We Are Leaders in Experiential Education
All of our students work to solve the client’s real-world problems. And, depending on the clinic or externship you take, your experience can include writing briefs, arguing in trial or appellate court, or presenting to boards of directors or organizations.
Milton and Charlotte Kramer Law Clinic
We were one of the first law schools in the country to start a clinical program. We opened to the community over 50 years ago, a long-standing history that demonstrates our commitment to clients, to the highest-quality representation and to excellence in education. Our clinic is a law firm within the law school and is staffed with faculty members who have years of practice experience themselves. You will represent clients and client groups who can’t afford their own lawyers. Our clinic handles hundreds of matters per year for a total of approximately 24,000 hours of pro bono legal work.
Each student takes primary responsibility for his/her caseload. Cases are often complex and include ongoing representation of organizations, civil, criminal and administrative appeals, consumer disputes, disability rights, fraud claims, emergency commitment and competency hearings, patentability and patent applications, trademark and copyright issues, misdemeanor and felony cases in adult and juvenile court, defamation cases, and applications for relief from deporation. The nine clinics in our center each provide experiences in different areas of law.
Appellate Litigation Clinic
Students represent clients in all phases of the appellate process in civil and criminal cases. Students will interview clients, pursue any necessary post-judgment relief in the trial court, prepare the paperwork to initiate the appeal, ensure the completeness of the record, handle any settlement conferences/discussions, draft the appellate briefs, and conduct oral argument.
Community Development Clinic
Students represent non-profit and for-profit organizations on a wide range of operational and transactional matters, developing skills and experience conducive to success in transactional and corporate practice. The CDC’s client portfolio typically includes a variety of community development, arts, social service, and workforce development non-profit organizations, small and medium-sized for-profit businesses, sustainable and social enterprises, cooperatives, community groups, and more.
Criminal Justice Clinic
Students represent clients in adult misdemeanor matters including for example, assault, domestic violence, petty theft, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and traffic matters. Students investigate, complete discovery, prepare and argue all pre-trial matters, and represent their clients at both bench and jury trials.
Environmental Law Clinic
The Environmental Law Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic that addresses environmental law and policy problems on behalf of individual clients and organizations including environmental groups, nonprofits and community organizations. Students will cover the full range of environmental issues, but focus predominantly on environmental and energy justice concerns in Northeast Ohio. The Clinic combines teaching, student practice, policy work and impact litigation, as appropriate, to address environmental justice issues within the region and aims to take action in matters with significant interest and/or impact in the community.
First Amendment Clinic
Students represent members of the community in civil rights and speech-defense litigation involving First Amendment rights: protest participants targeted for their expression, artists facing government censorship, newsgatherers documenting government's exercise of power, or publishers facing frivolous defamation actions. Students also represent journalists, researchers, and other interested parties enforcing the public’s constitutional and statutory rights of access to government records and proceedings in order to support a more informed citizenry.
Health Law Clinic
Through direct legal services, training, and systemic advocacy, students will address the civil legal needs that can profoundly affect health, including social and environmental factors such as income, access to health care, access to benefits, access to housing, health housing conditions, access to healthy food, education, job stability, and personal safety. In recent years, students have appeared in administrative and civil court proceedings representing children and adults in a variety of cases including name changes, benefits applications, guardianship cases, eviction and housing condition cases, asylum cases, and access to and payment for health care. Our client base will include human trafficking victims, members of the LGBT+ community, individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse problems, refugees, and Veterans.
Human Trafficking Law Clinic
Students work in interdisciplinary configurations to provide free legal representation and social service referrals to individuals identified as survivors of human trafficking and/or at high risk for trafficking. General areas of legal representation provided by the Clinic include civil matters such as expungement, debt negotiation, driver’s license reinstatement, student loan default negotiation, landlord/tenant issues, asylum and human trafficking visa applications, name changes, and protection orders.
Students represent non-citizens before various governmental agencies including US Immigration Court, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Examples of work to be conducted include representing non-citizens in applications for relief from removal or deportation, asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture; assisting clients with applications for Naturalization and/or permanent residency applications; and various other immigration remedies.
Intellectual Property (IP) Venture Clinic
Students represent start-up companies and entrepreneurs to develop and cultivate real-world intellectual assets, while also applying skills learned in the fields of corporate and securities law. The IP Venture Clinic develops a platform for the cultivation and application of legal skills necessary to support clients engaged in the process of bringing new technologies to market. Special areas of focus include Commercialization, Intellectual Property Transactions, Venture Finance and Design, and Innovation.
Second Chance Reentry Clinic
Students will represent individuals facing legal barriers as the result of their criminal records. The clinic’s cases sit at the intersection of the civil and criminal justice systems and tackle issues related to mass incarceration, prisoner reentry, and the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Students can expect to handle cases in a variety of legal settings including state court and administrative agencies and may participate in policy advocacy.
Law Clinic News
Appellate Litigation Clinic Secures Victory for Client in Supreme Court of OhioDecember 21, 2022
Our Appellate Litigation Clinic capped off the fall semester with a major victory in the Supreme Court of Ohio: in a 4–3 decision, the state’s highest court reversed lower-court decisions that deprived the client of the right to withdraw a guilty plea upon discovering evidence that the State had withheld from him.
Congratulations to Community Development Clinic InternsDecember 20, 2022
Congratulations to our twelve Community Development Clinic interns, who just finished a semester completing dozens of legal projects for Cleveland area community organizations and social enterprises.
First Amendment Clinic Obtains Dismissal of Tort Claims Against Student Newspaper The CauldronDecember 13, 2022
The First Amendment Clinic is pleased to report that its client, Cleveland State University’s student newspaper The Cauldron, has been dismissed from a lawsuit brought by local restaurant Burgers 2 Beer.
IP Venture Clinic Students Provide Legal Assistance for Local Small BusinessNovember 07, 2022
Third year law students enrolled in the IPVC Clinic provide legal advice and assistance in protecting intellectual property for small businesses, the local community and even alumni. Michael Zhou is holding for his soon to be world famous SEOUL CITY WINGS™, along with their KORE TACOS™ and DRIPP CAKE™ desserts.
LLEAP—The Foundation of CWRU Law’s Top-Ranked Experiential CurriculumOctober 31, 2022
Consistently ranked one of the top law schools for practical training (#5 in the Spring 2022 issue of preLaw magazine), CWRU School of Law has long recognized that training students to be practice ready is at the heart of what a law school does.