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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND LAW COLLEGE

CLEVELAND LAW COLLEGE

CLEVELAND LAW COLLEGE was created through the efforts of RUFUS P. RANNEY. It was granted a charter and authorized to grant degrees on 5 Jan. 1882, and classes began in the fall of 1885. All of the faculty were either on the bench or full-time lawyers, and classes were held in the old courthouse on PUBLIC SQUARE. The school suspended operations after 1 academic year, possibly because the private workloads of its part-time faculty impaired their ability to operate a school. The failure of the school in 1885 was a major impetus for the establishment of the Law School at Western Reserve Univ. in 1892. Judge SAMUEL E. WILLIAMSON, who had taught the course in property at the college, became chairman of a committee that sought to permanently establish the school or to take steps to establish another. In May 1891 the committee of 11 Cleveland lawyers and judges voted unanimously to ask WRU to establish a full-time university law school, with a permanent endowment and a full-time faculty.