Celebrating students on Mental Health Day

For Mental Health Day, we asked Wayne Law faculty and staff to share what they love most about our students. Here is what they had to say.

Dean Richard A. Bierschbach

You are among the most creative and thoughtful students I have encountered in almost 20 years of teaching. You all come from such unique and interesting backgrounds and have a story about what led you to this Law School. Your resiliency this year has been admirable and inspiring. I'm so proud to be your dean.

Associate Dean Rachel Settlage

When people ask me what I love about Wayne Law, my answer is always "the students." You are passionate, driven, committed, resilient, curious, caring, and brilliant. It has been a joy and honor to work with and teach every single one of you.

Professor Sanjukta Paul

Wayne State law students are so impressive: prepared, creative, intellectually curious, and practical. I especially appreciate teaching labor-related subjects within a community that has a deep-felt and shared practical understanding of the relationship of the law to work, workers, and the workplace. Particular kudos to my especially great Labor Law class this semester, who haven't let Zoom diminish their insights and enthusiasm!

Professor Christopher Lund

I love a lot of things about our students. But right now, I'm really remembering the strength, determination, and grit you bring to everything you do. Many of you have so much to tackle every day, with hurdles and obstacles that I and most of my friends never had in law school. Keep at it! You can do it!

Professor Noah Hall

You inspire me with your work, and just by showing up, thank you.

Professor Anthony Dillof

Students of Wayne Law: I wanted to take this opportunity to express to you my genuine admiration - you have battled your way through a once-in-a-century epidemic, a once-in-a-law-school exam period, and a once-a-day encounter with the unexpected and unfamiliar. All this, and the usual collection of flaws and foibles of those who throw at you endless reading assignments and unanswerable questions. Hats off and keep up the good work!

Professor Linda Beale

What I love about the students in Corporate Taxation is their preparation and eagerness to learn. They let me know when they have questions. They make clear that they want to understand the "why" as well as the "what." And there is a developing camaraderie that allows them to greet each other and me in the pre-class zoom opening with friendly chats about what they are up to, cooking, cats, trips, daring to go out into the cold when it is in the single digits, etc. - so that in spite of the difficulties of Zoom, we are getting to know something about each others' personalities, quirks, and passions in life.

Joan Verla, event specialist

What I love most about our Wayne Law students is their ability and willingness to quickly pivot when obstacles drop before them.

Diane Fears, director of Career and Professional Development

Like the Wayne Law students before you, you're strong, determined and eager to make a difference in the world around you. You're part of a cohesive, caring community of peers, alumni, faculty, staff and administration. We've got your back. Warrior Strong!

Professor Paul Dubinsky

Here is a shout-out to all of you working so hard to study law this semester, under difficult circumstances, to pursue your professional dreams. All of us on the faculty are here to help you.

Haley Briggs, alumni relations officer

Wayne Law students are the best of the best - this is exemplified in the way you support one another both in and out of the classroom.

Jane Warkentin, clinical programs manager and staff attorney

Wayne Law is the home of determined and passionate advocates! Thank you for working so hard under unusual and challenging circumstances. Your commitment inspires me every day. Enjoy the deserved break from your computer!

Professor Kathryn Smolinski

The students of Wayne Law are simply fantastic! They are bright, energetic, persevering, and unstoppable. I have had the distinct honor and pleasure to meet some of the most wise and compassionate students through the LAPC and CAC clinics. Individuals with cancer who work with these amazing students find their lives are changed for the better. Wayne Law clinic students perform an exceptional amount of research, advocacy and problem-solving and it works! So many individuals with cancer better understand their rights, have their homes saved, benefits renewed, life planning documents completed and enjoy a bit more peace, thanks to our students. You are awesome.

Kaylee Place, director of marketing and communications

What I love most about our students is how firey and passionate they are! We have students (and now alumni) working as legal observers, who helped make the LSAT accessible to blind students, and who always go above and beyond to support each other.

Assistant Dean Nikki Taylor-Vargo, Non-J.D. Programs

I love the passion and drive displayed by our inaugural MSL - HR class. They are intent on making the workplace better, especially during this unprecedented time. I can't wait to see what they accomplish!

Professor Eric Zacks

Our students are incredibly generous, gracious, and grounded. I am grateful for their energy and perseverance and miss seeing them in person, in the classroom and around campus!

Asandi Conner, director of the Detroit Equity Action Lab

I acknowledge and celebrate all that you have accomplished to get here, at this moment right now. I hope you will pause and celebrate all of your past wins too, and commit to celebrating the ones on the horizon. No matter what your journey has been or if the path ahead is snow-covered and unclear, remember you got this! Continue to show up and shine brightly for yourself, Detroit, and the world.

Professor Stephen Calkins

I can't imagine that any law school has students better equipped to handle this kind of adversity. All four of my classes have made the best of a challenging situation - and been cheerful about it. My main regret is that Seamus hasn't been able to see everyone in person.

Professor Robert Ackerman

I've long thought that students at Wayne Law possess a rare combination of maturity and altruism. I know it's supposed to be my job to bolster your enthusiasm and morale, but more often than not, it has been my students who have boosted my spirits! I am therefore not at all surprised that you have approached the pandemic with a confident, "let's make the best of a bad thing" attitude. You have chosen to enter a helping profession, and I am confident that you are more than equal to the task.

Professor John Mogk

I have been privileged to be able to teach and get to know our wonderful students over the past half-century. Today's students, like those who are now alums, are bright, energetic, committed and a pleasure to have in the classroom. The world awaits their professional arrival. 

Assistant Dean Meghan Short, Student Affairs

Wayne law students are Warriors! You have all adapted to the unique challenges of life, and law school, during a pandemic with agility and compassion. Nearly every student I meet asks me how I'm doing, thanks me for my time (no thanks are necessary, it's my job!), and ends our meeting with words of sincere appreciation. COVID has impacted each person in our community profoundly, and differently, but you recognize our shared experience rather than focusing on your own individual suffering. This empathy is one of the many things I love about our law students!

Virginia Thomas, director of the Arthur Neef Law Library

Take a look around, take a moment, take a breath. Do what brings you joy!

Professor Sabrina Balgamwalla

AILC student attorneys, your future is bright! Thank you for bringing your energy, good news, and insightful questions (and sometimes your children and pets!) to seminar and supervision week after week. I am inspired by the ways you advocate for and stay present with your clients, and the myriad of ways you cheer and support each other. The legal profession (and all of your future clients) will be lucky to have you.

Professor Lawrence Mann

My Trial Advocacy students are making my return to teaching a joy. They are creative, prepared and always willing to assist me in correcting my mistakes (smile).

Professor Michael Nowakowski

Keep up the positive attitude - despite this crazy pandemic. Your willingness to continue "zooming" is amazing. You all make me energized - I hope I can provide a bit of encouragement and share the love as well. It makes teaching Negotiation and ADR the best - with the best students!!! I hope you can learn something and have fun doing it.

Professor I.W. Winsten

The students in my evidence class are impressive. They are active and engaged and this makes it a pleasure to teach them.

Professor Kristin LaVoy

I love how supportive and kind our students are to one another.

Professor David Rogers

Here's what I've loved about our students since I started teaching health care law in 2016: alert, smiling faces at the beginning of each class; students' asking questions and not making faces even if I give a too-long answer; a student discussing a case from the reading assignment and describing a detail I'd forgotten; seeing the light go on in students' eyes every now and then; students sending me an email with a question, or asking advice, or sending me a class-related article I might be interested in; reading their exams and, every once in a while, smiling to myself and saying yes this student got the big picture; getting a good surprise once in a while seeing which students did the best when I receive their names after I've graded the numbered exams; being proud to see what my students learned in class; reading about awards and accomplishments of students I've known; having a student say he or she is seriously considering a health law career after taking my class; knowing that these students will go on to careers that will make Wayne Law proud. Here's what I've added to my list in the past year, with the pandemic and virtual classes: students still getting it even when we’re only on a laptop screen; everyone appearing to pay attention during the virtual class; the occasional cat walking across a student's lap on Zoom; students still showing up, still with their smiling faces at the beginning of class, and wanting to learn when it's even harder than it used to be; seeing that students are actually learning even when class is not in person (but I still can't wait until classes are in person again!).

Justice Marilyn Kelly

Here's to my Access to Justice students! Happy Mental Health Day. You bring such a rich array of experiences to the classroom. It's a pleasure to work with you.

Professor Kathy Day

Greetings Dear Students, 

This has been a stress-filled year. On top of everything, you are learning, in large part, how to navigate your 1L year through the lens of Zoom. And so, I am sending a warm shout-out to you—my amazing students! Each of you brings such a unique and bright energy to our class atmosphere.  You 'show up' with great ideas and perspectives,  a willingness to collaborate both openly, and with genuine kindness toward each other, and with an eagerness to learn. And, on top of all of that, you manage to have an uplifting sense of humor!  Take care and keep up the great work!

Judge Timothy Connors

I love their great hearts and great minds. The combination of those two things gives me hope for the future of our profession. They understand the best of our profession and understand our responsibility to be healers of controversy. That we should always strive to be our better angels.

Professor Jerome Crawford

I love my students' resiliency, passion, and commitment! We know the "Zoom Era" creates unique and difficult challenges in academia. Yet I see the students clear these hurdles with ease and grace! Big shout out to my class - LEX 8516 | Corporate Counsel Externship Colloquium. Stay the course!

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