Cleveland State University: The Law Library at the Cleveland State University College of Law

The Cleveland State University 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 schools merged to become Cleveland-Marshall Law School. In 1969, the law school joined Cleveland's new state university and was renamed the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. In 2022, it was renamed the Cleveland State University College of Law

Timeline of the college's history

About the Law Library

From the earliest days, the Cleveland Law School and John Marshall School of Law had designated law libraries. The collections, once merged in 1946 numbered 45,000 volumes. In 1955, the Cleveland-Marshall Law School employed its first librarian, Winifred R. Higgins.

The College of Law moved into a new $7.5M building on the corner of East 18th and Euclid in 1977. The bookshelves in the library's new home were only half-filled and the library's 130,000 volumes formed the smallest academic law collection in the state. Anita Morse became the library director in 1978 and initiated a period of rapid expansion and collection development. That same year, the library was named a selective United States Government Documents depository. In 1979, attorney and CSU trustee Melvin Arnold headed a hugely successful fundraising campaign, raising approximately $750,000 from law firms, corporations, community foundations, alumni, and friends.

By 1988, the library held the second-largest academic law collection in the state. Recognizing the need for a new facility to accommodate the ever-expanding holdings and increasingly necessary electronic resources, Dean Steve Smith and new library director Scott Finet organized efforts to secure funding for a new law library building. When construction on the new building began in 1995, Michael Slinger succeeded to the post of director. He supervised the completion of the building project and the move. When Steve Steinglass became Dean in 1997, the library's collection had grown to 400,000 volumes. The new Law Library building was dedicated on September 26, 1997.

In a 2004 ceremony, Dean Steinglass, Director Slinger, and best-selling author Scott Turow added the landmark volume 500,000 to the collection. In preparation for this event, Law Library staff created a multi-media presentation tracing the 100-year history of the Law Library, which won the 2005 American Association of Law Libraries Best Use of Technology award.

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