Monday Morning Message 3.11.19 Be Brave Enough to Care

Posted 2019-03-11 10:44am

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – President Theodore Roosevelt.

As our prospective and admitted students consider where they will attend law school this coming fall, they will look at all the assets that a law school has to offer. Some can be measured by national rankings, but even more cannot.

There is no ranking of law schools that measures how much your law school cares about you personally and professionally and supports your success, yet that may be the single most important measure. As Albert Einstein noted, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

“I just want you to know that you had it in you all the time. You were always this smart.  You were always this capable.  Sometimes it just takes someone else to believe in you to help you see what you are capable of. “ – Nick De Santis, Director of Academic Support, to one of our students.

So I say to our prospective and admitted students, “take your own measurements.” Those can best be made by talking to our students and graduates. Here’s what they say:

“Dear Professor (Heidi) Robertson- I feel so lucky to have had you in my first year of law school and I will never forget you. I was so nervous, confused and unsure in my first year, but you always encouraged me, guided me and believed in me. It means a lot to me….It is almost the end of my second year, and I think I am more confident and can see more clearly my path of becoming a lawyer….I am feeling so excited and positive about my future….I know I couldn't have done this without you…”

Our vision is to be the leading student-centered public law school in the nation, but every law school says that they are “student-centered,” so what does that really mean?

I want to start off by saying I think the Academic Support services offered currently by the school are nothing short of astounding. As a first-year, I relied heavily on the Academic Excellence Program and the Peer Tutor program, as well as the specific study sessions taught and proctored by Nick De Santis. After reflection of my successful academic career in law school, I would be remiss if I did not express my sincere acknowledgement in the part Academic Support played…..Academic Support provided me the tools, skills and confidence to maximize my ability to find success academically and learn to become a lawyer.”

It means that at Cleveland-Marshall, whether you are the top of your class or struggling academically and/or personally, we are here for you. We care.

“ I've been through quite a few dark times over the progression of this school year, yet each time I found myself in that position, Nick De Santis has been there to help. As a result of the time he has spent with me, a vast amount of the insecurities I had as a student have vanished. His professionalism and eagerness to help students achieve success is unprecedented, and a quality which I’ve never had in a teacher before.”

Here students will find open doors and open minds and a level of accessibility, support, encouragement, and interaction that many law schools don’t offer.

“Dear Professor Robertson and Nick (DeSantis) - 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. I just wanted you to know that you have made such an impact on me and my education here.”

Law school is not easy, nor should it be. While the study of law can and should be fulfilling and rewarding, it’s also academically rigorous. No matter how bright and talented you are, your success will be determined not only by your hard work but also by the support you receive from faculty, staff, fellow students, friends, and family.

 “Dear Nick (DeSantis) - this journey has been the hardest experience of my life. My hardest challenges were law school and the bar. My journey could have ended after the first semester, but I remember your email. Your kindness. Reaching out and telling me that this didn't need to be the end. You showed me that I could be a lawyer, but it would take time and lots of work.”

Cleveland Marshall’s commitment to quality academic support is a critical component in our student-centered vision.

“Dear Mary Jane (McGinty)- From all of your reminder e-mails, to keeping us on our toes, to helping with bar prep, and to the mental and emotional support during the bar exam, it is all very very appreciated.”

C|M|LAW provides academic support to all our students in all phases of their legal education, whether it’s before they matriculate, during their law school career, or while they study to tackle the bar exam.

Dear Professor (Pam) Daiker-Middaugh and Mary Jane (McGinty)- I want to send a quick thank you for your support at the February bar exam. I met another examinee yesterday from a different Ohio law school and she made the comment how lucky I was to have such a school that cares so much about its students that it sends not one but two professors to support their bar examinees.”

Thanks to Professor Heidi Robertson, Associate Dean/Professor Carolyn Broering-JacobsProfessor Pam Daiker-Middaugh, Nick De Santis, Director of Academic Support, Michelle Bond,Academic Support Specialist, Mary Jane McGinty, Director of Bar Preparation, our entire faculty, those students and staff who participate in our academic support program, our academic advising program, and our wellness program, and our dedicated alumni who serve as mentors, we provide exceptional academic and personal support to all of our students.

·       C|M|LAW Jump Start – Jump Start is a four-week program offered to all admitted students prior to the fall semester. It aims to help with the transition to law school by providing an introduction to the law school experience, including instruction on basic study and exam-taking skills. Jump Start will be July 8 -July 29 this summer on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-7 p.m.

·       The Academic Excellence Program (“AEP”) – AEP is an academic support program conducted by high achieving upper-level students (known as AEP Fellows) during the Fall Semester. AEP Fellows are assigned to each first-year section’s Contracts, Torts, and Legislation and Regulation classes. Fellows conduct weekly workshops on subjects such as reading and briefing cases, classroom preparation and note-taking, outlining, exam preparation, and exam performance. Because Fellows attend classes side-by-side with their students, they provide valuable professor and course-specific advice, and feedback on written assignments. AEP is the cornerstone of our Academic Support program for first-year students and is an outstanding resource for student adjusting to the rigors of legal education.

·       Peer Tutoring Program – Successful upper-level students provide one-on-one tutoring to any student seeking assistance. Tutors hold weekly office hours in the Legal Writing and Academic Support Suite. The primary goal of our peer tutors program is to help students develop sound study and exam taking skills.

·       Individual Counseling – Nick De Santis and Michelle Bond are available to students for individual counseling by appointment or during their weekend office hours. Nick and Michelle assist students with development of study plans, monitor student progress throughout the semester, and assist students in the development of legal analysis and exam-taking skills.

We are here for you. We care. We’re your law school for life.

This Week’s Monday Moment:  Be Brave Enough to Care


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