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Released on Jun 4, 2024
Graduate Profile: 2024 Class Co-Valedictorian Ernest Olesky

2024 Cleveland State University College of Law Co-Valedictorian Ernest Olesky is familiar with receiving such a distinction.  When he graduated as an undergraduate from CSU in 2019 with a degree in Psychology, Criminology and Sociology, Ernest was named valedictorian of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Health Professions, and the University.  He does not take these prestigious distinctions lightly.

“It’s a tremendous honor to now cap off this latest chapter of my academic career with this distinction,” said Olesky.

Ernest felt it was just as important to engage in extracurricular/co-curricular/experiential opportunities instead of a sole focus on his GPA. This past year, he served as the Cleveland State Law Review Editor-in-Chief after being an associate the year prior.  Throughout law school, Ernest was a Dean’s Leadership Fellow, serving as the Fellowship’s President in 2023-2024.  He also participated in CSU Moot Court, as a Peer Mentor, a SBA Senator, was the Founding VP of the chapter of the National Association for Public Defense and founded and served as president of CSU|LAW’s Entrepreneurial Law Organization. Ernest received a 2023-2024 Pro Bono & Community Service Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the community through volunteering. 

Ernest, a taekwondo expert who has achieved Master Rank (4th-degree black belt) and is inducted into the Eastern USA International Martial Arts Association Hall of Fame, credits several previous students, including 2023 CSU|LAW graduates Jon Alamir, Stevie Holbrook, Molly Schmidt, Maggie Sullivan, and 2022 graduate Lucy Zeli, for showing him the ropes of law school as a 1L. 

Throughout law school, Ernest also worked on CSU|LAW’s student newspaper, The Gavel, as Editor-in-Chief, Development Editor and a Contributor, and he explored the topic of effective communication during his commencement address. 

“We’ve all learned as law students how difficult it is to become a truly effective communicator,” Ernest told his fellow graduates. “To complicate things further, effective communication is even more important when our communities will rely on us to solve complex legal problems with big stakes, stakes like healing injuries, standing up against injustices, and protecting dreams & dignity.”

Prior to and during Ernest’s first year of law school, he worked as a Data Analyst and Law Clerk at the Cuyahoga County Office of the Public Defender, where he saw the positive impact lawyers can have on communities and was inspired by the attorneys he worked with to attend law school.

He continued to incorporate his technology background into the legal field, which aligned well with CSU|LAW’s growing tech initiatives. Ernest was the first CSU|LAW student to be named a Thomas J. Moyer Fellow by the Ohio State Bar Association, which afforded him the opportunity to create a phone-app version of the Ohio Constitution with his brother, Albert.  He co-founded a legal and medical education company, Pipnote, that works with Kaplan’s bar prep team to create an artificial intelligence essay grader to automatically provide feedback to students on their MEE practice essays.

Having an interest in intellectual property law, he published his Law Review note on the intersection of artificial intelligence and art. His work experiences during law school include with trademarks and copyrights as a law clerk at Renner Otto, and working on trade secrets and patents as a summer associate at Jones Day. 

Ernest will take the Ohio Bar Exam this summer and is excited to return to Jones Day as an associate this fall.

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