Monday Morning Message 8.13.2018: "I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot."

Posted 2018-08-13 11:47am

“I’m just like my country—I’m young, scrappy, and hungry, and I am not throwing away my shot.”

-Hamilton, “My Shot”

“I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation!” - Hamilton, “My Shot”

“There’s a million things I haven’t done. Just you wait, just you wait.” -Hamilton, “Satisfied”

“No one really knows how the game is played, the art of the trade, how the sausage gets made. We just assume that it happens but no one else is in the room where it happens.” -Hamilton, “The Room Where It Happens”

Peggy, our daughter Jessica, and I had the great pleasure of seeing the wonderful Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, Hamilton, last evening at Playhouse Square, just a few blocks from our law school.

Throughout the evening, I kept thinking about our first year students (C|M|LAW Class of 2021) who will be arriving this week for orientation.

Just as the eyes of history were on the founders of our country (most of whom, like Hamilton and Jefferson, were lawyers), so, too, are the eyes of history on our first year students.

In our 120-year history of leadership and innovation in legal education, we were the first law school in Ohio to admit women and one of the first to admit African-Americans. Ever since, we have given opportunities to many women and men who have broken gender, race, ethnic, and generational barriers to achieve great success. They did not throw away their shot; they smashed every expectation.

When our students were admitted to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, we sent each of them what many believe to be the best novel ever written, To Kill a Mockingbird. It is the story of a crusading lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his fight for moral truth and racial justice. It was our gift to them because of the path they have chosen and because of Cleveland-Marshall’s iconic legacy of justice and equality. 

The hatred, bigotry, and violence we saw in Charlottesville last year and again yesterday by white supremacists reminds us that we have a responsibility to continue that legacy.

During intermission, I jotted down the following serenity prayer for our talented first year class.

  • God, grant me the serenity to accept that there are a million things I want to do but haven’t done.
  • The courage not to throw away my shot at smashin’ every expectation.
  • And the wisdom to know that Cleveland-Marshall is the place where it will happen. Just you wait, just you wait.

Have a great week.

My best,


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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.

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