Monday Morning Message 3.2.2020 Life's Most Persistent and Urgent Question

Posted 2020-03-02 9:50am

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There’s no greater challenge and there is no greater honor than to be in public service.” – Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice


At CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, we continually seek ways to support students on their paths to live justice. For students interested in public service and public interest work, that can often mean making a tough choice between paid employment or an unpaid position with a government or non-profit organization. This can be a difficult choice when coupled with student debt, the expense of attending law school, and overall living expenses.

Fortunately, through the generosity of our alumni and friends, we are able to offer fellowship funding opportunities for our students, known as the Cleveland-Marshall Public Service Fellowships.

Last week, Terry Gilbert '73, C|M|LAW Hall of Fame, and Sharon Sobol Jordan, C|M|LAW Leader-in-Residence, and daughter of Marilyn Tobocman '83C|M|LAW Hall of Fame, spoke to many of our students about two of our fellowship programs – the Terry and Robin Gilbert Social Justice Fellowship Fund and the Marilyn Tobocman Equal Access to Justice Endowed Fund.

These and the other fellowships listed below are intended to provide support for unpaid work experiences in the public sector, including legal services, non-profit advocacy, and government agencies. Some fellowships support work in the summer timeframe; some are available during the timeframe between taking the bar exam and the bar results.

Our public service fellowship program includes support from the following funds. Our deep thanks to each of our alumni and friends who established these special fellowships. We are very grateful.

·       Terry and Robin Gilbert Social Justice Fellowship Fund is for our students and new graduates who work with public interest groups, government offices, or individuals who advocate, represent, or do research in the area of civil and human rights and criminal justice (not criminal prosecution). Terry Gilbert ’73 has dedicated his legal career to promote human and political rights, as well as progressive approaches to criminal justice. As a legal and social activist, Terry sees law as an instrument of social change where human rights take precedence over property and corporate interests. Through this Fellowship, Terry and Robin Gilbert encourage students and graduates to work on behalf of those deprived of rights because of class, race, or sexual orientation, and to advocate for the promotion of constitutional rights and progressive justice for those charged with crimes.

·       Marilyn Tobocman Equal Access to Justice Endowed Fund was established in 2018 by the daughters of Marilyn Tobocman, Sharon Sobol Jordan and Liz Sobol Kurland, to honor their trailblazing mother, who dedicated her legal career to the fierce advocacy of those whose rights were most threatened. The events of the turbulent 1960s – the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Hough Riots, the election of Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes, and the passage of the federal Civil Rights and Fair Housing Acts – sent Marilyn to law school. She enrolled at Cleveland-Marshall at the age of 47, twice the age of most of her classmates, and was fully engaged in the practice of law until her death in 2018 at the age of 83. The goal of this fund is to encourage students to follow her example by exploring careers in the public interest. This fund supports summer or post-graduate fellowships with non-governmental organizations promoting equal access to justice, including (but not limited to) social justice, civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights.

·       James Lowe '72 and Teresa Lowe Endowed Fellowship provides an annual award to a Cleveland-Marshall student pursuing a summer fellowship supporting social justice. James and Teresa Lowe recognize the importance of social justice in the practice of law and seek to foster the advancement of these ideals by supporting the work of a summer fellow.  Preference is given to students who demonstrate an interest in, and commitment to, consumer and product safety.

·       Max I. Kohrman '1918 Memorial Endowed Public Interest Fellowship Fund was established by S. Lee Kohrman, in memory of his father Max I. Kohrman, a 1918 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace School of Law, a predecessor institution to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Max Kohrman practiced law in Cleveland from 1918-1962, was the founder of the Cleveland firm of Kohrman and Kohrman, the predecessor of the current firm of Kohrman, Jackson, & Krantz (KJK), and was a life-long supporter of socially responsible public institutions which relied heavily on the skill and devotion of lawyers. This fellowship is open to students who show an interest in joining the legal staffs of institutions, both public and private, which are committed to public service; students must be returning to Cleveland-Marshall the following fall semester.

·       The David C. Weiner-Charna E. Sherman Community Service Fellowship Fund was established by David C. Weiner, 2017 C|M|LAW Judge Richard M. Markus Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year, and Charna E. Sherman to provide fellowships for students at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law who engage in community service projects.

·       Edith and Sidney Simon Civil Liberties Fellowship, established by Ellen Simon, former C|M|LAW Adjunct Professor, provides financial support to law students working with the American Civil Liberties Union or other civil liberties organizations. Students selected are academically promising students who have demonstrated or expressed a commitment to civil liberties.

·       Steven C. LaTourette ’79 Graduate Public Interest Fellowship Fund serves to prepare individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public sector, through experience in hands-on, high level assignments at public sector workplaces. Fellows will gain insight into how public processes unfold, garner a deeper understanding of the community and build an extensive professional network, all of which will enhance their ability to become agents of change for Greater Cleveland. The fund was established in recognition of Congressman Steven LaTourette ‘79C|M|LAW Hall of Fame, who served Ohio’s 14th Congressional District from 1995-2013.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

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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.

My best,


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