Teaching Teachers: Recent Moritz Alumni Shine in Academia
Law students across the country are learning what Moritz graduates already know: a Moritz education produces quality, whether in the courtroom or in the classroom. Five recent alumni are demonstrating this fact in law schools nationwide. While their scholarly interests vary widely, each cites Moritz as an important source of inspiration and preparation.
Michelle Morgan Harner '95
Michelle Morgan Harner ’95 always wanted to pursue teaching and she is currently achieving that goal at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Law. However, an unexpected love of the legal practice kept her at Jones Day for more than ten years after completing a federal judicial clerkship. After becoming partner, she decided to return to the passion first ignited at Moritz.
While a student at Moritz, Harner developed benchmarks for herself through conversations with Professors Greenbaum, Brudney and Rapoport. They suggested excellent grades, a clerkship, and publishing scholarly articles while practicing would build a solid foundation for a teaching career.
More important than prescribing her path, Moritz faculty inspired her to follow it.
Professor Harner says she was “so impressed with the faculty” during her time at Moritz that they “instilled [in her] a passion for the law.” Through her own courses, Professor Harner tries to ignite this same passion in her own students, along with a sense of what an “honor it is to be in this profession.” In the Moritz tradition of gifted teachers, Professor Harner was recently voted “Professor of the Year” by her upper class students, during her first year of teaching.
Mark Godsey '93
Mark Godsey ’93 was also inspired by the excellent instruction he received at Moritz. After a federal clerkship and private practice at Jones Day, Professor Godsey served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He later joined the faculty at Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. In 2004, he made the move across the Ohio River to the University of Cincinnati College of Law. In the classroom, he strives to “live up to the role models” he found in Professors Greenbaum and Herman, along with many others.
Professor Godsey feels privileged to spend each day teaching the fundamentals, as well as inspiring students to think critically about the law. Nothing pleases him more than having students “get fired up” during a class discussion. His engaging classroom style has led Professor Godsey to be given the Lukowsky Award for Teaching Excellence at Chase College of Law, and the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Cincinnati.
Jay Krishnan '96
Jayanth Krishnan '96 has built a career upon his enthusiasm for interdisciplinary studies. After discussing his interest in India and human rights with Dean Nancy Rogers, he decided to follow the dean’s suggestion and pair his legal studies with a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following completion of his Ph.D., Krishnan accepted a position at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to teaching, Professor Krishnan has consulted for the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, and the World Bank.
Professor Krishnan found teaching role models in Moritz professors such as Daniel C.K. Chow, Nancy Rapoport, and David Goldberger. Professor Krishnan was voted Teacher of the Year during the 2003-2004 academic year by Mitchell College's Student Bar Association. Professor Krishnan is the author of numerous law review and peer-reviewed articles, and he is a co-editing a volume on law and Hinduism that Cambridge University Press will publish next year. Comparative law and, specifically, what he refers to as the "amazing democracy" of India drive his current research and scholarship.
Justin Schwartz '98
Justin Schwartz ’98 began his teaching career, prior to attending law school, as a philosophy professor at Kalamazoo College and The Ohio State University. He had anticipated that law school would be the end of his teaching days. However, after clerkships and private practice at both Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis, he found that both the classroom and scholarly pursuits of academia were calling him back. After a successful visitorship, he recently accepted a permanent position at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Professor Schwartz feels that it is a privilege to be responsible for helping students shape their views as they enter the legal profession and it is at Moritz that he gained a model for teaching the law.
While Schwartz has degrees from Princeton, Cambridge, and the University of Michigan, it is the Moritz faculty who have most impressed him. In fact, when questioned about who inspired him, he says, “it would be unfair to single out a few because the overall experience was so good.” This good experience extended past graduation and into Schwartz’ job search. His decision to make the move back to academia was met with enthusiasm and support from the Moritz Law family.
Brian Ray '01
Brian Ray ’01 encountered this same support, before and after graduation. He always knew he wanted to teach, and the opportunity to have both an academic career and affect public policy through a professorship was very appealing. Interactions in and out of the classroom with Professors Colker, Brudney, Berman and Cole, among others, equipped Professor Ray with the inspiration and support necessary to pursue his objective.
As a matter of fact, it was Professor Brudney who first put Ray in contact with the Honorable Richard J. Goldstone of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, with whom Ray later completed one of his clerkships. After some time practicing with Jones Day, Ray’s focus has returned to South Africa. As a professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, his current research revolves around the Constitutional Court of South Africa: one project analyzes the Court’s socio-economic rights cases and another examines the Court’s use of international and foreign legal content. Professor Ray enjoys the freedom to study what interests him and loves the daily challenges presented in the classroom.
Moritz faculty provide an example of excellence in the classroom, inspire
students to achieve that same standard, and assist alumni as they enter
the world of academics. In teaching, there is no greater legacy.