Chief Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr.


Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by President Clinton on May 9, 1994.  He has served as Chief Judge of that court since June 1, 2010.

Judge Oliver was born in Bessemer, Alabama, the fourth of ten children of Reverend Solomon Oliver and Mrs. Willie Lee Oliver.  He attended the segregated public schools of Bessemer, graduating from J. S. Abrams High School in 1965.  Oliver graduated from the College of Wooster with honors in 1969, majoring in philosophy and political science.  He received a J.D. degree from New York University in 1972, and a Master's degree in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University in 1974.

Oliver served as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the College of Wooster from 1972 to 1975.  From 1975 to 1976, he served as a law clerk to the late Judge William H. Hastie of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge Hastie was the first African American to serve as an Article III judge.  From 1976 to 1982, Oliver served with the U.S. Justice Department as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Cleveland.  From July, 1978 to March, 1982, he was Chief of the Civil Section of the United States Attorney’s Office.  In March of 1982, he became Chief of Appellate Litigation in that office.  Oliver joined Cleveland-Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University as a faculty member in the fall of 1982.  From May, 1991 to May, 1994, he served as Associate Dean of Faculty and Administration at the Law School.

Judge Oliver has written articles and lectured on a wide range of topics at colleges and universities, at continuing legal education seminars and at judicial conferences.  Judge Oliver was especially gratified to deliver a keynote address entitled, “The Role of Judicial Review in a Democracy” in March of 1995 at a conference of East African judges in Arusha, Tanzania.  His most recent publications include an article on educating law students for the practice of law, an article on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and a chapter on summary judgment.

Oliver has received various awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Wooster and the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association.  He has served as Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence at Touro College of Law and Jurist-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  He has also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Akron and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from New England School of Law-Boston.

Judge Oliver previously served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy-making body of the federal judiciary, and currently serves on its Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.  He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the College of Wooster.  He previously served as Chair of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and is its Immediate Past Chair.  He has also co-chaired the ABA Litigation Section’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee. While a faculty member at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, he served on the Board of Trustees as a faculty representative.

Judge Oliver is married to Louisa S. Oliver, and they have two adult sons, Solomon Michael of Portland, Oregon and Jonathan Douglass of New York City.

Save the dates!

October 30, 2015

General Body Meeting, September 13, 2015

Annual Trailblazer Luncheon, October 30, 2015

Gen. Body Mtg / New Officer Elections, November 18, 2015

December 4, 2015 Civil Rights C.L.E. Series & Annual Holday Party

Condolences to a Cleveland Icon


U-S Congressman Louis Stokes passes away at 90-years-old. (Source: WOIO)

It is with sincere regret that we extend this annoucement. Cleveland's very own Congressman Louis Stokes has passed away at the age of 90. Congressman Stokes was the first African American from Ohio elected to Congress and proved to be one of the most influential and respected members. 

Congresswoamn Marcia L. Fudge states: "Congressman Stokes was my predecessor, mentor and friend. He was a giant of a man - the person who everyone measured themselves against. It was easy to think of him as almost immortal. For more than 30 years, Congressman Stokes tirelessly fought for the people of Ohio. He was our leader in good times and bad. The first African American elected to Congress from Ohio, Congressman Stokes was the epitome of a public servant. While in Washington, he was a trailblazer.  He was the first African American to serve on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and was a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and its Health Braintrust. He constantly fought to combat pervasive health disparities plaguing the African-American community and served as a voice for people who could not speak for themselves. His work affected thousands. When he spoke, people listened.  Congressman Stokes exuded leadership, vision and purpose.  He was an example for us all.  It was a privilege to work with him and walk in his Congressional footsteps. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jay, children, Shelley, Angela, Louis, and Lori, and his entire family during this difficult time. As the Book of Matthew says, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done. The greater Cleveland community, state of Ohio, and nation are indebted to Congressman Stokes. We are grateful for his time with us and his dedication to public service."
Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge 


NSMBA extends its condolences to the Stokes family, friends, colleague and loved ones. 

Upcoming Events

OCTOBER 30, 2015
Annual Trailblazer & Scholarship Luncheon
NOVEMBER 18, 2015
General Body Meeting- Election of New Officers
DECEMBER 4, 2015
Civil Rights C.L.E. Series & Annual Holiday Party
View full calendar >

2015 Annual Trailblazer Luncheon