Law School Students of the Year: Bryant Roby, Chicago-Kent

Bryant Roby, a 3L at Chicago-Kent College of Law, is dedicated to helping African Americans succeed in the legal industry and beyond. He has mentored his fellow law students as president of Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Moot Court Honor Society and Black Law Students Association, and he works to inspire young people in the Chicago community as well. 

After law school, Roby would like to work at a law firm and mentor new attorneys and law students to help improve diversity in the legal profession. 

“I have great mentors who have offered me guidance when I simply had no one else to ask,” he said “So as my career progresses it will always be my priority to offer guidance and resources to young adults with a desire to find success in the legal profession.”

Roby assisted Chicago-Kent Adjunct Professor William Kling in establishing the Black Community Provider Network, a “group of black service providers concerned with the issues and barriers impacting Chicago’s black communities, including service reductions, loss of black service providers, community deterioration and sustainability of current service providers.” He wrote the first draft of documents, including the policy points.

During his tenure as president of Chicago-Kent’s Black Law Students Association (2018–19), Roby and other students began volunteering at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center through their Adopt-A-Pod mentoring program. The law students ate with the residents, played games and connected with the residents, and organized a donation drive for toiletries and games for the residents

The BLSA students organized a trip and donation drive last year and are planning to do the same in spring 2020. Additionally, Roby participated in the BLSA School Impact Day, a panel for seventh- and eighth-grade students at Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School, a public school in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

Roby was elected 2018–19 Midwest regional director of career and professional development for the National Black Law Students Association. To help his fellow law students get jobs, he helped organize and run a job fair in Cleveland, Ohio. When NBLSA held their Midwest regional convention at Chicago-Kent, Roby organized and ran a career expo for students to connect with employers.

Working with Chicago-Kent’s Muslim Law Student Association, Roby volunteered at the Seventh-Grade Trial Workshop. Additionally, he is using his experience as a college wrestling team captain to help the 13th Positive Foundation — a nonprofit dedicated to making a long-lasting difference in the lives of children and their family members — establish a youth wrestling club in the western suburbs.   

While serving as president of Chicago-Kent’s Black Law Students Association, Roby organized and helped coach the student team that represented Chicago-Kent in the National Black Law Student Association’s Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition. The two students placed second in the Midwest regional tournament in February 2019 and advanced to the national finals. In spring 2020, he will once again participate in the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition — this time as a competitor.

“My favorite experience in law school has been the Moot Court Honor Society,” Roby said. “I enjoy doing a deep dive into the research and the complexities of crafting an oral argument.”

In spring 2019, his fellow members of the Moot Court Honor Society elected him president of the organization for the 2019–20 academic year. As president, Roby helps with team tryouts and team selection, organizes practice schedules, helps teams practice, organizes the mentorship program and judges oral arguments for the Ilana Diamond Rovner Appellate Advocacy Competition, Chicago-Kent's internal student moot court competition. He and other senior members of the Moot Court Honor Society coach new members on how to excel at competition.

Roby was the only student selected for a 2019 Hinshaw Diversity Scholarship from the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. As part of the award, Roby received a $20,000 scholarship and a paid summer associate position at the firm’s Chicago office. He continues to work at the law firm as a clerk.

In addition to his extracurricular activities, Roby is in the top 30 percent of his class and is on the Dean’s Honor List. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

Before law school, Roby earned a Master in Criminal Justice Administration from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania and a B.A. in political science from the University of Mount Union in Ohio. During college, he was captain of the wrestling team and a two-time national qualifier.

 

 

 

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