Melanie White: Bring Hope to Light and Justice to Those Needing Protection

Melanie White has always had an interest in equal justice for all. After learning that her mother had taken the LSAT and was accepted to the Detroit College of Law, Melanie’s yearning for the law grew stronger. It stems from her strong feelings and interest in wanting to make sure people are treated fairly, with respect, and with justice. 

“I believe, as an attorney, it’s important to fight for people and properly advocate for their justice and for what’s right,” stated White. “You can do this in so many ways, and in so many different areas of the law. I’m considering areas like government, criminal, and family law, and estate planning.

This deep appreciation for the law and wanting to help others has not only been guided by White’s family, but many influential people along the way. She says she’s learned so much from family role models and those she’s worked with during her career.

It’s serving people that’s in her DNA. “I believe that it’s in the study of law, and the practice of law, where I can best serve people and influence positive change within our legal system,” stated White.

MPA to J.D.
Despite earning a Master of Public Administration degree from Wayne State University in 2010, White says that law school was always the direction she was moving and started at WMU-Cooley in 2013.

“I’m glad to have earned an MPA degree because I learned so much about government operations and policy development, but I’ve always had a strong passion for the law. The two areas intertwine constantly. Understanding that there are many facets and layers to any given issue, I love finding meaningful and fair solutions to solve problems.”

White needed a flexible schedule though if she was going to fit law school into her life. She managed to work full time throughout law school, taking classes evenings and weekends. And with graduation day coming soon, she often reflects on how she was able to do it all.

“Looking back, I often think about how I was able to get through it day by day,” smiled White. “I have to believe that it was my strong faith in God and spirituality. It was also my strong support system that was always there to encourage and motivate me. It meant the world to me that my family, church, friends, community organizations, and employer supported me throughout this entire process.”

Support System Success
That support system extended to her experience at WMU-Cooley and what she’s been able to accomplish, including the law school’s Leadership Achievement Award.

“I am so grateful for the caring faculty and staff at Cooley who I admire and respect,” shared White. “They truly want the students to succeed. I’ve been able to build great relationships with everyone. Their helpful and fruitful advice and career information have been priceless. I’ve not only learned about the law, but so much more about life, period.”

White has been very busy. Most recently, she served as president of the Moot Court Oral Advocacy Executive Board, where she coordinated Moot Court Competitions and competed, plus participated on the law school’s Journal of Practical and Clinical Law as an editor.

“It was important to me to learn the skills and gain the knowledge I needed to be practice ready so I can pass on knowledge to others going forward. Gaining the opportunity to actively participate in many of the law school’s organizations and activities has prepared me to bring hope to light and justice to those whose rights need protection.” 

Related: Dinah Lynch: Right Choice Because it's the Right Thing to Do