One of the many things that makes the law school’s Legal Writing, Leadership, Experiential Education, Advocacy and Professionalism (LLEAP) program special is that each LLEAP course includes an experiential component taught by adjunct professors who are practicing attorneys. This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting the adjuncts who serve as invaluable resources for our students and who help to make LLEAP a unique learning experience.
Angela Lydon (LAWS ’11) has served as an adjunct professor in Jennifer Cupar’s LLEAP 3-Litigation course since 2019. Lydon is a Partner and Vice Chair of the Litigation Practice Group at Frantz Ward LLP in Cleveland. Lydon represents businesses and individuals throughout the United States, with a focus on commercial disputes, transportation law, business torts, products liability and insurance issues. She has a wealth of experience handling all aspects of civil litigation and has won numerous awards recognizing her for her excellent service to clients. Most recently, in 2023, she was named to Chambers USA: A Guide to Leading Lawyers in Business in general commercial litigation and to the YWCA Greater Cleveland Women of Professional Excellence List. Since 2021, she has been named to The Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” List.
This is not the first time that Lydon has worked with Cupar. After taking Cupar’s first-year legal writing course, Lydon served as a teaching assistant for the course during her 2L year. “When I began teaching LLEAP 3-Litigation, I knew I wanted Angie to be an adjunct for the course,” says Cupar. “She’s incredibly smart, caring and responsive, no matter how busy she is—and she’s busy! In fact, she might be the real Super Woman. In addition to her law practice and teaching, she’s got four children ranging in age from 3 to 9.”
Lydon loves working with students and the teaching assistants in LLEAP 3. “They offer a much-needed fresh perspective on litigation,” she says. “It is an added bonus that I get to step back into the same classrooms where I learned how to be a lawyer and visit with my favorite professors.”
Lydon’s favorite memories from teaching all involve watching students gain confidence in themselves. She notes that many students start the semester believing they should not become litigators because they are afraid of public speaking, even though they have excellent analytical and writing skills. According to Lydon, “[I]t is usually these same students who truly excel in their simulations because they let their preparation and skills take over and forget all about being nervous.”
When asked to give advice to new lawyers, Lydon says that one of the things she loves most about the practice of law is that it is constantly evolving. The advice she gives to new lawyers is to “do what you can to make sure that your skills are keeping pace, even though that usually means you have to continue to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and seek out new experiences.”