Law & Legal History

A stack of law books on a shelf
Juris Doctor, Master of Arts

About the Program

Study the evolution of law and its historical significance by completing a dual Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in History degree at Case Western Reserve University. 

Our joint program, offered through the School of Law and Department of History, is designed to prepare you for the evolving practice of law while simultaneously training you in historical theory and methodology. In 3.5 academic years—or three years plus two summers—you'll come away from our program with the skills needed to thrive in diverse careers, whether you want to become a policy advocate, attorney or educator.

What to Expect

You’ll start your first semester in the School of Law, where you'll gain hands-on, professional experience while taking courses such as Criminal Law; Civil Procedure and Law; and Legislation and Regulation. Once enrolled in the legal history master’s program, you’ll consult with program directors each semester to plan your studies.  

Your history coursework will begin with required foundational courses in Historiography, Method, and Theory; Comparative History; and Historical Research and Writing. Once your core courses are completed, you can simultaneously mix and match your history and law courses in the following years—including up to nine approved credit hours that will count toward both program requirements, saving you time and tuition money as you complete your degrees.

Within the history portion of our program, you’ll have the option to defend your master’s thesis or complete an oral examination of your coursework, depending on which route you choose. And you’ll continue your JD studies, which culminate in our capstone experience—including a clinic or external experience, plus core courses and electives—as we continue to prep you for a promising career as a lawyer.

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Beyond the Classroom

Around the School of Law and College of Arts and Sciences, you’ll discover a variety of research centers and resources dedicated to advancing scholarly pursuits and enhancing our community on campus (and beyond)—from the Social Justice Law Center, Judge Ben C. Green Law Library and Center for Professional Ethics to the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, Kelvin Smith Library and Dittrick Medical History Center

You’ll also have the chance to match your in-class education with hands-on, real-world practical training. Through our clinics, labs, and practicums, you’ll unlock opportunities to work on cases with real clients and attorneys under the close supervision of our notable faculty as early as your first year.

By the Numbers


total credit hours required


university in the country, U.S. News & World Report


in practical training, preLaw magazine

Admission Requirements

You can apply to the dual-degree program when you apply to the School of Law or after the first year of enrollment. Separate applications must be completed for admission into each program. 

Admission requirements include: 

  • LSAC application 
  • Online application to the history program, including a letter of intent or statement of objectives as well as a writing sample and a short essay
  • LSAT (or GRE) scores
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, including unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

Contact Us

Headshot of Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
History Department, Director of Graduate Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

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