Case Western establishes First Amendment Clinic

Case Western Reserve University School of Law received $1.3 million from the Stanton Foundation to establish a First Amendment Clinic and First Amendment Clinic Fellowship in the school’s Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center. The clinic, for third year law students, will focus on litigation involving freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition, and will offer pro bono services.

Established by Frank Stanton, a former television broadcasting executive and creator of the Kennedy-Nixon debate, the Stanton Foundation’s core mission is protecting the First Amendment. 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to further our First Amendment work in partnership with the Stanton Foundation,” said Laura McNally-Levine, director of Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center, in a press release. “The Foundation’s generous support will allow us to elevate the profile of First Amendment issues across our student body, reinforcing its essential role within their future litigation practice.”

Andrew Geronimo will serve as the director of the First Amendment Clinic. He joined the Case Western Reserve faculty in 2017 as the Stanton Foundation First Amendment Fellow, and has since worked in a number of roles in the clinic.

“We are incredibly excited that the Stanton Foundation is supporting this vital work in Cleveland and the Midwest,” Geronimo said. “The First Amendment protects our rights to speak and publish freely, and to gather and document information about how our government works. These issues are especially important today, when the media landscape is in flux, politicians are openly hostile to journalism and other public oversight, and speech-chilling lawsuits fill the news.”  

The Stanton Foundation’s commitment also includes a First Amendment Clinic Fellowship, which will support a two-year fellowship for early-career attorneys within the school’s First Amendment Clinic. The fellowship is designed to immerse young lawyers in First Amendment issues and to promote a lifelong interest and appreciation for public law. The fellow will work with Geronimo and students to counsel clients, engage in impact litigation and defend free speech.