Professors at Cleveland-Marshall use a combination of the Socratic method and volunteers when conducing classes. Class sizes are approximately 150 students with 50 students per section. Students are competitive, yet, at the same time are willing to help one another. Grading is scaled on a curve, which is typically lower for first year students. Faculty is approachable and wants to help you learn. The workload is manageable, but most definitely keeps you busy.Quality of Life
My overall quality of life at Cleveland-Marshall is high. I had the opportunity to live at home, which is very beneficial given the expenses of law school. I spend most of my time studying in the law library which is equipped with ample space for students to study individually or in a group. Personally, I have not had any concerns with crime and safety; however, I am more cautious in the city than I was at my undergrad university which was located in a rural area.Admissions
LSAT, 2 unique application questions, apply through LSACLevel
There is a strong balance of theory and practical study. Socratic method is emphasized, especially first year. Grading is difficult as we were on a C curve first year and mostly B curve later (unlike other schools in the area that use the B curve throughout). There are many study abroad opportunities and the workload prepares you for the real world.Quality of Life
Cost of living is very competitive. The facility has made great strides in terms of modernization (e.g. great library, trial courtroom, etc.). Students are very eager to help each other and create lasting friendships.Admissions
Required LSAT. Free application. Scholarship opportunities offered.Level
Selective Socratic method, great academic support, competitive, study abroad opportunitiesQuality of Life
LIBRARY, computer labs
Wish that there are more coffee houses close byAdmissions
LSAT, personal statement, recommendation lettersLevel
There is a tremendous disparity in professors, ranging from the highly enthusiastic and helpful to individuals who are using this as a way to dodge actual practice. In some cases, I've spent ten minutes in a professor's office where I've won an entirely fresh understanding of a point of law, but in others, I've had my question answered with mockery and a half-hearted and all-around embarrassing apology afterward or by reading the passage again, except louder.
The externship programs are a bright spot, though, and I have learned more in my second externship than I did all second semester of 1L.Quality of Life
The undergraduate college is a community college. I have little or no contact with them. Both the undergrad and law library are acceptable. I rarely feel threatened walking around campus, save for the occasional panhandler.Admissions
I had a mid-150s score on the LSAT and a spotless GPA, but only managed a half-tuition scholarship. Nothing about the application struck me as particularly out of the ordinary.Level
The first year curriculum seems very geared toward the BAR. Because not many students take advantage of opportunities like externships and clinics and the school is well-connected to the Cleveland community, those who want to reach out and secure these opportunities can build their resume and distinguish themselves. The rank does not seem to match the quality of education or student opportunities.
The workload is more than I estimated. I thought that such a low0ranked Tier 3 school would be a cakewalk for someone with my entering numbers, but I was wrong.Quality of Life
Cleveland State University as a whole is not a very professional environment. However, the law school is a little world of its own. Most law students do not venture around the greater CSU campus, mainly because the undergrad population is comparatively low-acheiving and does not create the right atmosphere for a law student. It is nice being inh downtown by all the law firms and government offices.Admissions
The scholarship oppotunities seemed plentiful. There seem to be a portion of students on the very low end of the spectrum, several very high test scorers who could have probably been admitted to top tier, even top 10 schools, and a wide variety in between.Level
The socratic method is used in most of the classes. Class size is standard - in 1st year classes from 40-60 students and less in legal writing. Classes are competitive, but students are generally willing to help one another and share materials. It's more cooperative than competitive. Grading is done on a C scale. Workload is standard, 15 credits both semesters for first years. Our curriculum is also different from a lot of other schools in that all first year classes are taught the entire year (fall and spring semesters) plus one more course in the spring. I feel like this has been really effective for me in learning the basic first year courses. First years also have the option to participate in a study group with a TA for two first year classes: Contracts and Crim Law. Constitutional Law is taught as a full year second year course. CM has a focus on practical skills. It offers clinical opportunities for students in a few different areas including employment law as well as an externship program. This allows students to get hands on experience either within the school or outside of the school. The clinics allow students to draft documents, meet with clients while being observed by a faculty member, and even argue in court at times. There are also a lot of opportunities to attend conferences through student organizations. The school also has many opportunities to attend lectures on various topics. The moot court team is quite successful as well, being in the top 8 teams in the country at the national competition this year.Quality of Life
The cost of living in Cleveland and in Ohio is pretty cheap. The law school is integrated into the rest of the campus. We have our own law library which is wonderful (2nd biggest in the state) and the librarians are always helpful. I love the libray's design because there is always a lot of natural light when it is sun-shining outside. Most law students who are not from the area live in apartments downtown or in surrounding suburbs. Most can take public transportation (which is included in the cost of tuition). Students live as close as directly across the street. It is an urban campus so there are homeless people who wander into the school at times. CSU has been working to reduce this. There are a few decent places to eat around campus, and a couple of bars that students frequent on occasion. The campus is also very close to downtown. The theatre district is right next to campus and offers student discounts to some shows. Jacob's Field and the Q are also relatively close. There are also a couple of entertainment districts that are within a pretty close range that student could get to easily. Everything downtown is pretty accessible. There are a lot of cute little neighborhoods around Cleveland that are great to explore if you're not from here, and great to visit as a young (or even older) adult if you are. Downtown Cleveland is not the safest place (again, Cleveland State is an urban campus) but I have never feared for my safety. Adhering to common sense (not walking alone late at night, etc.) is usually plenty to stay safe. The winters are kind of rough in Cleveland and we even had about 5 snow days this year. The cold can get tiring at times but the fall, spring and summer are great. I enjoyed having lunch outside and even the occasional game of frisbee this past fall during my first semester. Spring Semester is a little bit more rough because it doesn't start getting nice until finals are right around the corner.
I moved back to Cleveland to come to Cleveland Marshall and I was not pleased because I really loved where I used to live, but this place definitely has potential. I love a lot about it that I had not been able to take advantage of when I was younger, and I believe it can only get better. There is always something to do if you like to be active be it the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Cleveland Indians Home Opener, St. Patrick's Day Parade, and a ton more. Being a student, there are plenty of places to get discounts and find things to do. Being a first year student, I've had to pass up a lot of these opportunities.Admissions
Financial Aid is generous. Scholarship opportunities are present and there are some specialized ones. Admissions process was pretty standard.Level
I believe there is a wide variety of classes at Cleveland-Marshall. As is typical for most first-year classes, the 1L curriculum mainly operates under the Socratic method and the classes are mainly theory-based. Competitiveness is high as is the class size. However, after that first year, your choice of classes is much broader. While we are still required to take Constitutional Law, as well as a handful of other large, Socratic classes, there are more practice-based classes that operate in a more relaxed atmosphere. One of the nice things about C-M is that you can choose the schedule that makes you most comfortable: you can focus on only practice-oriented courses with small class sizes and personal attention from your professor, or you can remain virtually anonymous in larger classes.Quality of Life
While many people complain about Cleveland, I believe few of those people have every actually lived in the city. Cleveland is the perfect place to begin a legal career, especially here at C-M. The cost of living in Cleveland in low, however that does not mean that luxury living and dining are unavailable. There are tons of luxury apartment complexes downtown, just minutes from C-M's campus. And the ease of access to school from downtown is hassle-free. Cleveland has free trollys, and an expansive public transportation system (which C-M students get free access to), all of which make getting to and from school very easy. Cleveland State's campus certainly isn't the most impressive campus around, however the main point of attending C-M isn't to look around at the campus--it's to learn the practice of law.Level