By: Tina Wecksler ’85 & Keith Weiner ’82
The Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association (CMLAA) was first formed in 1948. It operates with a program coordinator, an accountant and approximately 40 volunteer C|M|LAW alumni. It has an active Board of Trustees that meets once per month, an Executive Committee that meets between Board meetings and nine operational committees to carry out the good work of the organization. We suspect that many C|M|LAW grads somewhat know the makeup of our Association and what it does, but many do not. So, this article was written to provide our fellow grads with some basics. First, please allow us one promo before we get started: Membership in CMLAA is free! Just open the form at the below and follow the instructions to submit.
CMLAA’s current mission is “to support and serve its several constituents, its alumni, students, faculty and staff by offering educational as well as professional opportunities created to enhance the reputation of the Cleveland-Marshall community, and to foster pride and involvement in its community.” Our Association serves approximately 10,000 living graduates, including members of the judiciary, civic leaders and lawyers who have gone on to successful careers in a multitude of areas. The Association’s current President is Gregory F. Clifford ’80 who is Chief Magistrate at Cleveland Municipal Court. Each President serves a one-year term as President-Elect and one year as President. The current President-Elect is Tim Collins, a partner at Collins & Scanlon LLP.
There are 38 CMLAA grads who serve on the Board of Trustees, of which 10 do double duty by serving on the Executive Committee. The Trustees serve on three- year staggered rotating terms thus easing transition and creating Board continuity from year to year. The Executive Committee is in charge of the daily business operations of the Association. As mentioned, there are nine Committees, each having a Trustee who serves as chairperson and reports back to all of the Trustees on committee plans and accomplishments at regularly scheduled Board meetings. Committee members do not have to be a Trustee to serve. The monthly Board of Trustees meeting is also a time when policy is discussed and voted upon, presentations are made by the faculty and Interim Dean Lee Fisher, and other general business is addressed.
The Trustees and committee members provide the structure to carry out the services, support, social events, fundraising and scholarships that we hope you’ve encountered as a member of the Cleveland-Marshall family. Here is a list of the committees and a brief description of what they do:
- Annual Recognition Luncheon: Recognizes and honors alumni with outstanding career accomplishments. Honorees come from the private, public and judicial sectors. The Luncheon not only is a proud moment for all grads but it generates a large part of the CMLAA budget;
- Continuing Legal Education: This committee selects relevant topics and speakers for the Saturday morning CLE programs held at the law school;
- Membership: Strives to increase membership through social events, lectures, workshops, networking receptions and member benefits;
- Minority Outreach: Addresses concerns in the minority community for both students and alumni through various programs and events;
- Professional Opportunities/Student Relations: Addresses needs of students to maximize their relationship with CMLAA, the law school & legal community through programs, education and networking;
- Scholarship: Selects 10 first year students as recipients for CMLAA Life Member and other types of scholarships;
- Social Activities: Plans and implements social events and activities for alumni and students;
- Social Justice: Organizes volunteer outreach activities to assist less fortunate members of our community;
- Public Relations: Plans and implements marketing strategies for programs and events through traditional and social media outlets.
Your Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association has been in existence for nearly 70 years. Although our Presidents, Officers, and Trustees have rotated in and out, our Association has withstood the test of time and our commitment to serve alumni, students, faculty and the community has remained steadfast. It is generally regarded as one of the top law school alumni associations in Ohio and arguably, rivals the best in the country. Students from other State law schools frequently say, “my law school doesn’t do that,” or “Cleveland-Marshall’s alumni association is extremely active.” Be proud of our network and take advantage of all it has to offer. Remember you do not have to be a Trustee to serve on a committee. And…did we mention membership is free!