Our proud history
We’ve celebrated diversity and inclusion since our law school began in 1892; the same year we opened our doors, we admitted our first African-American student.
In the decades that have passed, we’ve trained some of the nation’s noted legal minds championing civil rights and making breakthroughs in their fields, including:
- Fred Gray, the attorney for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, who graduated from our law school in 1954;
- Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa;
- Chevene Bowers “CB” King, a 1952 graduate, who served as Chief Counsel to the Albany Civil Rights Movement, as well as counsel to Dr. King;
- Lincoln Díaz-Balart, former U.S. Representative for Florida's 21st congressional district;
- Kathleen McDonald O'Malley, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal District; and
- Stephanie Tubbs Jones, former U.S. Representative for Ohio's 11th congressional district.
At Case Western Reserve University School of Law, diversity is a core value. We aspire to be an inclusive environment in which all members feel empowered to participate in the community, fostering creative energy and insights that result in a better institution.
We are inclusive of people of all racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds, welcoming of diversity of thought, pedagogy, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, political affiliation and disability.
We strive to create a culture of inclusion that encourages relationships and interactions among people of different backgrounds, a culture that enhances human dignity, actively diminishes prejudice and discrimination and improves the quality of life for everyone in our community.
What we do
We create, nurture and maintain partnerships between the law school, the university, legal organizations, alumni and other community partners to support diversity and inclusiveness initiatives. This includes diversity and inclusion training and events to build a supportive community.
Our program is led by a committee of faculty, staff, students, alumni and university diversity leaders, as well as members of the Cleveland and greater Ohio legal communities. We work together to create a diversity strategic plan and initiatives to make the law school a diverse and inclusive place for all students, staff and faculty.
We broaden our own perspectives by listening to the viewpoints of experts from around world. Each year, we welcome a diverse roster of guest speakers to speak to our faculty about a wide range of topics. These workshops enrich their scholarship, which, in turn, benefits our students.