Monday Morning Message 4.6.2020 Students on the Front Lines

Posted 2020-04-06 8:57am

As I witness faculty, staff, and students rising to overcome the seemingly impossible challenges this pandemic presents, I have never been more proud to be a member of the CM family…..Everyone is working so hard to adapt, and of course my heart especially goes out to the students…..My gift to the Student Emergency Fund won't go nearly as far as I'd like, but my hope is that it makes a difference in someone's life…..  Susan Becker, CSU C|M|LAW Professor Emerita, Public Interest Leader-in-Residence, Member, Hall of Fame

“Thank you for validating what the students must be feeling and experiencing and to have someone acknowledge that they are not alone in the boat of our 'new normal' is, I am sure, comforting to them!  Kudos to the professors and other instructors who bravely went into an arena of technology that was most likely unfamiliar and not part of their daily lives, learned it on the fly, and conducted business as usual.”  – Mother of a 3L student

“I can only imagine the challenges you have faced over the past few weeks charting a course in this new normal. A simple thank you for all you have and continue to do for our law school and most of all for our students hardly seems adequate under the circumstances. You have all demonstrated what it means to lead in a crisis and while many if not most of our current and prospective students will struggle to find perspective now on just what you all have done for them, they surely will look back on this experience and be proud of their law school, their professors … and all of the staff as you live this "VUCA" moment. Indeed, how quick and powerful the reality of our volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world has become - for everyone, everywhere.” – P. Kelly Tompkins, CSU C|M|LAW Leader-in-Residence, Member, Hall of Fame

This morning I want to highlight the important work of our CSU C|M|LAW Community Advocacy Law Clinic during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Thanks to the work of Clinical Professor Pam Daiker-Middaugh and Adjunct Clinical Professor Zach Germaniuk, our Community Advocacy Clinic students are addressing the COVID-19 perfect storm of social/legal issues that are affecting low to moderate income citizens.

Students in our clinic have created a tenant hardship affidavit in coordination with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and other partners to assist tenants in crisis by documenting their situations, proactively anticipating potential eviction litigation. 

Students have been researching and compiling the latest data on the local, county, state, and federal response to unemployment issues and synthesizing that work into easy-to-read pamphlets for the general public. They also have been compiling information from various emergency orders from municipal jurisdictions across our county so that citizens will know what their municipal courts have ordered.

Students have taken a lead role in creating an updated landlord-tenant guide for distribution to homeless shelters and are drafting memoranda on how COVID-19 shelter orders are impacting Domestic Relations Court and visitation rights of non-custodial parents.

Adjunct Clinical Professor Zach Germaniuk  noted, “The goal with all of this work is to do our part, as a clinic, to help ‘flatten the (legal) curve’ that we are seeing, by first supporting the work of existing organizations, and secondly to act as a release valve and perform intake in the greater Cleveland community to help better diagnose and assess legal needs, so front-line legal professionals can more quickly get legal advice to people in crisis…. C|M|LAW students are on the front lines of the response.” 

In the midst of this crisis, we are reminded of our mission Learn Law. Live Justice. We are working together to help those most adversely affected by this pandemic and uniting as a law school community in the face of a shared crisis.

We’re in this together.  # ItTCMLAW  #CSUTogetheratHome

A complete listing of all CSU campus services, their status, and hours of remote operations can be found here.

If you missed CSU President Harlan Sands’ 3rd virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, April 1, you can see it here.

Please email questions, comments, concerns to: Dean Lee Fisher (,

Associate Dean Carolyn Broering-Jacobs (, Associate Dean Jonathan Witmer-Rich (, or Sarah Beznoska, Assistant Dean of Student and Career Services (

You can also email the university at:

Students may use this link to submit concerns  anonymously:

Please regularly check the University’s Coronavirus Updates page and your law school email for further updates. Please see the links beneath my email signature for additional information.

This Week’s Monday Moments:  Prof. Brian Ray Civil Procedure Coronavirus Edition April 1 Special Supplement

Neil Diamond Singing Sweet Caroline: Hands Washing Hands

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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