Experts Lead Discussion on Minorities in the Legal Profession
The Black Law Student Association at WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus held a panel discussion regarding minorities in the legal profession on Feb. 29. Featured panelists included Karen Fultz, WMU-Cooley professor; Thaina Diaz Clevenger, civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations; and Mustafa Ameen, attorney at Ameen and Shafii.
The panelists shared personal experiences of what it’s like being a minority in the industry and provided advice on how to handle challenging situations in a professional manner. They also discussed the racial demographics of the field and how those demographics affect the industry as a whole.
"Find your niche in the legal profession and use your minority status to your advantage,” said Ameen. “I go to people who have made insensitive statements regarding my religious beliefs and befriend them. One such gentleman is now one of my best friends when I visit the courthouse. He was not being mean, he just needed to become comfortable with me."
About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.