Q&A with Elizabeth Bonham ‘15

Posted 2019-06-17 12:26pm

In 2015, Elizabeth Bonham received the Dean’s Learn Law. Live Justice. Award for not only being academically successful in learning law, but for also living justice by being committed to making clients’ lives better and our communities stronger.

Four years after graduation, she continues to embody the motto “Learn Law. Live Justice.”

As a staff attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, Elizabeth has litigated major cases, including defending voting rights and protestor rightsHer current work focuses on ending mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty and working to abolish the prison industrial complex.

She is also an urban farmer and serves on the board of The New Agrarian Center, an organization that connects rural and urban food justice.

Elizabeth shares her thoughts on why C|M|LAW is the best school for students interested in social justice.

On lawyering for social justice: 

“Going to law school and learning about the law—even if you don’t intend to practice—gives you a set of tools. I have a concrete way that I can try to help others, I’ve got an arena, I’ve got a rule book, and I can quantify what’s going to happen.”

Why C|M|LAW is the Place: 

“I think if you are a student who is going to be involved in social justice or any kind of rebellious lawyering, generally have to make that way for yourself and you have to find people who want to be in that struggle with you. C|M|LAW gives you the freedom and the resources to explore those issues and find those networks.”

On C|M|LAW's Clinics:

“The C|M|LAW Clinical program is the jewel of the institution. There is no better preparation you can get than going through the CSU clinical program. The professors supported me in what I wanted to do. They gave me the opportunity to write briefs in front of the Board of Immigration appeals, and an opportunity to argue in front of the Ohio Court of Appeals. They gave me so much exposure to practice, it was far and away the most important experience I had in law school.”

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