Stetson University College of Law, best known for its five for one beer specials on Thursdays, has announced a new prize for first year law students.
Stetson University College of Law alumnus Brian L. Tannebaum ’94 has created an award for students who excel in their first-year criminal law course. The Brian L. Tannebaum High Grade Award in Criminal Law rewards Stetson students earning the top grade in each section of their criminal law class with a financial award of $500.
Holy crap! You mean he’s not just an angry old lawyer spewing hate and venom around the interwebz?
Welcome to the world of real people, where reality too often flies in the face of efforts to ignore unpleasant advice. Brian Tannebaum doesn’t hate law students. He doesn’t hate young lawyers. In fact, he actually cares a great deal about them and their future. You’re shocked? You shouldn’t be.
Contrary to the cries of those impaled on sharp words, the purpose of his critiques aren’t to wound but to help. He responds to the happy faces singing the praises of magic bullet solutions to age-old practical and ethical problems. He doesn’t do this for his sake, as he’s already achieved substantial success. No, you do not threaten him. No, you aren’t even close to threatening him.
And it goes beyond some walking-around money:
Student Kacie Hohnadell, who has won the award multiple times, described receiving the Brian L. Tannebaum High Grade Award as one of the most gratifying experiences of her law school career.
“It was very rewarding for my hard work and dedication to be recognized,” said Hohnadell. “In addition to receiving the award, I had the opportunity to have dinner and a wonderful conversation with Mr. Tannebaum. His generosity and encouragement were inspiring, and I truly enjoyed meeting him.”
Yes, inspiring. He’s not obliged to sit down with students, or take them to lunch. He doesn’t have to talk to them. But he does.
Despite what the apologists in the Happysphere say, there is an obligation that many experienced lawyers take very seriously, to try to help, encourage and inspire law students and young lawyers to be the best they can be. We want them to succeed. We want them to be zealous, ethical and enjoy a fabulous life.
And Brian Tannebaum puts his money, and his time, where his mouth is. And he endures the ignorant backlash of those who feel the sting of his words because he won’t let them get away with unethical or improper behavior. And he does it all to help others.