Wayne State University

Scholarship makes law school possible for community activist

Scholarship makes law school possible for community activist
Robb speaks at "Why the D? Detroit Youth Offer Solutions," a symposium at Wayne Law that brought together political leaders and high school students from Cody Academy of Public Leadership.

After enrolling in the Law School at Wayne State University, Matthew Z. Robb wasted no time pursing his passion for public interest law. By the end of his first year, he helped organize a symposium titled “Why the D? Detroit Youth Offer Solutions,” which brought together political leaders and high school students from the Cody Academy of Public Leadership. Before joining Wayne Law, Robb taught civics and economics at Cody.

Below Robb reflects on his first year of law school and shares why Wayne State is the university for him.

Why did you decide to come to Wayne State?

Wayne State’s Law School offered the best chance to become an advocate for public interest and civil rights law. The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and the great network of alumni who help people every day made Wayne the place for me. I love being in the heart of Detroit. Detroit is filled with opportunities and real, good people. 

How did financial aid factor into your decision?

Financial aid helped my decision a lot. I was offered a full scholarship, and with the enormous debts that get placed on students these days, I’m not 100 percent sure I would have chosen to attend law school without financial aid. 

I have a full-tuition scholarship as part of the Dean’s Scholars Program at Wayne Law. The scholarship has allowed me to focus on public interest law and not be a law student who is focused only on future earnings. I can try to make a difference in the community as well. 

What do you like best about Wayne State?

Being in the heart of Detroit is such an added benefit. Detroit is an amazing city with all the entertainment, good people and learning experiences that I could ever ask for. Being in Detroit reminds me that getting an education is about more than me. It’s also about how I can have an impact on the community. 

Can you describe a defining moment from your Wayne State education that has impacted your future plans?

Through the Keith Center for Civil Rights, I organized a Detroit youth symposium that gave young people in Detroit Public Schools the chance to speak out about their city, do research and come up with solutions. I encouraged 22 law students to volunteer, and together we got the kids really inspired to start thinking about Detroit in a new light—as a place of opportunity instead of a place of fear and anger. As law students we learned so much from the kids, and I know they were so proud to get the chance to speak in front of Detroit City Council, legal leaders and law students from a variety of different backgrounds. 

What is your favorite class?

Constitutional Law 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to go to Tigers games, meet up with friends after class, and play sports. 

What are your plans for after graduation?

I hope to work for a law firm that helps people who have been wronged by large organizations or get involved in Detroit politics.

You can support engaged students like Matthew Robb by giving to Wayne State University.

(Posted on August 29, 2014)

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