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BW students inspire new app to untangle the law school application process

A new app, which simplifies the complex and stress-inducing law school application process, has a classic entrepreneurial origin story, and it all played out at Baldwin Wallace University.

Problem in search of solution

In the spring of 2019, Dr. Barbara Palmer, a BW political science professor and pre-law advisor, took some of her BW students out for pulled pork, and they talked about the law school application process.

"Some of the students were applying to top 20 law schools all across the country, while others were excited to gain entry into law schools in their hometowns," Palmer recalls of the dinner dialogue.

"They all had different goals, but they agreed on one thing: applying to law school took a tremendous amount of time and money. And the process was an emotional roller coaster."

The conversation inspired Palmer to find a way to relieve that stress, and Applawz was born.

Applause for Applawz

Applawz features detailed to-do lists, a customizable calendar to help with LSAT prep and a spreadsheet function to keep track of all the law schools students are interested in applying to.

Palmer, who has worked with hundreds of students interested in going to law school, set out to create a tool to manage the application process. But she recognized there was an important added ingredient.

"Students needed a little encouragement along the way," Palmer explains. "They needed applause." That's why, when major tasks are completed in Applawz, students get pop-up animation cheering them on.

Student Enhanced, Tested and Approved

In addition to their inspiration, BW students were critical in the development of Applawz.

Applawz logoThrough BW's The Hive Design Group, students Arianna Smedley '22 and Nick Tekavic '21, mentored by BW faculty-member Sara Wichtendahl, designed the Applawz webpage. Wichtendahl and Palmer also recruited two dozen students to conduct the initial testing of the app, gleaning valuable feedback that contributed to the look and functionality.

Chris Chang '23 noted, "Preparing for law school is a scary and long process. Applawz tracks my progress and organizes what I need to do. It makes the job much easier."

Palmer provides the app for free to all BW students interested in applying to law school.

The app is also available for purchase by anyone for $4.99 at

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