Tuesday Morning Message 5.31.22 If U.S. News Ranked Law Alumni Associations....

Posted 2022-05-31 2:47pm

“We would like to recognize and give thanks to our long-time CMLAA Trustees Joseph B. Jerome ’75, Stanley E. Stein ’62, and Steven L. Wasserman ’78, who we lost over this past year. Their leadership was truly appreciated and their love of and appreciation for C|M|LAW and CMLAA were evident. We miss them and feel the loss of these esteemed colleagues on our Board.”

– Allison Taller Reich ‘09Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association President

“Learn Law. Live Justice. This is the mission statement of Cleveland-Marshall, but it is not just words on a paper. The education that I received at Cleveland-Marshall is second to none, and a big part of that is because it was so practical. The pragmatic approach of professors like Chris Sagers and Stephen Lazarus are what I carry with me today…I am prepared to be in the board room and around the meeting table because of the practical education that I received at Cleveland-Marshall….. Do you know how you know if someone went to Harvard Law? They tell you. Do you know how you know if someone went to Cleveland-Marshall? They show you.”

– Ann Aber ’03Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association 2022 Alumna of the Year

“ The Cleveland-Marshall community has guided my life in the law—first with a foundation of learning and then in nearly every career choice I have made. I am proud to have been able to ‘Learn Law.  Live Justice.’…. As alums each of us here today stand on the shoulders of those before us.  It is a lifelong privilege and responsibility to offer the same support to those who follow us through the doors of Cleveland-Marshall…  So today I am going to make a direct ask of everyone in this room—take an opportunity to be a mentor and take the opportunity to seek out a mentor. Be a positive ripple in someone else’s pond.” 


Judge Brendan Sheehan ’93Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association 2022 Alumnus of the Year


“The scholarship award provided respite so that I could maintain a laser focus on my experiential learning while still financially supporting my household and being present for my family. It alleviated the stress of figuring out how to finance my final year of school. It was a tangible expression of the CMLAA’s belief in me. For that, I will forever be appreciative. Thank you to the Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association for your unwavering support along this journey….I promise to carry the legacy of this organization proudly and represent the pillars in my future legal endeavors. I look forward to paying it forward to our next class of change-makers.”

– Bianca Smith ’22Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Scholarship Recipient

Over these past two weeks, I’ve seen the power of shared experience. First, at our May 15 Commencement honoring our very talented 2022 graduates, then at our May 26 Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association (CMLAA) Annual Recognition Luncheon (ARL) honoring our Alumni of the Year, and then the May 27 St. Edward High School Annual Legal Eagles Luncheon honoring two other members of our alumni.

At each event, there was a warmth and feeling of comradery that can only be found when all the people of room have a common bond – a shared experience that was transformative in their lives.

I am often asked why our alumni have such a strong connection to our law school and to each other that is found at so few other law schools.

The answer is that from the day a student is admitted to our law school, they are not just admitted to an institution, they are admitted to a family. A place where we are committed not only to providing a quality, rigorous legal education but also a place where bonds of support and friendship are forged that last a lifetime. Hence, our motto, “We are your law school for life.”

If U.S. News ranked law alumni associations, we would be ranked #1 in the nation, leaving Yale and Harvard in the dust!

On Thursday, May 26, our Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association (CMLAA) hosted the ARL, the largest law school alumni event in Ohio, and one of the largest in the country. Over 800 alumni and community supporters attended the luncheon. Net proceeds benefit scholarship funds for CSU Cleveland-Marshall Law students.

This year, the first in-person luncheon since 2019, the CMLAA honored two outstanding Alumni of the YearAnn Aber ’03, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, JOANN, and the Honorable Brendan Sheehan ’93, Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

John Grauer ’12, announced the creation of the Joseph B. Jerome Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of the late Joe Jerome ‘75 , Past CMLAA President.

See the CMLAA Video Tributes to Ann Aber, Judge Brendan Sheehan, and Joe Jerome.

CMLAA President Allison Taller Reich ‘09 presented the President’s Award to President–Elect Robin Wilson ’96, who worked with Allison and Alicia Perozeni, CMLAA Alumni Program Director to organize the luncheon.

I was very pleased to present the Dean Wilson G. Stapleton Award for Faculty Excellence to Professor Doron Kalir. Bianca Smith ’22, a CMLAA Scholarship Recipientspoke on behalf of those C|M|LAW students who received CMLAA scholarships.

On Friday, May 27, I had the honor of speaking at the St. Edward High School 2022 Legal Eagles Annual Awards Luncheon honoring two of our alumni –Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Joseph J. Zone ’80 as the Legal Eagles Man of the Year, and former Cleveland City Council President Kevin J. Kelley ’04 with the Legal Eagles Stewardship Award. The past Legal Eagles Men of the Year and Stewardship Award Recipients reads like a Who’s Who of distinguished CSU Cleveland-Marshall alumni!

There is no greater gift to a law school and no greater testament to the quality of its students, faculty, and staff, than a strong, loyal alumni network. I will be forever grateful for our supportive and engaged alumni, led by our dedicated Alumni Association and Board of Visitors, who pay it forward every day.

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

Have a great day. Have a great week.

My best,


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

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

  • Share