Sign up to receive an emailed copy of the Dean's Monday Morning Message each week!
See Latest Headlines Page for current week's message
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” –Plato
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The only title in our democracy superior to that of President is the title of citizen." -- Justice Louis D. Brandeis
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” -The Declaration of Independence, 1776
“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal….” -The Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls Woman’s Rights Convention, 1848
“Even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side.” -Billy Joel, The River of Dreams
“Justice is like the north star, which is fixed, and all the rest revolve about it.” –Confucius
“The law provides necessary continuity amidst our constantly shifting political landscape. It is an assurance that the rules of the game apply equally to everybody, whether they are in today’s or yesterday’s majority.” – Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
"I vividly recall a family friend asking me ‘What do you want to do when you grow up little girl?’ ‘I want to be a lawyer,’ I responded. He smiled at me and then in a low voice said to my father –‘She’ll never be a lawyer.’…
“Years ago I got two gifts from my sister: a money jar, which stated on the side "Legal Funds" and a mug, which stated on the side "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough." Well, my dream of becoming a licensed attorney in America, when in 2005 I didn't even speak English was scary, and of course my "Legal Fund" jar, even when filled, could not cover the law school tuition. But the dream was there, the will to work hard to achieve it was there too, and then CMLAW took care of the rest.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin
“Know that, regardless of who your clients are…. your job will never be to win at all costs. Your job is to zealously and competently represent those clients’ interests within the confines of the law.” – 2019 Cleveland-Marshall Commencement Speaker, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart ‘88
“We are more than a law school, we’re a community that cares about each other and what we have built here extends beyond these walls.” - Jeffery Carr ‘19, Learn Law. Live Justice. Award Winner
“Every day I fight against the urge to lasso the world and make it tame for you. I wish I could keep you in a bubble. I wish I could keep you safe here with me forever, but I will use all my strength, and I will give you wings instead my love; then I will cry the day you use them.” -- Jessica Cushman Johnston
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” -- Anna Quindlen
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” -Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus, inscribed on a bronze plaque at the Statue of Liberty
On this day in 1940, John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his classic novel The Grapes of Wrath. It's the story of a poor Midwestern migrant farming family fighting to keep their family intact. They were not immigrants. They were migrants from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl who had come to California when drought made their lives as farmers impossible.
“Well, tests ain’t fair. Those that study have an unfair advantage.” – Allan Dare Pearce, Paris in April
“It’s not that I’m that smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein
“Standing in the hall of fame…. Cause you burn with the brightest flame.” - “Hall of Fame”, The Script
“As one of the students who attended the Hall of Fame Celebration, I can’t tell you enough how inspiring it was to learn about our incredible alumni, founding honorees, and other law school supporters in the community.”
“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” -Albert Einstein
We are a law school without walls.
"Three bricklayers are asked: 'What are you doing?' The first says, 'I am laying bricks.' The second says, 'I am building a church.' And the third says, 'I am building the house of God.' The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling." -- Angela Duckworth
I’m pleased to announce that our Class of 2018 has achieved a 95.5% employment rate! Following on the heels of our state-high 93% pass rate for the July 2018 Ohio bar examination, this is the highest employment rate for CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law since the Great Recession hit in 2007. In addition to the 95% total employment rate, more than 80% of the Class of 2018 is employed in full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage or for which the law degree is a distinct advantage.
“Equal Justice under the law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society.” -Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell
As we walked up the steps of one of the most awe-inspiring buildings in the world, we saw sixteen majestic marble columns. Above them were the engraved words "Equal Justice Under Law."
We walked through the main corridor known as the Great Hall and saw the busts of all the former Chief Justices, including Chief Justice John Marshall, after whom our law school is named.
“It is ironic that the occupation most responsible for producing America’s leaders has focused so little attention on that role…." –Professor Deborah Rhode, Stanford Law School; author, Lawyers as Leaders
“Although legal education emphasizes technical skills….it is the soft skills that most frequently distinguish an exceptional attorney from an ordinary attorney….soft skills are to hard skills as software is to hardware.” –Randall Kiser, Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer
“You hold in your hands what many believe to be the best novel ever written. To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of a crusading lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his fight for moral truth and racial justice. Today, his character continues to ignite important dialogue. This iconic story has inspired many of our students to be lawyers..."
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – President Theodore Roosevelt.
As our prospective and admitted students consider where they will attend law school this coming fall, they will look at all the assets that a law school has to offer. Some can be measured by national rankings, but even more cannot.
“I have received more from C|M|LAW than I could have imagined…..I wanted a school with good bar passage ratings, good job placement, and a good reputation in the community. C|M|LAW has all of these, but also offers tons of networking events and their graduates give back to the current students.” -Rachelle Summers, J.D. Candidate, 2019, Women's Student Law Association, Vice President, Moot Court
"We the People of the United States, in Order to… establish Justice… and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution..." -The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution
Yesterday (February 24), in 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, after whom our law school is named, established the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in the new American government. In the landmark case, Marbury v. Madison, Marshall confirmed the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional.
“ ‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say….Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.” – Alice Walker
Last Wednesday was Giving Day at Cleveland State University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and I’m very pleased to report that Cleveland-Marshall raised the most dollars and had the most donors than any other CSU College by a large margin. We raised $23,822 from 130 donors in just one day!
"Teaching is the greatest act of optimism." –Colleen Wilcox
“I touch the future. I teach.” –Christa McAuliffe
Last week, I noted that there are many compelling reasons for students to choose Cleveland-Marshall, but one factor, above all others, is the most important – the quality of our faculty.
I’m very pleased to share another sampling of the student evaluations of some of our faculty from last semester.
“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats
“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” – Robert Frost
We are in the process of recruiting students for our Fall 2019 class. The competition between law schools for the most talented students has never been more competitive. So why should an applicant choose us?
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” — Maya Angelou
We open doors and let the future in.
We are here for our students from the moment they enter the first front door to their legal education to the moment they enter the second front door to their career. We are their law school for life.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and it’s worth noting that we have a long, proud history of advancing equality and social justice.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” -Mother Teresa
Not a week goes by without my receiving positive emails and notes about our outstanding faculty and staff and about the Cleveland-Marshall experience.
So here’s some wisdom to live by in 2019.
“When the law school offered me a scholarship, I asked my sister to read the letter for me because I just couldn’t believe that something so good was happening to me. Seeing how many people invest in this institution really made me study as hard as I can.” -Erica Molnar ’18
“My brother and I are the first generation to go to college….By choosing C|M|LAW, I was choosing to put the weight of the alumni network behind me and that it was worth its weight in the extra loans and money that it would cost me… Looking back… I made the right choice.” -Kimberly Kendall Coral ‘12
On this day in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful fight in history of a self-propelled aircraft. In the spirit of the Wright brothers, we are a law school on the rise.
“Well, tests ain’t fair. Those that study have an unfair advantage.” –Allan Dare Pearce, Paris in April
“It’s not that I’m that smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” –Albert Einstein
Final exams began last week and continue until December 21. We provide coffee and food in the Dean’s office every day during exams, but I also want to offer a little advice and share advice from some of our faculty and staff.
"I want you all to imagine what it was like for me to talk to an 11-year-old dark-skinned boy by the name of Michael, with a scar on his face, who knew to take his pain and suffering of his long eleven years of living - and use it to be a blessing in someone else's life. That broke me down.... It struck a fire in my gut. And that fire was called: never again." – Michael K. Williams Actor, Producer, “Raised in the System.”
"When I had difficult times in prison ….where I was housed with 2200 men for every crime you could probably think of …. I said to myself that I want to be a light in this dark place. I understood that I couldn't get over this, I couldn't get under it, I had to go through it." – Dominic Dupont, whose 25 year-to-life sentence was commuted by Governor Andrew Cuomo
“What a wonderful event …. a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm about our law school and clearly the extraordinary bar results just added to the celebration. Well done …. and thanks to all the students who helped make the event a great success. Here’s to HOF III – onward and upward!” – Kelly Tompkins’ 81
“Thank you so very much for a memorable and heartfelt evening. I was humbled to be in the company of such exceptional alumni. I felt the presence of my parents, who would have been beyond proud of their family.” – Donna Zapis Thomas ‘87
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously….” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As Thanksgiving approaches later this week, I want to express my deep gratitude for the exceptional work of our law students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and for the support and leadership of CSU President Harlan Sands, CSU Board Chair David Gunning ’94, CSU Foundation Chair Tim Cosgrove ‘87, Board of Visitors Chair Brent Buckley ‘82, and Alumni Association President Judge Michelle Paris ’84.
“AMAZING!!! Congrats Judge Melody Stewart.” – tweet by LeBron James @KingJames
My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be ….with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought… that honor is to be earned but not bought.” -U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith
This past week was another great week in our law school’s proud history. (Note: Since Veteran’s Day fell on a Monday, today’s message is being sent Tuesday morning.)
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Tom Peters
We continue to be a law school on the rise. This past week was one of the best weeks in our law school’s proud history.
Tomorrow, Election Day, is an important day in the life our nation. I’ll end this message with a few words about that …. but first, our week to remember...
“We’ve got to stop the hate.” - Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, Tree of Life Synagogue
At about 9am on Saturday morning, I sat down to write an upbeat Monday Morning Message about one of the best days in our law school’s history this past Friday... But that’s now a message for another day. An hour later, I stopped writing when I heard the horrific news that many Jewish worshipers on the Sabbath had been murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“You can be a master, Don't wait for luck. Dedicate yourself and you goin' find yourself, Standing in the hall of fame…. Cause you burn with the brightest flame. And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame.” - See our 2017 C|M|Law Hall of Fame Video
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” - William Jennings Bryan
“Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it.” - Winston Churchill
"Together we will define our own future, and not let the future define us.
Together, we will expand our reach as both anchor and beacon, working to grow our already impressive brand.
Together, we will continue to serve our community with our unique mix of high quality, affordable, and accessible academic programs that transform lives.
“As I returned to Washington DC and drove past the wonderful monuments to outstanding Americans, I thought about the amazing monumental recipients of the Cleveland-Marshall Hall of Fame that I am honored to be among. The history of our law school’s graduates is truly inspiring.” - Elizabeth Pugh ’78, General Counsel, Library of Congress, 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court starts its new term - the first Monday in October- an historical tradition that goes back to 1917. The backdrop is the dramatic politics of the moment.
“Being a proud and humble graduate of C|M|LAW allows me to celebrate being part of the fabric of the community in which I work, live and play...” -Teresa Metcalf Beasley ’92, 2018 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Inductee
“…this law school provided the education and inspiration I needed to take my life in a very different direction. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity C|M|LAW provided to Learn Law, Live Justice.” -Professor Emerita Susan J. Becker ’83, 2018 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Inductee
“C|M|LAW created an environment that shaped my confidence to emulate lawyers who sacrificed comfort and prestige to work for people's rights. My time at C|M|LAW was indispensable to my life in law…” -Terry Gilbert ’73, 2018 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Inductee
Today is the birthday (September 24, 1755) of the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Marshall, known as the “Great Chief Justice” because of his historic role in establishing the Supreme Court’s role in our federal government.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
Not a week goes by without my hearing positive stories and messages about our law school. Below are three powerful messages I want to share.
“Wherever you go, there you are.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” -John Lennon
“Learn how to dance with the unknown.” -Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty
17 years ago today, on 9/11, at 8:46 a.m., our world changed in an instant. It was one of the saddest, darkest days in history.
There are countless lessons to be learned from this horrific day. One of them is to live in the present. Every day, we are reminded that we live in a uncertain world with an uncertain future.
“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” -Albert Einstein
We are a law school without walls.
Every week throughout the year, we facilitate free expression and foster a culture where our students learn not only in the classroom but also through honest engagement and respectful discourse and dialogue.
What do photography, mindfulness, criminal justice, and the Constitution have in common? Answer-our extraordinary September calendar of events! I want to highlight some upcoming major C|M|Law Events that you don’t want to miss!
“Whether we think each other right or wrong in our views on the issues of the day, we owe each other our respect as so long as our character merits respect and as long as we share for all our differences, for all the rancorous debates that enliven and sometimes demean our politics, a mutual devotion to the ideals our nation was conceived to uphold - that all are created equal, and liberty and equal justice are the natural rights of all.” - John McCain, The Restless Wave
Arizona Senator John McCain died Saturday, nine years to the day after the same cancer killed his friend and colleague, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy. They were fierce political adversaries. They were also friends. Why? Because both understood, in the spirt of the founders of our nation, that even as we zealously advocate for our positions and views, we must remain committed to civility.
“I’m about to give you all of my money,
And all I’m askin’ in return…
Find out what it means to me.”
-Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”
Last week, we welcomed our first-year class. Although we do our best to provide scholarships to as many students as we can and appreciate the support we receive from donors to make that possible, many have had to take out loans to attend our law school. We owe them, and they owe each other, respect and admiration for their willingness to pursue their dream by living, working, and studying a few years of their life like most people won’t, so they can spend the rest of their life like most people can’t.
“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.
“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
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” - Steven Spielberg
“Every wall is a door.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We tell our students and graduates that “we are your law school for life.” What does that mean?
It means that we are a law school with no back doors, only front doors. We are there for our students from the moment they enter the first front door to their legal education to the moment they enter the second front door to their career.
“The brick walls are there for a reason...they are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." - Randy Pauch, The Last Lecture
The Ohio Bar Exam is this week - July 24, 25 and 26 in Wilmington, Ohio.
Since 1738 when Delaware created the first bar exam, law graduates have gone through this rite of passage. The origin of “bar” is from the wooden bar that stood near the front of the courtroom at the ancient Inns of Court in London, separating the spectator area of the courtroom from the area reserved for judges and attorneys.
“As one of the students who attended the  Hall of Fame Celebration, I can’t tell you enough how inspiring it was to learn about our incredible alumni, founding honorees, and other law school supporters in the community”. -Lauren Holler, October 2017
“As a 1L student, last night [October 2017] served as an incredible reminder of why I wanted to be a part of this community in the first place. To be a part of a night that honored all of the incredible individuals that have made it possible for me and others to be where we are was a remarkable experience…” Grace Hurley, October 2017
“Pacesetter: a person who takes the lead and sets standards of achievement for others.” –Merriam-Webster Dictionary
This morning, I am respectfully asking you to be a C|M|LAW Pacesetter and accelerate our trajectory as a law school on the rise.
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Standing in the hall of fame…. Cause you burn with the brightest flame.” - “Hall of Fame”, The Script
Last year, our 120th anniversary, we launched the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (C|M|LAW) Hall of Fame.
Each year, we honor those living and deceased leaders who have contributed to our past, present, and/or future success. While the vast majority of our honorees are current and past alumni, we also honor current and past community leaders who have contributed to our success, and past faculty, deans, and staff. Current full-time faculty and staff are not eligible.
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory… will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” – President Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, 1861
“In our finest hours, the soul of the country manifests itself in an inclination to open our arms rather than to clench our fists…” – Jon Meacham, The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels.
As we celebrate America’s birthday this week, I want to briefly reflect on the confluence of three events this past week- the resignation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the tragic shootings of 5 journalists at the Capital Gazette, and, yes, even LeBron James’ free agency.