Monday Morning Message 2.4.19: Why Choose Us? The One Factor, Above All Others, That is the Most Important.

Posted 2019-02-04 9:10am

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” – Robert Frost

We are in the process of recruiting students for our Fall 2019 class. The competition between law schools for the most talented students has never been more competitive. So why should an applicant choose us?

There are many compelling reasons to choose Cleveland-Marshall at Cleveland State University: our first-in-Ohio bar passage rate (93%), our first-in-Ohio ranked part-time program, and our fourth-largest-in-the-nation increase in the national rankings. I will outline these and many other reasons in future Monday Morning Messages.

But numbers don’t tell the whole story.

There is one factor, above all others, that is the most important – the quality of our faculty. Nothing is more important to student success and the success of our great law school, because the core of our mission is to educate and train great lawyers and great leaders.

We are a law school that is student-centered. That would not be possible without our outstanding facultyOur faculty members offer a level of expertise, accessibility, support, encouragement, and interaction that many law schools don’t offer. They not only inspire our students, they inspire each other, and they inspire me.

I’m very pleased to share a small sampling of the student evaluations of some of our faculty from last semester. Happily, there are too many to fit in this message, so I’ll share more in future Monday Morning Messages.

Associate Dean and Professor Carolyn Broering-Jacobs (Torts):

“A true gem. I have never had a professor care so much about her students EVER! She is more than willing to help and is super knowledgeable about the material. Be prepared to answer at least one question a day. This class taught me how to be successful in my other classes…Thank you for an awesome semester!!!!”

Professor Patti Falk (White Collar Crime):

“Prof. Falk is my favorite professor. She knows her stuff, no doubt, and presents it in a way to make sure you understand. She cares that her students learn and understand the material…. She is exceptionally kind, fair, and allows us to discuss and debate in class.”

Professor Brian Glassman (Legal Writing):

“Prof. Glassman is great. He clearly explains class information, answers questions clearly. He will not always give an answer but "leads" to the answer….His feedback is always constructive and is always available to help in any way.”

Professor Steve Lazarus (Torts):

“There's no one like Prof. Lazarus. He's a fantastic first year instructor to have, and he really makes CMLAW what it is. I have professors in other classes that were taught by him when they studied here, and he hasn't changed a bit. He's one of the best communicators I've ever heard, and he makes even the most complicated information easily digestible and understandable….Professor Lazarus is without question the most effective educator I've ever had…. I really appreciated the clarity this instructor provided in presenting concepts, the built–in feedback/assessment throughout the semester in the form of quizzes, the respect the Professor gave to students, and the overall willingness to engage with student ideas and questions.”

Professor Claire May (Legal Writing):

“Her syllabus is great, she is super clear as to what she expects, and makes herself pretty much available 24/7 for any questions we have. She isn't trying to intimidate us, which fosters a more open learning environment where we are motivated and inspired to learn. She is an excellent professor…..She treats everyone with respect and care. She is wonderful….I already cannot wait to come back next semester and take the second half of this course!!!!”

Professor Joe Mead (Civil Procedure):

“You couldn't ask for a better Civ Pro teacher than Professor Mead! … So far, I've had really fantastic professors at CMLAW. I say that so you have some context for this evaluation. Prof. Mead is out–of–this–world fantastic! …. Professor Mead fills the chalkboard with visuals that provide us with graphics that further aid in student comprehension of civil procedure. His tone is engaging and he is actually excited about teaching. He is even more concerned that the students understand what he is teaching…. Students received immediate feedback on in–class assignments.”

Professor Kevin O’Neil (Evidence):

“Professor O'Neill is the gem of Cleveland–Marshall. He is everything a law professor should be. There is no one in the school better prepared. Professor O'Neill may be the warmest, funniest, most imaginative teacher I have ever known. His goal is always to educate students. He is no pushover or easy grader, however. He has high expectations. But he is unflinchingly encouraging and positive. His classes fill up immediately and he is the reason why….. After taking Evidence with Professor O'Neill, I can understand why he is ineligible to win the student–chosen faculty award because he has won so many times already.”

Professor John Plecnik (Estates & Trusts):

“Prof. Plecnik is exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. LOVED taking this class with him… Professor Plecnik is wonderful. He delivers material in an organized and easy to understand manner. Truthfully, there were times when I did not do reading prior to class but I was still able to grasp the material and then read the cases to better understand what was going on. He’s an amazing teacher!”

Professor Chris Sagers (Legislation and Regulatory State):

“Absolutely incredible instructor! He made an hour and forty minute class feel like thirty minutes. He really gets us focused and fosters student participation in class. If we are wrong, he doesn't make us look like fools. He helps us to understand (and really helps us) where we were off and reels it back in if we get too off point. He is amazing! ….His sense of humor, and the clear and concise way he explains a rather dense and confusing topic is impressive…. He is absolutely awesome. CMLAW is lucky to have him.”

Associate Dean and Professor Milena Sterio (International Law):
“Easily one of the most knowledgeable and interesting professors… never once felt dumb for asking a question. She always makes us feel respected and not afraid to discuss anything…. Very effective instructor by involving all students in class participation.”

Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich (Criminal Procedure I):

“One of the most educated and well-spoken professors I have ever had. Professor-Witmer-Rich is excellent, respectful, and enthusiastic. I love having class with him and enjoy the material we learn. He’s great! He explains the material clearly and makes the class interesting. I would definitely take another course with him in the future.”

At Cleveland-Marshall, we inspire, we awaken, we light fires.

This Week’s Monday Moment: Students Learn From People They Love


Have a great day. Have a great week.

  • Share