Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University was selected to receive the first-ever Diversity Matters Award from the Law School Admission Council. Of the 214 law schools in the United States, 10 were chosen as finalists last month. Last week, it was announced that Cleveland-Marshall took the top honor.
Cleveland-Marshall was chosen for its programs that educate high school and early college students about law school preparation and careers in law. The programs include workshops for local high school students in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs, outreach to community college students and a partnership with Central State University, Ohio’s first and only historically black public college.
“It is an honor to be recognized on a national level for the school’s hard work in diversifying our student body,” said Interim Dean Phyllis Crocker. “Minorities have been underrepresented in this profession for too long, and I am grateful to the Law School Admission Council for raising awareness about this important issue.”
A recent study at Columbia University found that racial diversity has lagged nationally at U.S. law schools for more than a decade, and that diversity in the profession of law ranks second to last among other major professions nationwide.
Several years ago, Cleveland-Marshall set out to help reverse that trend by initiating several programs that would attract more qualified diverse students to its school. For the past four years, applicant diversity has risen by about 10 percent per year.
Other finalists for the award included: Arizona State University College of Law; Chapman University School of Law; University of California Davis School of Law; Hofstra University School of Law; Nova Southeastern Law Center; Phoenix School of Law; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law; Wake Forest University School of Law and Wayne State University Law School.
The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law traces its origins back to 1897, when the Cleveland Law School was founded. It was the first evening law school in the state and one of the first to admit women and minorities. Another evening law school, John Marshall School of Law, was founded in 1916. In 1946, the two schools merged to become the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. Cleveland-Marshall became part of Cleveland State University in 1969.
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