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Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Appoints New Leaders-in-Residence

Leaders in Residence

Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has appointed four community leaders as Leaders-in-Residence. José C. Feliciano ’75, a former partner with Baker & Hostetler, Sharon Sobol Jordan, chief executive officer of the Unify Project, Carter Strang ’84, a partner at Tucker Ellis, andSonali Wilson, Cleveland State University general counsel, will support C|M|LAW’s educational mission while enhancing its newly created P. Kelly Tompkins Leadership and Law program

“We are pleased to welcome these four outstanding lawyer-leaders who bring to our law school unique perspectives on legal education gleaned from their work as legal and civic leaders,” said Lee Fisher, dean of C|M|LAW. “Each new Leader-in-Residence has a wealth of insights that they will share for the benefit of students, faculty and staff.”

Feliciano is a former partner in the Litigation Group in the Cleveland office of Baker & Hostetler LLP. Previously, he served as the City of Cleveland’s chief prosecuting attorney and was the first Hispanic public official in the City’s history. Earlier in his career, he was a Cuyahoga County Public Defender, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society, and in 1984, was selected as a White House Fellow. Feliciano has founded or served in leadership capacities for multiple organizations that advance the Hispanic community in Northeast Ohio, including the Hispanic Roundtable, the Hispanic Leadership Development Program, the Hispanic Community Forum, and the Ohio Hispanic Bar Association.  He is a past recipient of Cleveland State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year, and is a member of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Hall of Fame and the Cleveland State University College of Business Hall of Fame.

Jordan is the chief executive officer of the Unify Project, a high-tech nonprofit committed to creating an expanded economy powered by inclusive prosperity. Before joining the Project, she served for three years as chief of staff for Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish where she drove early childhood education expansion, workforce systems transformation and other key initiatives. Jordan previously served as president and CEO of the Centers for Families and Children and as law director for the City of Cleveland. She was recognized as one of the Smart 50 leaders in Northeast Ohio by Smart Business in 2017, Nortech’s Innovative Leader of the Year and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2014, Crain’s Woman of Note in 2013, and YWCA Woman of Achievement in 2012.

Strang is a partner at the law firm Tucker Ellis LLP, where he litigates in the areas of mass tort, environmental and product liability law.  He has created two award-winning diversity pipeline initiatives, the Tucker Ellis Pipeline Diversity Program and the Louis Stokes Scholars Pipeline Diversity Program, to provide resources and mentoring to college students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Shaw High School who are interested in pursuing careers in the law. Strang serves on the C|M|LAW Visiting Committee and is a past recipient of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year award. He is the only person to have served as President of both the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) and the Federal Bar Association Northern District of Ohio Chapter. Strang has been honored with the CMBA ‘s Justice for All Volunteer of the Year Award and the CMBA’s Green Sustainability Award.

Wilson serves as general counsel of Cleveland State University, providing counsel to the University’s board of trustees and president on a wide variety of matters. She joined the University in 1996 as a Lecturer at C|M|LAW and in 1997 became the University’s assistant legal counsel.  She served as secretary to the Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2011 and was named general counsel in 2004.  In 2013, she was elected to serve as the first vice president for diversity and inclusion of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and currently serves on its Diversity and Thought Leadership Committees. Wilson received the 2013 Trailblazer Award from the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, was named 2014 Professional Woman of the Year by the Women of Color Foundation and was a finalist in Crain’s Cleveland Business 2014 Class of Top Ten General Counsel and In-House Counsel in the Region.  In 2015, she was named a YWCA Woman of Achievement.

C|M|LAW’s Leader-in-Residence program, founded in 2017, is designed to closely connect students, staff and faculty with volunteer community leaders from whom they can learn and benefit. The four newly appointed leaders bring the number of Leaders-in-Residence at the law school to 11. They joinJurist-in-Residence Judge Ronald Adrine ’73, Public Interest Leader-In-Residence Susan Becker ’83, Technologist-in-Residence Robert Eckman, Legal Educator-in-Residence Howard Katz, Steve Percy ’76, P. Kelly Tompkins ’81, and Scholar-in-Residence Eric Tucker.  

The Leaders-in-Residence Program is a component of C|M|LAW’s P. Kelly Tompkins Leadership and Law program, one of the first comprehensive programs in the country that creates lawyer-leaders by providing leadership education, skills training, and mentoring to law students.