The Milton and Charlotte Kramer Law Clinic at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law was rededicated as part of homecoming weekend on Saturday, Oct. 23. The law school also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the clinical program.
Through a $500,000 endowment gift, the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center now includes the name of Kramer’s wife, Charlotte, a 1941 Flora Stone Mather alumna who passed away earlier this year at the age of 101. The gift, made by the Kramer family foundation, will allow the school to continue expanding the valuable educational opportunities and services provided by the center to students and the community at large.
Charlotte Kramer, a generous and visionary Northeast Ohio philanthropist, was instrumental—along with support from the Rosenthal Foundation and the Dolsberg Foundation—in the establishment and naming of the clinic that serves as a law firm within the school.
“The Kramer, Rosenthal and Dosberg families have been honored to play a role in supporting the law clinic,” said Mark Kramer, who continues the tradition established by his parents, Charlotte and Milton. “We initially saw this as a fitting memorial for my father, but it also carries on the legacy of my mother’s deep involvement in strengthening the Cleveland community, so we are very pleased to be able to add to the clinic’s future resources and rededicate it in memory of both of my parents.”
The clinic, one of the first law school clinical programs in the country, opened 50 years ago. It is staffed by faculty with years of practice experience and serves clients and client groups who are unable to afford their own legal representation—handling more than 100 cases per year totaling approximately 16,000 hours of pro bono legal work. The nine clinics in the center—Appellate Litigation, Community Development, Criminal Justice, First Amendment, Health Law, Human Trafficking Law, Immigration, Intellectual Property Venture, and Second Chance Reentry—each provide students with real world experiences in different areas of law.
“Charlotte and Milton Kramer were both committed to supporting those in need in the city of Cleveland,” said Jessica Berg (GRS ’09, public health), co-dean of the School of Law. “Charlotte’s initial gift in honor of Milton, and this most recent gift of the Kramer family in honor of Charlotte, enable the Kramer Law Clinic to serve its mission of educating students and providing essential representation to underserved populations in our community.”
A banner proclaiming the law school as “a National Leader in Experiential Education” greets visitors as they approach Gund Hall. “That’s not just a slogan,” points out Co-Dean Michael Scharf. In spring 2021, preLaw magazine ranked CWRU as the 6th best law school in the nation in practical training based on the strength of its clinical and other hands-on programs.