Center for Women in Law

Convening leaders, generating ideas, leading change.

Charna E. Sherman

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Founder, Charna E. Sherman Law Offices, Co., LPA

Charna E. Sherman is founder, sole shareholder, and inspirational leader of Charna E. Sherman Law Offices Co., LPA, based in Cleveland, Ohio. Sherman’s passions for the law and advancing diversity in the legal profession spurred her in 2010 to leave “BigLaw” to pursue this model of a female-owned firm committed to promoting the core values of the profession. Inspired by a truly blind Lady Justice, this spirited boutique is focused on complex commercial litigation and the relentless resolution of client problems. Charna E. Sherman Law Offices Co., LPA operates with an unwavering commitment to true diversity.

Sherman’s “Principled Law” philosophy means being well-rounded, values-driven, tenacious, and passionate about the law and the legal profession — and then having the discipline and drive to bring all of it together for maximum client benefit.

Sherman has made an indelible mark as a respected and accomplished litigator and trial lawyer, as well as a strategic negotiator in complex mediation and settlements. Currently, she serves by appointment of U.S. Federal District Judge Dan Aaron Polster as Defense Liaison Counsel for major multidistrict litigation pending in the Northern District of Ohio. In a still mostly male profession, she is also nationally and internationally recognized as a leading advocate on diversity in the legal profession. Sherman is a frequent speaker and media resource on the full spectrum of her professional activities, including offering media commentary on some of the country’s highest-profile white collar trials.

As of January 2011, Sherman withdrew from the partnership of an Am Law 100 firm, where she co-chaired the corporate compliance, investigations, and white collar defense practice. Previously, she was a partner at a top-ranked regional firm in Cleveland and also worked for Cleveland’s premier trial lawyer, Gerald Messerman. Before returning to her hometown of Cleveland in 1989, Sherman was privileged to start her legal career at the renowned trial firm of Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C.

Right after law school, Sherman was selected for a coveted clerkship with The Honorable John H. Pratt of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Before law school, she served as a legislative and personal assistant to U.S. Senator Daniel P. Moynihan and worked for esteemed Ohio Congressman Charles Vanek on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade.

Most of Sherman’s career over the last 25 years has been devoted to representing major clients, including Fortune 5 companies, in sensitive, high-stakes litigation and complex mediation and settlements. She has represented numerous individual and corporate clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of cases in federal and state courts, including complex commercial and other civil litigation, as well as white collar criminal defense.

Passionate about the law, Sherman is equally compassionate: initiating and supporting several philanthropic causes. Her latest philanthropic venture is the Ruby Shoes Fund, which she launched concurrently with the introduction of Charna E. Sherman Law Offices Co., LPA. The Ruby Shoes Fund supports new initiatives to empower women on the ladder of success in the legal profession, with a groundbreaking focus on strategies to help them overcome the unique challenges engendered — ironically — by their success. The Ruby Shoes Fund is a reference to the power of the ruby slippers worn by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Just like Dorothy discovered, Sherman believes the power to change the world and reach our potential lies in each of us. Sherman has created a philanthropic fund to which she is committed to sharing 10 percent of the firm’s profits, and thus envisions as her “profit partner.” The greatest share of the fund will be dedicated to the Ruby Shoes Fund.