« on: April 13, 2006, 12:13:10 PM »
I was immediately impressed by Cleveland Marshall, as it is somewhat of an oasis in the middle of the Cleveland urban desert. There are green spaces (read: tiny lawns) and the law building is compact and state of the art. My tour guide was Meredith, a 2L who already has a position at a large firm through the 2L summer associate interviews. She was extremely friendly, and is on Law Review. All of the students in the open 'atrium' (the law school is just one building with 3 stories of classrooms around an indoor courtyard/atrium that is full of couches) looked relaxed and most had laptops and were talking animatedly with the other students. Annette, the admissions rep I spoke with, was extremely friendly, honest, and enthusiastic.
She spoke candidly about CM as did Meridith. She listed the students, staff, and the law library as her favorite things; and the cafe and some grumpy faculty as her least favorite. C-M seemed very practice oriented, which Meridith confirmed. She said that was a huge advantage, especially with their moot court team. The top %10 of students are invited to join the law review, and the top %20 are invited to join the other Journal. Meridith said that if you are invited, you should by all means join. The moot court is contest based, and there is a brief writing contest to determine the students who can present their oral arguments. About 4-6 1L's are selected for the team.
The cafe was sad. A small snack bar that had $6 sandwiches, Meridith warned us that the selection never changes and it is overpriced. She also warned us that if you bring a lunch, pack it in an ugly bag--or someone might 'forget' that it wasn't theirs. Also, she said, never leave your belongings unattended, and get a locker (about $20 from the SBA.) The atmosphere in the school was utilitarian. The moot court classroom, where many speakers/orientations are held, is impressive.
The library is large, well lit, and airy. There is a limit of 800 sheets of paper per student printed in the computer lab. That does not include research on LexisNexus or WestLaw which both print unlimited on a seperate printer. Additional copies can be purchased for about $5 for 200 additional sheets. There are private study rooms in the library.
I was impressed, but I am not in love with it, mostly because of the surrounding city. It is in a very gray sort of area, and the nearest place to eat is a Subway across the street. Other than that there are no places nearby. People living in the city pay more to live, and people that live nearby like Lakewood or Cleveland Heights/Coventry pay less. In those areas you can expect to spend about $450 a month on a 1 bedroom in a safe building.
Hope this helps, I know I will think of more. PM me with any specific questions.