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Released on Sep 19, 2023
Robert P. Ducatman Memorial Endowed Scholarship to Support CSU|LAW Students
headshot of Robert Ducatman '80

The Robert P. Ducatman Memorial Endowed Scholarship, established in a joint effort and funded by Jones Day, the Jones Day Foundation, and Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, will support Cleveland State University College of Law students beginning this Fall.  The scholarship honors its namesake, Robert P. Ducatman, a 1980 graduate of CSU|LAW and a longtime Partner at Jones Day who passed away in 2022.

“Rob didn’t just make lawyers better, he made the profession better,” said John M. Saada Jr., Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day’s Cleveland office.  “His legacy as a fierce litigator and great trial lawyer will long be remembered, but his legacy as a teacher and a mentor to other Jones Day lawyers will perhaps be his greatest and most lasting contribution to the firm, and to countless others who crossed his path.  There is no better way to honor his memory than to create professional opportunities for the future Rob Ducatmans.”

A Cleveland native who worked at his father's auto repair shop from an early age, Ducatman was not only the first to become a lawyer in his family, but also the first to go to college.  He attended Cleveland State University as an undergraduate, graduating magna cum laude as he continued to work at the auto repair shop to support his studies.

After law school, Ducatman worked as a Law Clerk for Judge John M. Manos ’50 of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for three years.  He joined Jones Day in 1983 as one of the firm’s first associates dedicated to practicing intellectual property law. Throughout his four decades at Jones Day, Ducatman focused his IP practice on trademark disputes, unfair competition, and trade secret disputes, and also handled patent litigation matters. For more than 20 years, Rob also served the firm by protecting the Jones Day brand and service mark around the world. 

Known for approaching the practice of law and mentoring with a wonderful sense of humor, and demanding much from himself in his practice, Ducatman never hesitated to take on tough cases or unpopular causes for clients.  He was valued by clients and colleagues alike in part because of his encyclopedic legal knowledge in subjects far exceeding just IP law, and for his problem-solving prowess.

“Rob demanded much of the lawyers who worked for him but he gave back even more,” said Robert S. Faxon, a partner in Jones Day’s Cleveland office.  “Many litigators at Jones Day learned much of what they know about the practice of law from Rob.  He was a whip-smart, humorous, and unselfish lawyer who referred to himself as a ‘lunch pail guy.’  This scholarship commemorates the legacy and memory of a great lawyer and exceptional person. He was one-of-a-kind and is dearly missed.”

The Robert P. Ducatman Memorial Endowed Scholarship is designed to give opportunities to future generations of talented CSU|LAW students who display qualities similar to its namesake.  The scholarship fund will provide annual awards to selected CSU College of Law students renewable for up to three years for full-time students and four-years for part-time students.  The first award of a $5,000 scholarship will be made in the fall of 2023, with several scholarship awards anticipated in future years.

“Rob exemplified the kind of student CSU|LAW has always welcomed—hard working, bright and looking for an opportunity to do well and to do good,” said classmate, longtime friend and Spangenberg Shibley & Liber Partner Dennis Lansdowne ’81. “Rob appreciated that CSU|LAW gave him a chance he might not have had at other schools. He never took that opportunity for granted and wanted others to have that same opportunity he had to get a legal education.”

Contributions to the Robert P. Ducatman Memorial Endowed Scholarship fund can be made at

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