Tuesday Morning Message 6.1.21 Hire Talent. Hire Grit.

Posted 2021-06-01 12:22pm

Note: I have decided to give your inbox a summer break! I will resume my Monday Morning Message the week of August 23 when the Fall 2021 Semester begins. In the meantime, have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable summer. We all deserve it!


“We are asking our extensive alumni network to open their proverbial Rolodex to help this larger graduating class.  As much as we would all like to think we are “self-made,” I think it’s fair to say that most of us relied on a helping hand of someone who was willing to open a door, make an introduction, or take a chance on an eager novice.  I know that is true for me. 


Cleveland is a great place to write your own story, but sometimes it’s tough to get that first break.  Can you be the person who makes a difference in the career of one of our graduates?  Adding a first-year lawyer to your staff may be more affordable than you think.  Are you willing to mentor a graduate to help guide their job search?  Do you work in a non-traditional role in which your law degree has given you an advantage; are you willing to connect your hiring managers to our career planning department?  There are so many ways to help, but time is of the essence. “  


-Ann-Marie Ahern, C|MLAW ’98, Principal, McCarthy Lebit, Crystal & Liffman; Member, C|M|LAW Board of Visitors

On May 15, 2021, CSU Cleveland-Marshall conferred degrees to our class of 2021, welcoming 128 new JD graduates to the C|M|LAW alumni network. Some of these graduates begin bar preparation with full-time, long-term jobs already secured, but a number of our graduates will need your help to launch their careers. Some are currently seeking opportunities, and some will be seeking new opportunities after the bar examination.  


Are you hiring? Please go this link to get a copy of our 2021 Resume Book and learn more about our graduates: Hire C|M|LAW. Contact Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services, Sarah Beznoska (S.Beznoska@csuohio.edu), to connect with our talent.  


Employers know that what distinguishes our talented graduates from other law schools’ graduates is grit and perseverance, combined with the preparation we provide in our JD program. When you Hire C|M|LAW, you can be certain you’re adding talent to your team. 


Our graduates are always: 


Practice-Ready and Prepared: our graduates come to us with significant employment and life experiences, and while with us develop the legal knowledge and practical skills required to successfully contribute immediately upon graduation to any dynamic workplace. We produce graduates with strong legal writing skills, the ability to thoroughly navigate complicated legal issues, and the confidence to apply innovative thinking to solve problems.  


Skilled in Leadership and Diversity: our graduates leverage on and off campus opportunities to develop core leadership skills, including communication, cultural competency, active listening, project management, teamwork, and technology.  


Committed to Professionalism and Ethics: our graduates know the value of hard work, integrity, and accountability. We challenge them as they learn law in the classroom so they are prepared to live justice as lawyer leaders, in whatever field they choose.  


We’re not the only ones who believe in our graduates. We’re proud to know that leaders in the legal community agree. 


 “As someone who is involved in evaluating and hiring students from law schools across the country, I find that C|M|LAW graduates possess a strong work ethic and practical skill set that sets them apart from their peers from other schools.”  

-Patrick Burke, C|M|LAW ‘2003, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs; Member, C|M|LAW Board of Visitors


“I managed Sherwin-Williams’ law clerk program for several years and could always count on C|M|Law to send great candidates my way. Each of our Cleveland-Marshall law clerks has been enthusiastic and engaged, with an excellent work ethic and willingness to tackle any and all projects in a practical and thoughtful manner. We’re looking forward to welcoming our two new Cleveland-Marshall law clerks in June.”  

-Kelly Albin, C|M|LAW ‘2012, Corporate Counsel, The Sherwin Williams Company; Member, C|M|LAW Board of Visitors


“The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is proud to include many C|M|LAW grads among our staff.  C|M|LAW encourages students to engage in their community – to apply their skills and knowledge to solving problems in the real world.  This prepares them well to join Legal Aid where they extend justice. C|M|LAW graduates are leaders at Legal Aid and in our community.”  

Colleen Cotter, Executive Director, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland; Member, C|M|LAW Board of Visitors


“Through the Cleveland-Marshall Externship Program, I have had the opportunity to work with some very talented and professional law students.  Cleveland Metroparks has been able to undertake certain projects that have advanced our conservation mission that were only possible because of the students’ skill set and passion.  Our legal externs have brought innovative thinking and demonstrated such integrity in their work for us!  

-Rose Fini, C|M|LAW ’94, Chief Legal and Ethics Officer, Cleveland Metroparks; President-Elect, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association


The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is the first school I look to when hiring lawyers and law clerks. Our law firm has thrived over the years because of the high caliber of lawyers that have been trained by our school. The candidates that are steadily presented to us for hiring consideration are driven, diverse and exceptional. As an employer, I count myself fortunate to be affiliated with The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.”  

-Ian Friedman, C|M|LAW ’97, Founding Partner, Friedman & Nemecek; Adjunct Professor, C|M|LAW  


“The great thing about the Mock Trial Team course is that it provides our students with real-life preparation for litigating any type of case in a courtroom. During the course, students prepare and litigate a mock case problem in front of actual judges and attorneys across the country. This includes everything from opening statements and closing arguments to direct and cross examinations. As a result, employers gain the benefit of hiring these students knowing that they are ready to step into a courtroom day 1, without needing to expend time/resources on training them.”  

-Julian Emerson, Partner, Reminger; Adjunct Professor, C|M|LAW Mock Trial Team


 “My plaintiffs' litigation law firm has been committed to hiring Cleveland-Marshall law students and graduates for the past 13 years.  Cleveland-Marshall law students and graduates possess the requisite practical skills, trial skills, innovative thinking and accountability in their work product that are key to being a successful litigation attorney.  Additionally, I have found that Cleveland-Marshall law students and graduates have a strong work ethic and integrity, which are the foundation of an attorney's reputation in the legal community.  Finally, the Cleveland-Marshall law students and graduates that have worked at my law firm have gone on to become successful litigation attorneys and leaders in our community, which underscores the tremendous education and training they received while students at Cleveland-Marshall.  I consider my hiring of Cleveland-Marshall law students and graduates to be a large part of my law firm's success story.  I whole-heartedly encourage other law firms to consider hiring Cleveland-Marshall law students and graduates!”  

-Lori A. Luka, C|M|LAW ‘2000, Managing Partner, Lazzaro Luka Law Offices, LLC


“Anytime I need to hire a law clerk or an attorney, the first place I turn is Cleveland-Marshall. Cleveland-Marshall students and grads have the drive, positive attitude, and critical thinking skills that allow them to stand out from other applicants. If you need someone who is practice-ready and ready to work, hire C|M|LAW.”  

Allen Tittle, C|M|LAW ‘2010, Founding Partner, Tittle & Perlmuter


“The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has a long history of hiring approximately 10-15 law clerks from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law every fall, spring, and summer.  Attorneys in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office are consistently impressed with the ability, motivation, knowledge, and maturity of law students from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.  Law students from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law are a great asset in support of the work of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.”  

-Jim Moss, C|M|LAW ‘93, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office 


“C|M|LAW students have a fundamental understanding of not only the basic law school curricula, but an awareness of the underlying complex issues driving the subject matter. In addition to the students’ proficiency of the law, we have found C|M|LAW students to have a multitude of life experiences which only enhances their ability to work collaboratively with professionals from attorneys, judges, expert witnesses and most importantly the clients. CMLaw students offer a complete package to an employer. It is with great enthusiasm that we interview and hire CMLaw students.”  

-Amy Goff, C|M|LAW ’93, Chief Law Clerk, and Ashley Stebbins, Assistant Public Defender, Cuyahoga County Public Defender


Justin Younker ’2017 joined the Office of the Vice President, General Counsel at Oberlin College as an assistant attorney bringing exceptional skills in conducting thorough legal research with an analytical and growth mindset along with outstanding skills in preparing clear, written deliverables that serve the practical needs of our internal client-colleagues.  His previous career as a K-12 educator, his legal education, and his law firm practice experience prepared him well to deliver quality legal services in a fast-paced environment.  As a result of Justin’s ability to discern the comprehensive needs of our client-colleagues,  to work as part of a team, and to lead when appropriate by identifying opportunities for self-directed contributions that constructively advance the college’s mission, he has quickly earned the confidence of senior leaders and is considered a trusted legal advisor.”   

-Donica Varner, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Oberlin College  


“At any given time, I am working on buying businesses and dealing with several different corporate legal issues.  C|M|LAW Externs provide additional support and are a big help in accomplishing goals and finishing projects faster.  These projects help C|M|LAW students understand complex M&A transactions and learn new skills that they can use after they pass the bar.”  

-Brian Seitz, C|M|LAW ‘2003, President of Acquisitions and In-House Counsel, Hillcrest Foodservice Co.  


 “Auto Services Unlimited’s participation in the C|M|LAW externship program led us to seek and ultimately hire two new C|M|LAW graduates. They had all of the qualities we were looking for: grit, intelligence, practical experience, and the ability to learn quickly. They have since proven in the short time employed with us that they don’t need years of experience in order to make meaningful contributions to our legal department.” 

-Tyler Bewley, Associate Counsel, Auto Services Unlimited 


“Since shortly after opening my own plaintiff’s practice in 2012, I’ve contacted Cleveland-Marshall exclusively for law clerk hires.  I found the career services office easier to work with than other schools, and only received qualified applicants.  I like that the students come prepared to talk about my firm at the interview, they send in the information I request ahead of time, and that I don’t need to screen out tons of resumes from non-law students like you have to on Indeed or other websites.  The students I’ve interviewed have all been professional, driven, and ambitious, making the hiring decisions hard in a good way.  I was so impressed this past year with the interviewees that I found a way to hire two of the students that I interviewed.” 

-Dan Myers, C|M|LAW ‘2011, Founder, Myers Law LLC 


“I cannot say enough good things about the externship program at Cleveland-Marshall. I completed an externship as a student and now I manage the extern program at the same institution. Each extern has contributed in a significant way to our program, from conducting investigations to developing both employer and customer-facing communications, all the while displaying practical skills, leadership, innovative thinking, integrity, and accountability. Each extern we have demonstrates intelligence and skill required to launch into the legal field. They exhibit a can-do attitude and flexibility, particularly those who had to make great adjustments during the pandemic.”  

-Compliance Externship Site Supervisor 


The time is always right to Hire C|M|LAW.  Hire Talent. Hire Grit.


The Monday Morning Message will be back the week of August 23. In the meantime……

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

Have a great day. Have a great summer.

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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