CWRU law faculty 36th best in the nation based on citations to their publications over the past three years. In addition, Sisk/Leiter rank several of CWRU Law School’s faculty members — Jonathan Adler, Sharona Hoffman and Cassandra Robertson as among the most cited in their fields. 

Bar Pass Ranking

CWRU’s graduates traditionally have among the highest bar pass rate of the nine Ohio law schools for first-time takers in the Ohio Bar Exam. Here is how CWRU placed in each of the past six years on the July Ohio Bar Exam (very few of our students take the February Bar):

  • 2017: 1st
  • 2018: 2nd
  • 2019: 1st 
  • 2020: 1st (at 95% across all jurisdictions, CWRU had the 20th best pass rate in the nation)  
  • 2021: 3rd
  • 2022: 2nd