Law student once set his sights on career in biomedical science


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Law student Anthony Cimini started his career trajectory on a very different path. He graduated summa cum laude and with honors from Western Michigan University, with undergraduate degrees consisting of a major in biomedical science, a major in comparative religion, and a minor in chemistry. The biomedical science degree focused on genetics and the comparative religion degree focused on dialectic theology.

He received a full scholarship to Wayne State School of Medicine Department of Pharmacology, and worked on a Ph.D. in molecular biology for 3 years.

“I excelled and won several awards and grants, but unfortunately was unable to complete my doctorate due to extenuating family circumstances,” he says.

Medicine’s loss was the legal field’s gain, and Cimini is now a rising 2L at Detroit Mercy Law School.

“I’ve always been interested in the law and have considered studying it for some time,” he says. “I find it intriguing as it is an attempt to regulate human behavior. Though the primary reason I chose law was to help others and to be of service to the community”.

Cimini is enjoying the close relationships he has developed with classmates and professors.

“I really appreciate that we’re located in downtown Detroit and we frequently have opportunities to provide assistance to under-served community members,” he says.

Cimini does not yet have a specific legal focus, but has considered patent law, specifically working with genetic patents, both because it’s an emerging market and because of his extensive genetic background.

“I also really enjoy property and contract law, but I’m open to any opportunities that may arise,” he says. “I’m open to working for a law firm or as in-house counsel for a company in Detroit.

“Though ultimately, I would love to provide legal assistance through my own firm that serves people who cannot afford legal assistance or who are frequently misrepresented. Ideally, I could both work at a firm and provide assistance to the community either through the firm or through my own start up.”

In his upcoming 2L year, Cimini will be serving on the board of advocates for Moot Court, and as a junior member of Law Review.

“Law Review seems to offer a great opportunity to work closely with a professor of our choosing and study in detail an area of interest under their tutelage,” he says. “I really enjoy academic and intellectual challenges, and novel experiences that help hone new skills. I hope Law Review is all of these things and that I receive a better understanding of the law and become a better legal researcher and writer.”

This summer, Cimini is Professor Julia Belian’s research assistant for Property Law, helping her to plan for this fall semester, to be taught remotely. He will serve as Professor Belian’s teaching assistant this fall for Property I and in the winter semester for Property II.

He also is participating in an internship for Judge Jennifer Faunce in the Macomb County Circuit Court, where he helped write a Summary Disposition opinion the judge accepted and entered.

Studies during the pandemic presented some challenges, including not being able to interact regularly with fellow students and professors.

“I learn well in class and with others, so the pandemic presented me an opportunity to adapt and learn how to generate the same academic outcome through different methods,” he says. “I’ve used Zoom and Skype for Business quite a bit to study with classmates.

“As far as personally, I’ve continued to participate in my daily practices of meditation and working out. I also have been in touch with several friends and family via Zoom, whom I would not normally ‘see’ which has been awesome. I began Tai Chi via Zoom with an old friend from college who is a master teacher. Paradoxes are one of my favorite things—it took a forced separation to become more connected.”

Cimini and his wife Andrea make their home in Harper Woods, shared with three canine companions, Chole, Chi-Chi, and Huey. 

Andrea has two more semesters to complete a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Madonna University, and become a registered dietitian.

“She is my best friend and favorite human,” Cimini says.

In 2016, the couple founded and continue to run Vision of Hope Charities (VOHC), where 100 percent of the money raised—almost all from private donors—goes directly to the persons the 501(c)(3) nonprofit serves.

“VOHC provides assistance to individuals seeking recovery from Substance Use Disorders, as this issue has affected both of our lives since we were children,” Cimini says.

In his leisure time, Cimini enjoys concerts and sports. A rugby player for several years including three years during WMU undergrad, he no longer plays the sport, and has gone on hiatus from softball, but enjoys golf weekly.    

“I enjoy spending time with my family and being mindful to take time to stop and smell the flowers... both literally and figuratively,” he says.

A graduate of Traverse City Central High School, Cimini grew up on the eastside of Detroit, living near Denby High School, and briefly in Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods; and is proud of his roots in the Motor City.

“I love the rawness of Detroit,” he says. “I grew up here, hung out in the city in the late ‘90s and early oughts before the boom of activity. It was amazing and beautiful then, and is amazing and beautiful now. I love the art and music scene, the restaurants and eclectic architecture.

“I’ve traveled a lot, and there is no other city like Detroit.”


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