WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Mustafa Ameen knew growing up that he was either going to be a doctor or a lawyer. That's what his parents told their children, after emigrating from India to the United States to secure a better life for the family.
Ameen was the only one in his entire family and extended family who chose a career in the law though. Everyone else ended up in the medical field.
So why the law?
"I looked at it from the perspective of what can I actually do to help my community," stated Ameen. "I knew I could help individual people as a doctor, but as an attorney I knew I would be able to help many others on a much larger scale."
Ameen has a vision where all of society understands their rights and protections. He's personally seen this first hand in his own community. Barriers are there, intentional and unintentional, that make it hard for some communities to either become lawyers or have access to lawyers. There are cost barriers, language barriers, culture barriers, and basic educational barriers that hold back communities and marginalized people. Ameen sees this as an unfairness in our legal justice system. And he wants to do something about it.
THE LAW IS FOR EVERYONE
According to Ameen, the data clearly shows that the path to a legal career is usually learned, and an indicator of whether or not someone in that community would pursue a legal career.
"If you don’t have a parent, or even a cousin, aunt or uncle, or anyone related to you, then you may only be reaching out to one or two people you might know in your community to ask them what it's like to be an attorney. But if there is no one in your circle of family and friends in the law, than it's likely that a legal path may never be considered."
That's why Ameen believes wholeheartedly in the mission of WMU-Cooley Law School. He is devoted to what the law school stands for, and now that he is one of the newest members of the law school's board of directors, he is ready to help in making change.
Look for Mustafa Ameen's full story in the upcoming June 2019 issue of Benchmark Alumni Magazine!