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
- January 05, 2024
The Appellate Litigation Clinic has had its strongest semester yet, with nine amazing students jumping in feet first. Between August and the end of 2023, we have:
- December 20, 2023
In a pivotal legal development, Chris Martin, a Cleveland resident, has initiated a federal civil rights lawsuit against Cleveland City Council and Council President Blaine Griffin.
- December 08, 2023
The Association of American Law Schools Pro Bono Honor Roll acknowledges and highlights the pro bono work of individuals engaging in, expanding and/or supporting their law school community in providing pro bono legal services.
- December 06, 2023
Case Western Reserve University School of Law recently hosted a group of students from Cleveland Central Catholic High School for an immersion program within the Law Clinic.
- December 04, 2023
On Nov. 17, third-year law students with the First Amendment Clinic led a workshop on the freedom of the press at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.