In the spring of 2019, I took some of my students out for a dinner of plantains and pulled pork, and we talked about the law school application process. Some of the students were applying to top 20 law schools all across the country, while some were excited about law schools in their home towns. They all had different goals, but there was one thing they all agreed on:  applying to law school was stressful and took a tremendous amount of time and money. There was so much to think about and plan. And the process was an emotional roller coaster.

Applawz® was inspired by that conversation. I wanted to create something to help students manage the entire law school application process, but I realized that they needed more than that. They needed a little encouragement along the way. They needed applause.


To provide all law school applicants, especially those who are underrepresented, the highest quality support and information about the process, keep them organized, reduce stress, and have a little fun.

Many of my students are the first in their family to go to college. Even more are the first in their families go to go law school. They don’t have the connections or that innate knowledge that comes from growing up around people in the legal profession. But they do know they want to help people. The legal profession needs them. Applawz® was created so that their experience and voices are included in law school and beyond. 


Professor Creates App for Students Applying for Law School.  Spectrum News 1 met with student Madelyn P., who — like you — is dreaming of going to law school. She’s using Applawz to help make her dream come true. Meet Madelyn and learn more about how Applawz® works.

BW Students Inspire New App to Untangle the Law School Application Process.  Students like you are the reason Applawz® exists!  They inspired the app and played a major role in its development and beta-testing.  Learn more about how Applawz® can help you (and get a little applause along the way).

Pre-Law Help in the Palm of Your Hand.  Learn why Professor Palmer created Applawz and about her journey to become a professor and pre-law advisor.

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Image of Dr. Barbara PalmerHere’s some official (and unofficial) stuff you might want to know about me. I am professor of political science with over 12 years of experience as Director of Legal Studies & Pre-Law Advising at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, where I have worked with over 300 students interested in going to law school. Every student I have worked with has been admitted to a law school of their choice.

I am a member of the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors. I teach courses on American politics, constitutional law, civil rights & liberties, women & politics, and gender and the law and have  published articles in Sage Research Methods Cases, Judicature, PS, and the American Political Science Review. I am honored to be one of the recipients of the Erika Fairchild Award, presented by the Southern Political Science Association Women’s Caucus to a faculty member with a strong record of service, commitment to students and teaching, service to the profession, and a collegial spirit.

I love doing podcasts and radio, and over the years, I have been interviewed by all kinds of local, national, and international media, including the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Weekly Standard, Minnesota Public Radio, The Cleveland Plain Dealer & Cleveland.com, Sky News (Great Britain), and Die Zeit (Germany). For over two decades, I have been lucky enough to be a guest speaker at universities, non-profits, and other organizations around the world, talking about American elections, women and politics, and the American legal system.

When I graduated from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I loved going to school, so I just kept going, which actually turned out really well because now I have a job I love, teaching and learning new things all the time. I got my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and my dissertation was about how the Supreme Court reframes legal issues as cases make their way through the decision-making process. Building on this work, I spent the next three summers digging through the archives and papers of dead justices and loved every minute of it.

When I was nine, I wanted to be a Rockette. So yes, that is me tap-dancing on TikTok.

You can find me on LinkedIn

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