Law School Name Committee

Dean Fisher's Statement 9.22.21

We take the petition to change the name of our law school and the spirit in which it was written very seriously. We reject and condemn racism in all its forms- overt, covert, and systemic, and we accept our responsibility to evaluate our role in perpetuating racism, whether it is conscious or unconscious.

Removing “Marshall” from our law school’s name would be a very consequential decision by the College of Law and Cleveland State University that will require careful study and thoughtful consideration of different viewpoints from our entire law school and university community. We have begun that process by forming a Law School Name Committee consisting of CSU Cleveland-Marshall faculty, staff, students, and alumni which is meeting regularly to consider this issue. The legacy of Chief Justice John Marshall is complex and we will draw on scholarly expertise to explore and examine that legacy as a part of our process. 

We are an historic institution and are very proud of our iconic history. The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is the direct descendant of two law schools, the Cleveland Law School founded in 1897, and the John Marshall School of Law, founded in 1916. In 1946, the two law schools merged to become Cleveland-Marshall Law School. In 1969, the law school joined Cleveland State University and was renamed the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. We consistently have been the law school for many women and men who have broken gender, race, ethnic, economic, and generational barriers to make change and advance progress in social justice, civil rights, and public service.

​In considering a name change, we will incorporate wide input and will be guided by our proud history, our guiding values, our law school’s mission Learn Law. Live Justice, and the values and mission of Cleveland State University.

Public Forums:

Details on upcoming forums are forthcoming.

Past Event:


March 22, 2021

Guest Panelists: 

Professor Garrett Epps is Legal Affairs Editor of The Washington Monthly and Professor Emeritus at the University of Baltimore School of Law

Professor Jacqueline Jones, President of the American Historical Association and the Ellen C. Temple Professor of Women’s History and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History at the University of Texas at Austin

Professor Ashley N. Woodson, Assistant Director of the National Center of Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan

 Full Event Description

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