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Is the Online J.D. program at the CSU College of Law accredited?

The CSU College of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Cleveland State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the largest regional accreditor in the U.S. 

ABA: 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-5000

Can I choose my own externship site?

The CSU College of Law encourages students to pursue externships that relate closely to their professional goals. Frequently, this can be achieved through placement in an existing externship. From time to time, however, students seek a more particularized experience. We support our students in their exploration of alternative placements by permitting them to select independent externship placements, subject to faculty review and approval.

Can I participate in my externship at a private law firm?

No. Externships at private law firms are not permitted.

Are there additional fees for externship placement?

No. The cost to help you find and secure an externship is built into the cost of the program.

What are clinics, and how do they help me?

Under the close supervision of experienced attorneys, you will put what you learn in the classroom to work in the service of real clients with real legal problems. Whether or not you intend to practice public interest law, the clinics allow you to participate in a case from intake to resolution with full mentoring by clinic professors.

When will I participate in clinics?

Students participate in clinics after completing the required coursework, usually in the third or fourth year of the part-time program. Some clinics are available in the evenings or on weekends and can be completed through remote participation.

Which clinics are available to me?

You can choose from six clinics as well as pro bono work and Pop-Up Practicums.

  • Appellate Practice Clinic
  • Civil Litigation Clinic
  • Community Advocacy Clinic
  • Pardon, Clemency and Expungement Clinic
  • Pretrial Justice Clinic
  • Transactional Law Clinic
What is a Pop-Up Practicum?

Pop-Up Practicums are short-term practical legal work in an area that’s meaningful to you. Sometimes faculty initiate these practicums in areas of their research, but you may also propose practicums in other areas. Recent pop-up practicums have involved bail reform, civilian oversight of police, criminal rules amendments, mental health courts, domestic violence policy reform, regulatory compliance for a proposed wind farm, and assisting a client seeking release on parole.

What are the admission requirements to apply for CSU College of Law’s Online J.D. program?
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Final transcript showing degree conferral to the Law School Admissions Council’s Credential Assembly Service (LCAS)
  • LSAT or GRE score 
  • Personal statement
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Resume
Will you help me find my externship site?

Yes. CSU College of Law has a long tradition of providing externship opportunities for our law students. For more than two decades, we have placed students with some of the leading government, judicial, corporate counsel and nonprofit legal offices in the region. These placements provide you with a unique opportunity to improve your writing, research and oral communication skills, to appreciate the significant ethical issues facing the profession and to integrate what you learn in the classroom with the actual practice of law.

Where will I be placed for my externship?

The CSU College of Law currently has more than 40 externship placement locations, including government agencies at the federal, state and local levels, judicial chambers, nonprofit and public interest organizations and corporations.

What are externships, and how do they help me?

CSU College of Law’s externship program provides real-world experiential learning. Under the close supervision of an attorney or judge and with a faculty mentor, you will contribute to the ongoing work of a specific externship site. Externships give you the chance to learn the law by being an active participant in the legal process while earning academic credit.

How much does the Online J.D. program at CSU College of Law cost?

The Online J.D. program costs $1,178.75* per credit hour for in-state students ($106,087.50 total* + fees) and $1,179.75* for out-of-state students ($106,177.50 total* + fees). Financial aid may be available to our online students. 

*Tuition rates as of 01/22/2024. Rates are subject to change. Visit for current rates.

How long will it take for me to complete CSU College of Law’s Online J.D. program?

The Online J.D. can be completed part-time in as little as 3 years and 3 months (10 semesters).

How many start dates does CSU College of Law’s Online J.D. program have per year?

Cleveland State University intakes its Online J.D. students each year in the Fall.

How many credit hours are required for CSU College of Law’s Online J.D. program?

This program requires 90 credit hours of online coursework (synchronous and asynchronous) as well as practical, experiential learning hours to graduate.

Is CSU College of Law’s J.D. program 100% online?

The coursework is delivered 100% online, both synchronously and asynchronously. You are also required to complete practical, experiential learning hours via externships, clinics and on-campus residencies to practice what you learn in theory in the virtual classroom.

What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?

All attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are attorneys. Attorneys who have passed the bar exam can act as legal representatives for their clients in a court of law. Lawyers have been educated in the law but have not taken the bar exam. They can provide legal advice and consult on the law, but they cannot represent clients in court.

Is CSU College of Law’s Online J.D. faculty experienced?

Yes. Our faculty come from distinguished academic and professional backgrounds. As scholars, they represent many points of view, publish widely and are held in esteem nationally and internationally for the quality of their scholarship and as expert commentators. We have faculty at the forefront of emerging and rapidly growing legal disciplines and in areas of practical scholarship that continually advance the legal profession.

Can I apply to the Online J.D. program if I live outside of Ohio?

Students from a number of states are welcome to apply to CSU College of Law’s Online J.D. program. Please see our State Authorization page for more detailed information.

Where can I find more information about applying to Cleveland State University?

You can find more information on our application page.