Monday Morning Message 9.7.21 Guardians of Justice

Posted 2021-09-07 10:35am

Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes….Those who forget WHY they were founded show up to the race every day to outdo someone else instead of to outdo themselves.” ― Simon Sinek, author, Start With Why

When I spoke to our first year students on the first evening of Orientation, I told them that it was important to “start with why.” I asked them to break into small groups and ask each other why they enrolled at CSU Cleveland-Marshall. I observed that no one talked about getting a job (although that, of course, is very important!). Rather, virtually all of them talked about using their law degree to make a difference and to advance justice.

That evening, I said that each of them was there to be educated and trained as a “guardian of justice.” Later that week, U.S. District Judge Benita Y. Pearson '95, Northern District of Ohio, also referred to our students and graduates as “guardians of justice.”

So when the Cleveland Indians changed their name to The Guardians, it resonated with me. Outside our Dean’s Office are 4 compelling photos of the Hope Memorial Bridge Guardians by famed Cleveland photographer Jennie Jones, a long-time friend of our law school.

Cleveland Plain Dealer art and architecture critic Steve Litt wrote, “The Guardians keep watch over it all, unifying the East and West sides of the city by facing both directions. They stand erect and straight-backed with wings on their shoulders and their eyes fixed on distant horizons.” Cleveland Indians Renamed for Hope Memorial Bridge Guardians

I have long thought that those beautiful Jennie Jones photos symbolize that at our law school we are educating our students not only to be lawyers but also to be Guardians of Justice. 

So it’s no coincidence that many of our students, staff, and faculty are wearing our new C|M|LAW Guardians of Justice t-shirt! 

 Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

We plan to make the Guardians of Justice T-shirt available to our alumni for a modest minimum contribution of $25 later this month. If you are interested, please email  Ashley Presutto (

 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 best,


Lee Fisher

Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law


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