“Try taking charge of your attention. Avert your gaze from whatever tempts you. Focus instead on whatever makes achieving your goals easier. Your future self will thank you for it.” – Angela Duckworth
“Pressure is a privilege - it only comes to those who earn it.” – Billie Jean King
My message this morning is to our students.
Today is Law Day. It’s also the first day of final exams.
If you’re looking for inspiration, you need look no further than what Law Day stands for. Ultimately, it’s what a legal education is all about.
On Law Day, we celebrate the rule of law, and rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of a more perfect Union. But the rule of law is not guaranteed. It’s fragile and demands our constant effort and vigilance.
So my advice to you as you prepare for final exams is to remember why you chose this path.
You have decided to pursue a legal education so that you can be on the front lines of protecting our liberty, striving to achieve justice, and ensuring equal rights and protections for all. You came to our law school not only to learn law but to live justice. To advocate for fixing what’s broken. To forcefully call out injustice and decry inequality.
If you remember your why, it will change the way you look at the pressure of final exams. Look at the pressure as a privilege that you have earned. You have chosen to study and work during this time of your life like most people won’t, so that you can learn law and live justice like most people can’t.
Dean Fisher’s Serenity Prayer for Final Exams
- God grant me the serenity to remember my why. Why I chose this path.
- The courage to lean into the uncertainty with strength, resilience, and optimism.
- And the wisdom to know that whatever the circumstances I face, I always have a choice on how to respond.
- Understanding that if I change the way I look at things, the things I look at can change.
- Trusting in my skills and surrendering to an unshakeable belief in myself.
- Accepting that the exam doesn’t just test my knowledge, it tests my state of mind.
- Focusing on the moment and visualizing success.
- Pacing myself, taking each question one at a time, and applying the law to the facts.
- Taking the exam as it is, not how I or others would have written it.
- Supremely happy that I am a student at a law school where we have each other’s back and we are in this together.
- Remembering that I have chosen to study and work during this time of my life like most people won’t, so that I can learn law and live justice like most people can’t.
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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