Donor Profile: Susan Becker
November 2010 — Susan Becker never intended to have a legal career – she studied journalism as an undergraduate and planned to work for a newspaper. After four years as a reporter, Ms. Becker grew weary of the limited options in her chosen field. She decided to enroll in law school to further develop her writing skills. During Ms. Becker’s first week at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, she “fell in love” with her new discipline.
She graduated magna cum laude and went on to clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals and practiced litigation at Jones Day. She also began to teach part-time at her alma mater. When an opportunity arose for a full-time teaching position, Ms. Becker “jumped at it.” Ms. Becker is now a full, tenured professor at Cleveland-Marshall and recipient of the 2010 CSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. Her courses include Civil Procedure, Legal Ethics, and Sexual Orientation and the Law.
She is also a regular donor to Legal Aid. Ms. Becker, who serves as Board President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, says, “Legal Aid helps so many people in a given year, it’s a phenomenal return on the investment.” Additionally, Ms. Becker encourages her students to “use the law to advocate for change – for an individual client or to change the world.” She adds: “A law degree is an amazing privilege and I think carries with it the responsibility to help people who haven’t had the opportunities in life. You have the knowledge, and a small act of kindness makes a profound impact.”