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CMLAA Alumnus of the Year Honoree: The Honorable Terrence O’Donnell

The Honorable Terrence O’Donnell ’71 will be recognized as one of the CMLAA's Alumni of the Year at the association's annual luncheon on  May 22.  For more information on the luncheon, click here.

The Honorable Terrence O’Donnell ’71 was given the tools to succeed during his time at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He and his fellow classmates even received a tip beyond the scope of law that proved to be extremely valuable in retrospect.

“One of the first days of school, Dean James K. Gaynor came to address our class – telling us what a blessing it would be and what a great opportunity we would have to serve the public as lawyers,” recalled O’Donnell. “However, he cautioned that we would never become wealthy as lawyers – just be able to earn a comfortable living. Dean Gaynor suggested we invest in oil because he forecasted the future would be all about oil and petroleum. Of course, none of us listened or bothered to take his advice.”

O’Donnell did follow through with guidance that he received during law clerk positions on the Supreme Court of Ohio for Justice J.J.P. Corrigan and on the Ohio Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County for Judges John V. Corrigan and John M. Manos. He began his career with Marshman, Snyder & Corrigan in Cleveland, before spending the past 34 years on the bench as a member of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, the Ohio Court of Appeals and ultimately, the Ohio Supreme Court.

O’Donnell joined the Ohio Supreme Court in 2003, and is currently serving his third term on the court through 2018. The justice takes great pride in the stamp of approval he received in the 2012 election, having received 70% of the statewide vote and winning the majority in all 88 Ohio counties.

O’Donnell is also gratified to receive the recognition of being named one of this year’s Alumni of the Year by the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association.

“I am very humbled and honored by this recognition,” said O’Donnell. “This is a special moment in my career, and I am very proud to join the ranks of those prior distinguished recipients who have been recognized.”

More important than any accolade for O’Donnell is that his position allows him to provide assistance to others. The former schoolteacher enjoys being able to write letters of recommendation, guide students on their career path and help lawyers in the service of a client. Along with his wife Mary Beth, O’Donnell instilled that pride in service to his four children – three of whom are accomplished attorneys, including Michael, a 2004 Cleveland-Marshall graduate.