Inaugural LLEAP Writing Awards Recognize Exemplary Student Work

LLEAP Writing Award winners
From left to right: Antonia Mysyk, Hakmat Manaa, Kelsey Moore, Daniel Moysaenko.

Writing is an essential skill for lawyers, and it is the cornerstone of CWRU’s Legal Writing, Experiential Learning, Advocacy, and Professionalism (“LLEAP”) Program. This is the first year that students with the top paper in each LLEAP course during the 2022-2023 school year will receive an award recognizing them for their exemplary work. The LLEAP Awards were established to recognize the hard work and dedication that it takes to produce a top-quality assignment in LLEAP.  

We are pleased to reward Matthew Borcas (LAW '23) and current 3Ls Daniel Moysaenko, Kelsey Moore, Hakmat Manaa and Antonia Mysyk for their excellence in student writing within the LLEAP Program.

Kathy Mercer, who teaches LLEAP I and II, appreciates the student growth she sees in the LLEAP program. “It's deeply gratifying to see students transform from uncertain beginners to skilled legal writers over their 1L and 2L years. Guiding them through that journey, and watching their competence blossom, makes all the hard work of evaluating papers and assignments worthwhile. We're proud and honored to lay that foundation,” says Mercer.

First-year LLEAP Awards are given to students whose memo and contract were selected as the best papers in LLEAP 1 (first semester of 1L year) and the student whose summary judgment brief was selected as the best paper in LLEAP 2 (second semester of 1L year). Congratulations to the LLEAP 1 and LLEAP 2 Award recipients:

  • Class of 2023, LLEAP 1 and LLEAP 2 - Matthew Borcas
  • Class of 2024, LLEAP 1 - Daniel Moysaenko
  • Class of 2024, LLEAP 2 – Kelsey Moore

Second-year LLEAP Awards are given to students whose paper was selected as the top paper of the school year in their 2L writing course: LLEAP 3 - Litigation, LLEAP 3 - Transactions, and, starting next year, LLEAP 3 - Appellate Practice. Panels of practitioners and judges select the winning papers from these submissions. Congratulations to the LLEAP 3 Award recipients:

  • Class of 2024, LLEAP 3 - Transactions - Hakmat Manaa
  • Class of 2024, LLEAP 3 - Litigation - Antonia Mysyk

We would like to extend our thanks to this year’s LLEAP 3 panels of judges. The LLEAP 3 - Litigation panel consisted of Kyle Cutts (LAW '08), Partner, Baker Hostetler; Heide Herrmann (LAW '98), Magistrate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Sarah Nintcheff (LAW '98), law clerk to Judge Patricia A. Gaughan, Northern District of Ohio; and Richik Sarkar (LAW '98), Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

The LLEAP 3 - Transactions panel was Anne Hurst (LAW '19), Associate Counsel, The Sherwin-Williams Company; Adam Marshall, Managing Member Lorium Law (LAW '99); Caroline Mills (LAW '21), Associate, Baker Hostetler; and Chris Salata (LAW '01), Chief Operating Officer, Industrial Commercial Properties LLC.

“Judging the papers was a difficult task. It is a credit to the writing program that the students produced such strong briefs,” says Cutts. Hurst was also impressed with the quality of the contracts she judged, saying, “All of the contracts were strong in their own ways. It was encouraging to see how each of the students developed solid contract-drafting skills at this early stage of their legal careers.”

Thanks to the generosity of CWRU School of Law alumnus Raymond Ronald November (ADL '57; LAW '61, '66), the recipients of the first-year LLEAP Awards receive a cash prize. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the recipients of the second-year LLEAP awards also receive a cash prize.
LLEAP Award winners receive their awards at graduation where their professors can proudly send them off to continue their outstanding writing in their upcoming legal careers. “We commit to producing practice-ready graduates, and we carry that out in the LLEAP curriculum,” says Matthew Salerno (LAW '99) who teaches LLEAP’s second-year advanced transactional-writing course.