Ambition: Law student may set his sights on a political career

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

After seeing many Black communities systemically deprived of economic resources, Detroit native Brandon Wilson was inspired to study finance in undergrad.

“I believe financial literacy is important, but having access to capital is paramount, and unfortunately communities like mine are not provided adequate opportunities to acquire funding,” he says.

“I want to bring economic opportunities back to the neighborhoods of Detroit and provide the space for Black businesses to thrive.”

After earning his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business, Wilson headed to law school to gain a legal understanding of business transactions.

“I’d like to help rebuild Detroit in an equitable way because even though Detroit has seen an influx in development, many of the city’s residents feel the neighborhoods are being overlooked,” he says.

“My legal education can be used as a tool to generate deals and bring more development to the city’s neighborhoods.”

Now a 2L at Detroit Mercy Law School, last summer, Wilson obtained two internships, the first with the U.S. District Court, where he attended hearings and settlement conferences and prepared detailed notes for the judge’s and law clerks’ use; wrote memoranda exploring if Michigan’s election law combined with stay-at-home orders burdened voters’ rights by precluding an initiative from reaching the 2020 ballot due to failure to meet the signature requirement; and evaluated motions for compassionate release due to COVID-19 and drafted memoranda applying the 3553(a) factors to determine if release should be granted.

“Interning with the U.S. District Court was enjoyable because I had the privilege of seeing how a federal judge processes cases and applies the law to them,” he says.

His second internship, a law clerk position with DTE Energy in Detroit, let him experience the “day-to-day grind” of being an attorney, he says, and he enjoyed working with the labor and employment practice group, primarily focusing on Title VII claims.

A member of the Black Law Students Association, Wilson says he enjoys the family aspect of BLSA and that the organization has helped him grow personally and professionally, and develop meaningful relationships with members of the organization, attorneys, and judges.

Since 2019, he has volunteered in the BLSA Street Law program of legal and civics education geared at secondary school students.

“Participating with Street Law has given me the ability to reach back to high school students in Detroit and educate them of career opportunities the law provides,” he says. “I graduated from a Detroit public high school, so it’s very rewarding to go back and inform students of opportunities I wasn’t aware of at their age.”

He serves on the Moot Court Board of Advocates, and says participating in Moot Court has helped sharpen his research and writing skills, along with his oral advocacy ability.

“Being able to compete is a thrilling experience and has given me a sneak peek into the work of an appellate attorney,” he says.

Wilson’s initial career goal is to become a prominent attorney specializing in corporate law.

“Eventually, I’d like to transition into local government and run for City Council, then mayor of Detroit,” he says.




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