Monday Morning Message 8.6.2018: "We Open Doors."

Posted 2018-08-06 12:05pm

Cleveland Marshall was exactly the right place….For four years, from 1949 to 1953, I worked during the day and went to school from six to ten every night. As tired as I might have been, I came to most of my classes full of excitement and anticipation…..As my studies progressed at Cleveland Marshall, I was aware that I was experiencing a kind of mental or intellectual metamorphosis." - Congressman Louis Stokes ’53, The Gentleman from Ohio

 “My Stokes Scholar internships helped me get an overall forest view of how the criminal justice system works. Sometimes once you get into law school you really start diving into the trees and you lose sight of how everything works practically in the real world.” - Brandon Brown ’17, first Stokes Scholar to graduate from any law school 

As the Honorable Thurgood Marshall once said. ‘None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.  - It is now our turn to bend down and help pick someone up.”  - Jzinae Jackson ’18 , Dean’s Learn Law. Live Justice. Award recipient and former Stokes Scholar

 I recently attended the graduation ceremony for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Louis Stokes Scholars Program. Named after C|M|LAW Hall of Fame member Congressman Louis Stokes'53, the Stokes Scholars Program provides resources and mentoring to college students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Shaw High School who are interested in pursuing careers in the law.

Carter Strang '84, during his tenure (2012-2013) as President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA), created the Stokes Scholars Program. Mary Groth '83 directs the program. The Program has won many awards, including the 2014 Ohio State Bar Foundation Outstanding Program Award.

In the Stokes Scholars Program, each student is placed with an internship host where they complete work for 8 weeks. Students are assigned a lawyer-mentor who is willing to continue mentoring the student through college and into law school. Throughout the summer, Stokes Scholars visit law firms, courts of all levels, and participate in lunch and learn seminars on a variety of topics related to professionalism. Leaders in the Cleveland legal community serve as internship host sites and mentors.

Cleveland-Marshall is involved each year as part of the Law School Admissions Bootcamp provided to Stokes Scholars. Professor Pam Daiker-Middaugh serves on the Stokes Scholars Advisory Committee. She helps to interview and select the Stokes Scholars, assists with determining where they intern, and organizes their visit to C|M|LAW. She also teaches pre-law classes as part of the program.

In the seven years since its inception, the Stokes Scholars Program has had 70 unique scholars in the program.

The first Stokes Scholar to graduate from law school was Brandon Brown'17. This year’s Dean’s Learn Law. Live Justice. Award winner was former Stokes Scholar, Jzinae Jackson'18Two current third-year students, and four of our incoming first-year students are also Stokes Scholars.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, "Teachers open the doors, but you must enter by yourself.” For the past 121 years, we have provided opportunities to countless women and men to enter our doors. Many have broken gender, race, ethnic, and generational barriers to achieve great success.

We are a law school that opens doors, shatters ceilings, and charts new paths.

Thank you.

Have a great week.

My best,


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

Subscribe to Dean's Monday Morning Message

Subscribe to C|M|Law Newsletter

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.

  • Share