By Lori AthertonApril 7, 2014
When Dores McCree passed away in 2010 at the age of 90, tributes from the countless alumni and colleagues she influenced rolled in. The beloved former Michigan Law administrator was a career counselor, mentor, and second mother to generations of law students, particularly minorities.McCree, the wife of Michigan Law Prof. Wade H. McCree Jr., recruited minority students, helped identify employment opportunities, and worked on other projects at the Law School. She was best known, however, for her innate ability to comfort and encourage minority students who had difficulty adjusting to law school.In honor of McCree, Michigan Law's Black Law Students Alliance (BLSA) is hosting its second annual Dores McCree Day on Saturday, April 12. More than 50 minority high school students from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Flint, Lansing, Detroit, and Grand Rapids are scheduled to visit the Law School for a tour, mock classes, and the opportunity to meet law students and faculty.
The primary goal of the day, said BLSA Chair and 2L Chris Burtley, is to expose underrepresented high school students from urban areas to careers in the legal profession. "Many young minorities don't think it's realistic for them to become lawyers," he said. "Our focus is to get the students here so that they can see a student or professor of color like them and realize that law school is attainable."
Burtley said last year's event was well-received by the students, who especially enjoyed the mock torts class taught by Sherman Clark, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law, who will teach the class again this year. Prof. Clark focused on a hypothetical noise ordinance and through his "cold-calling" of students, was able to help them identify legal principles, Burtley noted. Also teaching a mock class is Prof. Alicia Davis, who will focus on corporate law.
While Dores McCree Day is still in its infancy, Burtley and his fellow organizer Britney Littles, 1L, are looking forward to expanding it to as many high schools as possible in future years and to getting alumni who were influenced by McCree to participate and carry on McCree's legacy.
"Dores had a huge impact on students of color at Michigan," Littles said. "She supported Michigan Law students and this is our opportunity to support these high school students and to expose them to role models."
If you know any high school students that may be interested in attending Dores McCree Day, registration is still open. Email DoresMccreeDay@umich.edu for more information.
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