We posed questions to admissions officials at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law regarding the application process, what they look for in applicants and what sets their school apart. These are their responses:
1. What can applicants do to set themselves apart from their peers?
Approach the application as an opportunity to present yourself in the best perspectives. Apply early. Answer all questions, attach all addendums as applicable and make sure the application is complete in all respects. Provide timely response when we request additional information.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
Applicants need to pay specific attention to how they present themselves in their Personal Statement. Is the applicant's Personal Statement grammatically sound, does it capture the reader's attention, and does it give us a clear picture as to who the applicant is? Has the student tailored the essay to our specific requirements or is this a 'one size fits all' narrative? Has the candidate indicated why he or she has an interest in our Law School?
3. How important is the applicant's LSAT score? How do you weigh it against their undergrad GPA and work/internship experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
We take a holistic view of the applicant's complete file in determining admission, which means we look at everything the applicant has submitted. A high LSAT/GPA score will not automatically lead to admission, neither will low scores automatically lead to a denial.
4. How much does prior work/internship experience weigh into your decision making? What's the typical or expected amount of work experience from an applicant?
Prior work/internship experience is valuable. However, we do not have a minimum requirement.
5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
Our Academic Centers provide opportunities for students to focus in particular areas of interest.
Our path-breaking CaseArc Integrated Lawyering Skills Program is one of the most intensive practical lawyering skills programs in the country. This program remains in the forefront of a revolutionary new style of law school instruction and provides comprehensive skills training to our students throughout their legal education.
Our faculty members are known for their excellence as educators and are distinguished in their scholarship. Their expertise encompasses many fields including international law, law and technology, intellectual property law, criminal law, evidence, social justice and law and medicine. The field of health law essentially began with the creation of the Law-Medicine Center in 1953, making it the oldest health law program in the country.
Case was a pioneer in educating African-Americans and women for the bar, admitting our first African-American student in 1892 and graduating our first female in 1921. We actively continue our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting? Do you put much weight on letters from prominent public figures who may not know the applicant well?
Even though we do not require Letters of Recommendation (LOR), it is important that any LORs submitted be from someone who has adequate knowledge of the applicant's abilities. If the applicant is still an undergrad or has graduated two years ago or fewer from college, then he or she should endeavor to include at least one LOR from a professor. Very little, if any, weight is given to letters from public figures who have no familiarity with the applicant's abilities.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
Each completed file is reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee. If Committee members have questions about particular areas of an applicant's file, for example, character and fitness issues, then further contact with the applicant or further investigation may be warranted.