Note: Today’s message is being sent Tuesday morning because yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” -Abraham Lincoln
“Mercy is just when it is rooted in hopefulness and freely given. Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving. The people who haven’t earned it, who haven’t even sought it, are the most meaningful recipients of our compassion.”
― Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and it’s worth noting that we have a long, proud history of advancing equality and social justice. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law was the first law school in Ohio to admit women and one of the first to admit minorities. It was our graduates who laid the foundation for the legal profession and who led the fight for civil rights in Ohio.
If there ever was a time to ensure that an ethos of social justice permeates our law school’s culture, it is now when our country is torn by divisiveness. Recent films such as Just Mercy, Clemency, When They See Us, Harriet, and Dark Waters, and the Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, remind us that while our legal system too often fails to attain social justice, it also remains the most effective and powerful vehicle on earth for pursuing and achieving it.
Thus, a quality legal education is the single best way to ensure that a new generation of leaders will be skilled in advancing and serving social justice. That’s why each year, we send the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, to each of our admitted students.
On the inside cover of the book is their name, the date they were admitted to C|M|LAW, and additional lines for the date they will graduate law school, and another for when they pass the bar. It is accompanied by my below personalized note.
“You hold in your hands what many believe to be the best novel ever written. To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of a crusading lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his fight for moral truth and racial justice. Today, his character continues to ignite important dialogue. This iconic story has inspired many of our students to be lawyers. It is our gift to you because of the path you have chosen and because the story of Cleveland-Marshall is also an iconic story of justice and equality….”
We believe that great lawyer-leaders must not only know and understand the law but also should advocate for justice and stand up to injustice. Hence, our mission of Learn Law. Live Justice. See our Learn Law Live Justice Video
This Week’s Monday Moment: Just Mercy Trailer
Have a great day. Have a great week. Have a great new year.
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.
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.