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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

OHIO STATE AND UNION LAW COLLEGE

OHIO STATE AND UNION LAW COLLEGE

The OHIO STATE AND UNION LAW COLLEGE, commonly known as the Ohio State & Union Law School, was the largest, best known, and longest-lived of the independent day law schools in Cleveland. Prior to the formation of the Law School at Western Reserve Univ. in 1891, it was the major law school in northern Ohio and one of 2 viable law schools in Ohio. The college was founded in 1855 in Poland, OH, by the law firm of Judge Chester Hayden, Marcus King, and M. D. LEGGETT, as the Poland Law College. In 1857 it moved to Cleveland and was incorporated under its official name. Hayden served as dean, with 2 full-time instructors. In 1863 Hayden sold the school to Cleveland lawyer John Crowell, who became president and continued operation of the college until his retirement in 1876, when the school was closed. Under Crowell, the college was located in the Rouse Block and was commonly referred to as the Crowell Law School, the Cleveland Law School, or the Cleveland Law College. During the 24 years the college operated, approximately 500 students attended and it awarded about 200 LL.B. degrees. Initially the course of instruction lasted a year, but it was changed to 2 years ca. 1870. The law school was apparently one of the few institutions of its day that did not discriminate on the basis of race. Noted black lawyer JOHN P. GREEN graduated from the school in 1870.


Samad, S. A. "History of Legal Education in Ohio" (Ms. in law Libraries of Akron Univ. School of Law and CWRU School of Law, 1972).