Monday Morning Message 11.19.2018: Thanksgiving Expressions of Gratitude

Posted 2018-11-19 8:46am

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously….”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

First, I want to correct an error I made in last week’s message. Justice-elect Melody Stewart ’88 pointed out that I inadvertently omitted Justice Mary DeGenaro ‘86 as another distinguished alumna who served on the Ohio Supreme Court. Prior to her service this past year on the state’s highest court, Justice DeGenaro served nearly 17 years as a judge on the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Youngstown, and we thank her for her outstanding public service.

As Thanksgiving approaches later this week, I want to express my deep gratitude for the exceptional work of our law students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and for the support and leadership of CSU President Harlan Sands, CSU Board Chair David Gunning ’94, CSU Foundation Chair Tim Cosgrove ‘87, Board of Visitors Chair Brent Buckley ‘82, and Alumni Association President Judge Michelle Paris ’84.

I want to especially thank two recent very generous donors: Kelly Tompkins ’81 for his very generous $750,000 donation to create the P. Kelly Tompkins Leadership and Law Program; and Dworken & Bernstein, and Patrick Perotti ‘82Irving Rosner ‘79, and Barbara Marlowe, who for their very generous $175,000 distribution to Cleveland-Marshall, as the result of a settlement known as a cy pres distribution. In most consumer class action suits, more than 80% of the money defendants committed to settlement goes unclaimed. To avoid this problem, the cy pres doctrine allows the funds to be distributed to a nonprofit charitable organization to support work that indirectly benefits the class and advances the public interest.

Below are some recent expressions of gratitude and appreciation I am very pleased to share.

To: Professor Doron Kalir

“Professor Kalir -I would like to thank you for speaking with me and my parents during my tour of Cleveland-Marshall. I am blown away by your passion and enthusiasm for the school and its programs, as well as the students.” - Courtney Parson, Bowling Green State University, prospective C|M|LAW student 

To: Professor Carole Heyward

Dean Fisher- I am writing to share with you a note of sincere appreciation for the work of Professor Carole Heyward and the students of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Transactional Law Clinic in helping the organization known as Cycling Schools, Inc…. Prof. Heyward and her students have provided legal guidance as we progressed through our initial organizational efforts, became incorporated and subsequently were officially recognized as Cycling Schools, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity….The students and Prof. Heyward obviously worked as a team, helping each other with difficult issues while responding to any queries we raised. We were always impressed not only their willingness to help, but also by their cheerful and good natured attitude and diligent work ethic….Vital work such as theirs which aids the development of community organizations certainly should be robustly acknowledged and lauded.  - Scott Stuetzer, President, Executive Board of Cycling Schools, Inc.

To: Associate Dean and Professor Michael Borden

“Congratulations on your incredible achievements with the American Inns of Court! I personally know from your mentorship that we truly are fortunate to have your leadership at the school, and such a fantastic honor is so well deserved.”  - Michael Weitzman ‘18

To: Professor Brian Glassman

Professor Glassman - I just wanted to let you know that my work …. is going really well. I think all the practice writing memos and doing citations is really paying off, because I've been having to do a lot of that in this position and I'm able to do it a lot faster and better each time…I just wanted to say thank you because I was a little intimidated going into this job but your class prepared me very well to take on this clerkship and do well in it. I really love what I do and because we learned research tips and all the writing lessons that go into good legal writing, I feel more comfortable than I ever thought I would in this clerkship. So again, thank you!!” – 2L student

To: Professor Heidi Robertson and Nick De Santis, Director of Academic Support

 Professor Robertson - I just wanted to send you an email and tell you how thankful/grateful/blessed/happy I am that I had the opportunity to take your class this semester. I was motivated and excited when I started law school and after the first semester I felt defeated and that I did not belong here. Your class made me excited about the law again and it gave me my passion back that I lost. You are an incredible teacher and I just wanted you to know that you have made such an impact on me and my education here…..You and Nick are 100% responsible for my complete attitude change…. You and Nick really are the best.”  - 2L student

About our 93% Bar Passage Rate

To: Mary Jane McGinty, Director of Bar Preparation

“I just wanted to thank you for everything you and the staff of CM Law did for us during this whole bar exam process. I feel truly blessed that I went to such a wonderful school that made it their mission for us to pass. I feel like our school went above and beyond what I have heard from what other schools have done for their students. 93% pass rate for first time takers is a wonderful achievement and I am overjoyed I am part of that.” - Alex Messina ‘18

 To: Mary Jane McGinty, Director of Bar Preparation, Nick De Santis, Director of Academic Support, Michelle Landever Bond, Academic Support Specialist

“Mary Jane, Nick, and Michelle- congratulations to all of you.  This would not have happened without your hard work.  We're doing great things with the individual work you do with students, data analysis, the Property class, individual mentoring, everything in academic support.  It all makes a difference. Your work matters and it is paying off big for the students and the school. I love working with all of you -- and I love seeing it pay off like this.” – Professor Heidi Robertson, Director of Student Success

About our First Year Student Orientation

You are all truly amazing!! Thank you, so much, for allowing me to participate and to be a part or orientation.  It  was a great honor and addition to being big fun!  I now have a better feel for the incoming class and I'm really impressed!  I look forward to my continued association with them and my Alma Mater as I will work hard to, "pay it forward!"  - Judge Ronald Adrine ’73, C|M|LAW Jurist-in-Residence, 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee

About our Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association’s First Year Student Mentorship Event

 To: Heather DiFranco, Director, Career Strategy & EmploymentSara Beznoska, Assistant Director, Career Strategy & Employment, Amy Miller, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations

 Heather, Sara, and Amy –I just wanted to express how proud I was to be a C|M|Law alumna last night. What an incredible event you held, both for our first year students and for our alumni. It was a great way to bring people home to our beloved school, allow us to invest in our newest generation of students, and remind ourselves why C|M|Law changed our lives. Per usual, the event was done with class, excellence, and most importantly--heart. “ - Alana Jochum ‘10

 About our Jennie Jones/ Judy Rawson “Celebrating Cities” Photo Exhibition

 To: Professor Patti Falk, Professor Lauren Collins, Library DirectorElaine Terman, Marketing Director, and Jill Natran, Administrative Coordinator

Dear Superb CSU team -Thank you again for the fabulous help and high, professional standards you set in connection with the recent photo show. I’ve never had such an easy, pleasant interaction in connection with a show. – Judy Rawson,, 2017 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Inductee

About our Office of Career Strategy and Employment

I appreciate the network CMLaw provides for its students and graduates and I am happy to say that I am proud to be a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.” – Lena Buttkus ‘18

 About our Public Service Fellowships Program

 I just came from the Public Service Fellowship presentation and I just want to thank you, really for all the opportunities Cleveland-Marshall has to offer.  In the short eleven weeks I have been here, I have been through what seems like every mental and emotional state possible.  I have been buried in briefs and readings, but I have never stopped feeling grateful that I decided to come to law school, and that I decided to come to Cleveland-Marshall. 

 Tonight, at the Public Service Fellowship discussion, I was reminded of why I came to law school in the first place.  I was reminded that what may seem impossible right now, is setting me up to practice my passion.  I love Cleveland-Marshall and I want to let you know how much I appreciate the community connection we have, and how dedicated our faculty is to living justice.” – 1L

About our Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) Live Skype Event

“We did it!!! Thanks to each of you for an inspirational and historic day. Feeling such gratitude for the privilege of knowing each of you and it’s all due to our beloved CM!”  - Judge Michelle Paris ’84, President, Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association

 About our P. Kelly Tompkins Leadership and Law Program

“I want to say how excited I was to see the news of the new Leadership & Law program at CMLAW….. with more lawyers being asked to take on leadership positions and manage people, this is a critical skill to learn and develop.”  - Nancy Berardinelli-Krantz ‘02

About our Mock Trial Team

“On November 10th-11th Cleveland-Marshall’s Mock Trial Teams participated in the annual Case Classic Competition at the Justice Center. The competition this year consisted of a total of 20 teams from various regional and out of state law schools…  the fact that all four of our teams finished in the top seven is a testament to the strength of our mock trial program….”  - Julian Emerson,  Reminger Co., L.P.A.

About our New Quiet Room

“I was able to take advantage of the yoga session offered today at 5pm and wanted to express my thanks to the school for offering it. I threw my back out last year, and the session really helped my injury. I also just felt so much more alert for my evening class afterward. It was an incredible opportunity and I'm so glad I went.” – 1L

About the Recent Tragedy in Pittsburgh

Interacting with C|M|LAW students every day teaches me not only that good hearts can prevail over hate, but that what one person chooses to do makes a difference in that balance. I hope for a future with less hate and fear and more kind, good people who seek to understand and connect with others. But what our students….always remind me is that we all are responsible for creating that world.  I think the community we are creating here at C|M|LAW is one that can and will "march to a future that embraces optimism, hope, understanding and diversity." …That's perhaps only a very small comfort in the wake of Saturday's awfulness.” - Sarah Beznoska, Assistant Director, Career Strategy & Employment

Let us give thanks to each other on this Thanksgiving and let us work together for a future of hope, optimism, understanding, and diversity.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

My best,


For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our Law School or our University.

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