“Remember your journey, remember how you got here, thank those along the way, and cherish this moment and what it represents.”
2023 Cleveland State University College of Law class valedictorian Camille Pollutro’s message to her fellow graduates focused on appreciating the big moments and accomplishments as they set forth on their careers.
Camille first considered law school after her high school English teacher, a former attorney himself, told her that he could see her attending law school. That interest continued to grow as she studied Health Risk and Communications, and Criminal Justice as an undergraduate at Ashland University. During those summers, she worked as a Case Aide for the Lake County Juvenile Court and the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. At Ashland, she also excelled as a member of the softball team and earned a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship to continue her studies at CSU|LAW.
“I always knew I wanted to go to CSU|LAW! It was the only school I applied to,” explained Camille. “CSU|LAW has a unique advantage that no other law school in our area has: a strong community of lawyers and support. You cannot go to a single legal institution without running into a CSU|LAW graduate, and our alumni never fail to provide mentorship once we enter the field. That was such a key factor for me as I plan to stay in Cleveland long-term.”
Camille quickly became a fixture on the CSU|LAW campus. She was an Associate on the Cleveland State Law Review a member of the CSU|LAW Moot Court Team, and AEP with the Academic Excellence Program for Legislation and Regulation, and a teaching Assistant for Property Skills. This past year she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.
“Cleveland State Law Review had many successes this year, like being cited by the United States Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the people are what made my time as the Editor-in-Chief so special. I am eternally grateful for all the incredible friendships that were built amongst this year’s staff, and I look forward to seeing what next year’s Law Review can accomplish,” Camille said.
Camile considers it a huge honor to be recognized as class valedictorian but that was never her goal for law school. In fact, because of a superstition, she did not know she would be valedictorian until shortly before graduation.
“When I played softball in undergrad at Ashland, I refused to look at my batting average because I feared the number would get in my head and prevent me from succeeding at the plate,” Camille explained. “I took that same approach in law school, and I never looked at where my official rank sat. So my goal was never to be valedictorian, but just to do the best I could.”
Camille gained experience in the field during her time at CSU|LAW, working as a legal intern with The Lubrizol Corporation, and extern with Hillcrest Foodservice and a Summer Associate with Jones Day. After passing the Ohio Bar Examination, she will join the Jones Day Cleveland as an Associate and plans to find the practice group that suits her best. She would also like to one day work as an Adjunct Professor and help students find their passions and goals.