Federal judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr. was born on October 11, 1947 in Richmond, Virginia to Charles Nelson, Sr. and Ruby Clevert. He attended Armstrong High School in Richmond and graduated in 1965. He earned his B.A. degree from Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia in 1969, and his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1972.
Clevert began his career as the assistant district attorney of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. In 1975, he became an assistant U.S. attorney of the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Clevert then became a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in 1977. During the same year, Clevert was appointed as a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He served as bankruptcy judge until 1995, during which time he held the position as chief judge from 1986 until the end of his tenure. Clevert also lectured at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Following his retirement from the bankruptcy court, Clevert was appointed as judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in 1996. Clevert served as chief judge from 2009 until 2012; at which time he became senior judge on the court. He assumed his senior status on October 31, 2012.
Clevert served as chair of the Federal Judiciary Center’s Advisory Committee on District Judge Education, as president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and as chair of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges’ Endowment for Education. He was also a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges’ Executive Committee, and the American Jury Project. Clevert also established two programs, the Charles N. Clevert, Jr. Mentoring Program and the Charles N. Clevert, Jr., Internship Program.
In 1993, Clevert was awarded the Black Excellence Award by the Milwaukee Times. He was also the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from David and Elkins College in 1998.
Clevert and his wife, Leslie Clevert, have two children, Charles, III and Melanie.
Charles N, Clevert, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2017.