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Subodh Chandra

Founder and Managing Partner

A former federal prosecutor, law director for the City of Cleveland, and large-firm litigator, Subodh Chandra is The Chandra Law Firm LLC's founding and managing partner. His practice focuses on high-profile civil-rights litigation, along with white-collar-criminal defense and internal investigations.

Chandra is engaged for high-stakes litigation when reputations are on the line. His matters often have a crisis-communications, public-policy dimension. Examples include the police-shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Cleveland police—a key moment in the Black Lives Matter movement nationally resulting in a $6,000,000 settlement, the nearly $1,000,000 in settlements for 2016 Republican National Convention protestors, and the retaliation suit over sexual-harassment allegations that resulted in the resignation of Case Western Reserve University's law-school dean.

Before founding the firm, Chandra served as director of law for the city of Cleveland, a billion-dollar corporation. Chandra led the work of an 82-lawyer department with both criminal and civil divisions. He also sometimes served as Cleveland's acting mayor.

As Cleveland's general counsel, Chandra handled legal work in-house and slashed by nearly 90% spending on outside counsel, saving millions; moved vigorously through in-house investigations to clean up internal corruption; restored the department's reputation; and attracted top performers who helped make it Ohio's most diverse law firm. And his tough-minded, preventive approach reduced Cleveland's liability exposure and payments significantly.

Previously, as federal prosecutor, Chandra successfully prosecuted healthcare fraud and corruption—winning a commendation from FBI director Robert Mueller for "demonstrated excellence" as well as from the special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office. Chandra also prosecuted tax fraud, bank fraud, and other economic crimes.

Before that, Chandra served as a litigator in large law firms in both Cleveland and Los Angeles. Chandra defended the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills against high-profile allegations of police misconduct, and represented large media companies and motion-picture studiios. Some of his more memorable work included defending the television show "Hard Copy" against libel charges by the singer Michael Jackson.

Chandra began his legal career as special presidential counsel at the American Bar Association.

Chandra is a graduate of the Yale Law School, where he was executive editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. He also graduated with honors and distinction from Stanford University, which awarded him the John Gardner Fellowship to work as a protégé of Ohio Governor Dick Celeste.

Chandra has served as Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, teaching appellate practice and legal ethics. He has also served as a legal-ethics and attorneys' fees expert in litigation.

Long active in assisting people who aspire to public service, Chandra was also a 2006 candidate for Ohio Attorney General, winning most newspaper endorsements. The Cincinnati Enquirer called Chandra "the best candidate Ohio Democrats have produced in years." Chandra was also one of the earliest supporters of President Barack H. Obama, raising money for his campaign, serving on the national Asian-American advisory committee, and serving as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Chandra presently serves on the Special Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Chandra is admitted to practice law in Ohio, California, and New Mexico (inactive), and in federal courts around the country.

Based on the review of his peers, he has been included in Best Lawyers® in America for civil rights and Ohio Super Lawyers®. Under his leadership Chandra Law has been peer-review included in U.S. News and World Reports's Best Law Firms in America for Civil Rights.

Chandra and his wife are the proud parents of triplet sons.


Founding and managing partner of The Chandra Law Firm LLC (2005–present)

Director of Law and Prosecuting Attorney, City of Cleveland (2002–05)

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Cleveland, Ohio (1999–2002)

Litigator, Thompson Hine & Flory (1997–99)

Litigator, Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil, & Shapiro, Los Angeles, CA (1996–97)

Special president counsel, American Bar Association, Albuquerque, NM (1994–96)

Bar Admissions

New Mexico (Inactive)


Distinguished practitioner and adjunct professor taught appellate practice and legal ethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Ohio Special Advisory Committee
  • Member Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Judicial Selection Committee
  • Former chair Cleveland Bar Association’s Diversity Action Committee
  • Former co-chair Cleveland Bar Association
  • Former Board of Trustees member Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Member International Network of Boutique Law Firms, Ohio Chapter President



Community Involvement


Litigation Percentage

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation


J.D., Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut (1994)

Law Review: Yale Law & Policy Review, Executive Editor

A.B., Stanford University with honors, and distinction in two departments (1989)

John Gardner Fellowship to work with Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste (1989–90)

Honors and Awards

Partial listing:

  • Recognition by FBI director Robert Mueller for "demonstrated excellence" in federal prosecutions
  • Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless Advocate of the Year
  • Best Progressive Crusader (Cleveland Scene Magazine)
  • Crain’s Cleveland Business “40-under-40” award
  • Outstanding lawyer award from New Mexico Bar Association
  • Life Member, Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals Judicial Conference
  • Inducted by peer review into SuperLawyers®
  • Inducted by peer review into Best Lawyers in America® for Civil Rights

Past Employment Positions

  • City of Cleveland, Director of Law and Prosecuting Attorney, 2002–05
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. U.S. Department of Justice, Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • Thompson, Hine & Flory LLP, Litigator
  • Christiansen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, Litigator
  • American Bar Association, Special Presidential Counsel


Subodh Chandra, Charging Attorneys' Fees: Where Should the Line Be Drawn—A Plaintiff's Lawyer's Perspective, The Federal Lawyer (June 2013)

Subodh Chandra, Law Practice Management: The Reform Experience of the Cleveland Department of Law, Cleveland Bar Journal (January 2005)

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