“Thank you for the copy of Just Mercy! It was a wonderful surprise to receive the package yesterday. Your thoughtfulness and encouraging words are greatly appreciated! My feet still haven’t touched the ground since receiving my acceptance letter!” –2023 Admitted Student
“[We are] training lawyers with a conscience. You might call them advocates….crusaders…champions. We call them graduates.” – CSU|LAW Video Justice is Calling You.
Every day we try to stay true to our mission: Learn Law. Live Justice.
For the past 6 years, we have been sending To Kill a Mockingbird to every admitted student. It has been extremely well received by our students and the book still has great value, but we wanted to send a book this year with a more contemporary message of “living justice.”
So this year, we are sending copies of Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, to our admitted students. On the inside cover of the book is their name, the date they were admitted to CSU|LAW, and additional lines for the date they will graduate law school, and another for when they will pass the bar.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) dedicated to providing legal representation to people who have been wrongfully convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. One of EJI’s first clients was Walter McMillian, a young Black man who was sentenced to die for the murder of a young white woman that he didn’t commit. Ironically, it takes place in Monroeville, Alabama, the hometown of Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Inside the book is my below personal message.
Congratulations on your admittance to CSU|LAW!
You hold in your hands “Just Mercy,” a moving memoir of an activist lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, and his struggle against injustice.
This book will sometimes anger and frustrate you, but it will also make you hopeful. It is an inspiring call for compassion in the pursuit of justice.
It is our gift to you because of the path you have chosen and because the story of our law school is also aniconic story of justice and equality.
Our mission is Learn Law. Live Justice.
In our 125-year history of leadership and innovation in legal education, our graduates have been leaders in the fight for civil rights and social justice.
No matter what kind of law you want to practice, our commitment to “living justice” is the common thread that makes our CSU|LAW community exceptional.
We want you to think of yourself as more than a law student. Think of yourself as a future custodian of democracy and guardian of justice.
We are proud that you have met our high standards for admission and we would be even prouder to welcome you to our CSU|LAW family.
Please contact me directly if you have any questions or just want to talk!
See the unboxing of the book here:
CSU|Law is important to successive generations of young women and men seeking to make a difference. Regardless of our graduates’ ideologies or the professional paths they take, we want all our graduates to have an appreciation for the crucial role that law and lawyers play in addressing the social and economic issues that confront our society.
Our covenant with our students and graduates is that they will learn law and not only be ready to practice law; they will be ready to live justice and practice leadership.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.
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