One of C|M|LAW’s most loyal and devoted alumna, Marilyn Tobocman ’83, passed away on January 3, 2018 at the age of 83. She was a member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Board of Trustees and also served as a mentor for Cleveland-Marshall law students, a Fair Housing Law Clinic instructor and adjunct faculty member.
At the age of 47, Marilyn enrolled at Cleveland-Marshall where she was twice the age of her classmates. After graduating in 1983, she spent the next decade working at a nonprofit organization and a civil rights law firm before joining the Ohio Attorney General's Office where she spend more than two decades as a principal attorney/senior litigator in the Civil Rights Section.
“Marilyn supervised students in our Fair Housing Law Clinic for two decades, in court and before administrative agencies,” said C|M|LAW Professor Stephen Lazarus. “In our clinic seminars her love for the law, for justice, and for preparing our students for practice was constantly manifest. Her passing is a great loss for all of us.”
Marilyn’s exceptional commitment to social justice and love for the law was widely recognized. She was honored for her accomplished legal career by Crain’s as the 2013 recipient of the annual General & In-House Counsel Award in the Government Category, selected by Crain’s for the 2016 inaugural class of “Eight over 80”, and honored by the Cuyahoga Community College Stokes Leadership Initiative with a tribute in 2017 highlighting her life and career as an advocate.
“Marilyn remained completely committed to her career, her law school, her community, and her family. We will miss her very much.” - C|M|LAW Dean Lee Fisher, who hired Marilyn at the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
“Marilyn supervised students in our Fair Housing Law Clinic for two decades, in court and before administrative agencies. In our clinic seminars her love for the law, for justice, and for preparing our students for practice was constantly manifest. Her passing is a great loss for all of us.” - C|M|LAW Professor Stephen Lazarus
Especially by those of us from the fair housing community, she will be sorely missed. For the past two decades, she had been working at the Civil Rights Division of the Ohio Attorney General's Office (where she sometimes supervised our externs). Marilyn was and will always remain one of Cleveland's quiet leaders, one who fought for the issues about which we are all so passionate. At 83, she was still working, and fighting with the doctors to allow her to drive to a deposition the day after treatment. That's just who she was.” - C|M|LAW Professor Ken Kowalski
“I knew Marilyn for 39 years. She was an excellent attorney, very conscientious and hard working, and a dedicated member of the CMLAA Board. She will be missed.” - CMLAA Board Honorary Trustee Vincent Lombardo ’81