Monday Morning Message 8.19.19 Welcome to our incoming class

Posted 2019-08-19 10:31am


“Study while others are sleeping, decide while others are delaying, prepare while others are daydreaming, begin while others are procrastinating, work while others are wishing, persist while others are quitting”  - Anonymous Dean of an Anonymous Law School

We are excited that our first year class (C|M|LAW Class of 2022) will be arriving this evening for one week of orientation. After they hear from CSU President Harlan SandsAssociate Dean Carolyn Broering-Jacobs, and me, they will meet their alumni mentors.Every member of the first year class- all 141- will be matched with an alumni mentor! Very few law schools in the country are able to do that. Thanks to our incredible Alumni Association, we can.

Sunny Nixon, ’11, who co-chairs with Jason Bristol ’00, the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association (CMLAA) Mentorship Program, said in a message to her fellow alumni, “I still remember how excited and nervous I was during the evening reception I attended in 2008…..Our legal community is one of Cleveland-Marshall’s best and most unique assets. It is the foundation for my own referral network, a sounding board for the lawyer experience, the gateway to career opportunities, and so much more….Mentorship is core to this.  Would you like to join my community?  How can I help you?  Is there an introduction I can make?  We show each student what an incredible support system they have in CMLAA and each mentor. “

Our alumni, faculty, staff, and students will be their every day to support them in this exciting new chapter in their life. I asked some of our faculty and staff to share what they wish they had known their first year of law school. Below is some of the advice they will share this week with our first year students. 

"Achievement without substance is unsustainable. Know your core values, decide what is meaningful to you, and be open to a variety of professional experiences that align with your values and strengths."  -Sarah Beznoska, Assistant Director of Career Strategy & Employment

“Embrace the chance to make mistakes whether it be in class or during your own study time. It is in the making and correcting of mistakes that you make the real breakthroughs.” -Nicholas C. DeSantis, Director of Academic Support

“Take notes in class in longhand, rather than on computers. You’ll understand and remember rules and their application better that way. Create your own outline of substantive rules and their application, as developed in class, from the very beginning of the course. Do not wait until Thanksgiving to do this; by then it will be too late.”  - Professor Peter Garlock

“At the end of each day review the notes that you took in class that day to make sure that you understood what you wrote and to identify any questions or issues that you need to clarify”. -Professor Carole Heyward

“Take advantage of the opportunities presented over the course of the year to attend presentations, guest lectures, etc., even when they do not pertain directly to the subjects you are studying as a 1L. They will broaden your horizons and stimulate you intellectually, which will pay off in the long run”. -Professor Ken Kowalski

“Since first grade you’ve always been the smartest kid in the class. You could coast now and then and still come out ahead, but now everyone was the smartest kid in the class. Moral: Don’t coast.”  -Professor Stephen Lazarus

“I wish someone had told me not to be afraid to ask for help. I wish someone had told me to take time out to exercise and eat healthy.”  -Professor Browne Lewis

“Use your Peer Advisor and Alumni Mentor. Ask them questions about law school classes, professors, and outlines; talk about your classes and any challenges there; discuss your career goals and find out their career path; and most importantly, consider them the first two in your networking circle for life.” -Amy Miller, Director of Donor and Alumni Relations 

“The short-term view is to study hard, achieve high grades and earn honors such as journal membership and moot court awards...The mid-term view is to build your reputation and relationships with your professors….The long-term view is to build a real friendship with your classmates, because they are your colleagues for life.”  - Professor John Plecnik

“Most people spend most of the first semester of law school secretly believing that they are the only person who doesn’t get it. The truth is that nobody really knows what’s going on for most of those first 3-4 months, you are not alone, and things will eventually make more sense. Hang in there! “ -Professor Chris Sagers

“If there are specific materials that you do not understand, go see your professor during office hours. Professors love to hear from you and are always willing to explain materials in more depth and answer your questions. We get really bored during (empty) office hours.” -Professor Milena Sterio

This Week’s Monday Moment:  How to Start an Exciting New Chapter in Your Life

  Have a great day. Have a great week.

 For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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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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