Cleveland Scene: “Sex, Politcs & Revenge,” the inside story of sexual harassment and retaliation by Case Western law school dean Lawrence Mitchell

CWRU law school cover

My ninth cover story for Cleveland Scene magazine: “Sex, Politics and Revenge: Lawrence Mitchell Was Supposed to Bring Stability to Case Western Reserve University’s Law School, Not Treat It as His Personal Pickup Playground.”

It’s an investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment by Lawrence Mitchell, dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and the retaliations of those who reported it to the university. What I found is Mitchell’s antics were well-known among third-year law students at CWRU — the class that came in during Mitchell’s first year — and that university administrators like president Barbara Snyder and provost Bud Baeslack were well aware of it, too, allowing it to continue under their watch. Mitchell and the school are facing a lawsuit from law professor Raymond Ku, who reported Mitchell’s sexual harassment to the school, and then was retaliated against by Mitchell for doing so. Read it here:

The law students who will walk across the stage of Severance Hall next week to receive their diplomas have the most colorful stories about Lawrence Mitchell. A lot of them come from the days before classes even started during their first years together.

“During orientation week that first year, the school had organized events at various bars downtown to kind of get to know everyone in the class,” says a third-year law student. “There was this one at Pickwick and Frolic, and the dean had come to mingle with the students, and within an hour he was really drunk, pounding on the bar, screaming at the bartenders. It looked like he was about to puke all over the bar and lose it.”

Another student remembers the same drunken display: “He apparently just flew in from some sort of trip. He got sloshed at this thing, telling us the only way he got through law school was his friend Jack Daniels, or something like that. And this is the first time ever meeting the students, the first impression. Already, it’s like OK, this guy is kind of weird.”

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