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


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, where McPherson particularly appreciates his professors. “And—while they are not talking in the library—the students,” he says with a smile. 

“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. And his goal is to change at least one law he found to be wrong or outdated.

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

“I’ve always been an empath,” he says. “I’ve also always been open with my feelings and my own struggles with my mental health. And by always, I can remember as young as 9 or 10, asking my parents why other kids were sad or upset. I never want anyone to suffer, so I always try to approach people who are struggling and just ask how they are doing. I don’t think people realize how much others struggle so I thought, ‘Hey, this could be an opportunity to not only learn more about myself and my struggles, but also a real way to help people.’ So off I went to become a psychology major.”

When McPherson 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. 

“I’ll also say my psychology degree has helped me from having a meltdown during the stressful times.” 

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. 

“Tech has always been my first love,” he says. 

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

A native of Bloomfield Hills, McPherson now calls Detroit home..

“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.”

Outside of his nonprofit work, and helping out with his wife’s shop The Little Salumi in Northville, McPherson donates or supports causes using his background in web design. 

His major passion in his leisure time is writing, playing and recording music.

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available