Staff Profile: New Assistant Dean for Admission Barbara Andelman

Posted 2020-01-16 3:44pm

Barbara Andelman joined Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in September as Assistant Dean for Admission, with vast experience in the business, legal, education and non-profit sectors. Her experience includes 19 years at Case Western Reserve School of Law as the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, and later as Associate Dean for Student Services and Enrollment Management. 

Andelman’s perspective on the role of law schools in preparing students for success in the practice of law has changed significantly as a result of experience in the legal education and in the legal community. 

“I used to believe that law schools were primarily about teaching theory and that new lawyers would gain all practical knowledge and on-the-job training after law school. But the practice of law has changed. Law school graduates who can hit the ground running and have significant real-life experience are better prepared to be lawyers and offer greater value to their employers and clients,” Andelman said.  “One of the reasons I feel so strongly about what we offer at Cleveland-Marshall is that our students have phenomenal experiential and work opportunities that put them far ahead of their peers at other law schools due to the school’s focus on creating outstanding opportunities, our uniquely dedicated alumni network, and our location in the heart of the legal community.”

Andelman’s first position out of college was working for a young Ohio state legislator who was an innovative thinker and a passionate advocate, and who inspired her to go to law school.   Years later, after putting her law degree to work in a range of fields, Andelman was thrilled to have the opportunity to join her early mentor, Lee Fisher. The opportunity to again work for Fisher who, like Andelman, joined the law school as Dean of C|M|LAW after serving in other leadership capacities, is another reason Andelman was excited specifically about returning to legal education at C|M|LAW. 

“I knew that if I were ever to return to legal education, I needed to feel completely confident that the law school I was representing could offer an outstanding education and value to aspiring lawyers and truly position them for success. I had always thought highly of Cleveland-Marshall, but I started to notice an even greater energy, student focus, and openness to curricular innovation once Dean Fisher joined the law school,” Andelman said. "I found it inspiring, great for its students and graduates and as a result, it is easy to be passionate when talking with prospective students about C|M|LAW.” 

Andelman, a Shaker Heights native, entered The Ohio State University Law School not sure that she wanted to practice law but knowing that a legal degree would open opportunities. Right out of law school Andelman practiced law at Benesch before leaving for a career in higher education at Case Western Reserve School of Law. She then served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and as the Chief Operating Officer at a Cleveland-area law firm.  Prior to joining C|M|LAW, Andelman served as the Vice President of Workforce Development at the Centers for Families and Children.

In addition to her work, she has volunteered with several non-profit organizations and believes that it is important for lawyers to become engaged in their community.  Andelman has particularly enjoyed her volunteer work with the Cleveland Council on World Affairs; she and her husband, Richard (Hal) Nemeth, C|M|LAW ‘84 regularly host international visitors here in Cleveland for educational programs through the U.S. State Department. That exposure to different cultures had a lasting impact on her family as her son currently lives and works in China while her daughter works for USAID and is currently stationed in Jordan.

Additionally, Andelman also serves on the board for the Oberlin Center for the Arts and chaired the board of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. 

Now several months into her time at Cleveland-Marshall, Andelman has really enjoyed getting to know students and is so pleased to hear how much they love being at C|M|LAW and how supported they feel. The energy in this building – with programs and events happening daily – makes for an exciting place to work.  She has been particularly impressed with the relationship C|M|LAW’s alumni network has with current students and the innovative experiences and tools being offered to students to prepare them for real-world work as attorneys.

 “When talking to a prospective student I want to be able to feel the person will truly get good value for their investment and that they will be truly prepared for their first legal job coming out of law school.  I can proudly and confidently say that about Cleveland-Marshall.” Andelman said.

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