Goal-minded: Thoughts of a career in judiciary spur law student


Law student Corey McPherson aims to eventually become a Supreme Court Justice.
(Photo courtesy of Corey McPherson)

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Law student Corey McPherson was drawn to study law when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

“The world was on fire in 2020 and I was genuinely scared about how the country was moving forward,” he says. “As a Black man, equity and equality for all under-represented folk is often at the front of mind. One day, maybe with COVID brain, I stopped and asked myself ‘If you had to choose an occupation to be the change you wanted to see in the country and community, what would that be?’ I said a Supreme Court justice, and here we are.”

“Here” is the 1L world at Detroit Mercy Law.

“I really enjoy how my professors are all down to earth. As an older student, I understand they have to be tough in the classroom, but once you step into their office, you come to find passionate educators who genuinely want to see you succeed,” he says. “There will be no greater feeling while in law school than when, after miserably failing a quiz, my professor took the time to lift my spirits and ended the conversation with ‘I’m really rooting for you.’”

While civil rights litigation got McPherson through the door at Detroit Mercy Law, he notes his focus will always be to become a Supreme Court justice.

McPherson earned his undergrad degree in psychology, summa cum laude, from Western Michigan University.

When he first arrived at law school, he did not initially think his undergrad would be of help—but now realizes the benefit of this background.

“I’ve come to understand so many things in law, although they claim are not subjective, are. I want to be a judge—specifically, a Supreme Court justice—and laws evolve because the people who interpret them must analyze so many factors—including how people think—before progressing the law.

A first-generation college grad and first-generation law student, McPherson is still learning how to navigate the landscape and learn about what he can, and has to do to reach his goals; and looks forward to participating in future internships and law clinics.

McPherson previously served as Chief Technology Officer at Crystal Home Healthcare in Detroit.

And for the past 13 years he also has served as Executive Director of the Modest Foundation, named after his late grandmother Modest Burdine.

“After she passed, my family wanted to do something in her honor,” he says.

“She lived most of her life on a street named Cruse, where most people were poor. Despite this, she was always looking after the people on her block and everyone called her ‘Ma.’ We figured making a charity that could help people in the ways she did would be the perfect honor to her. It was some of the best and most fulfilling work to date.”   

A native of Bloomfield Hills, McPherson now calls Detroit home and enjoys life in the Motor City.

“Detroit is the only place in America where you can get authentic food from almost every culture, and the people are genuinely friendly,” he says.

 “I love that Detroit is trying to come back after being down for so long. I really enjoy that we are at the population level where you can always see people but it’s not overcrowded.”



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