Advocate: Law student eyes a future career as a prosecutor

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Detroit Mercy Law student Madison Orow earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from?Grand Valley State University, with a view to becoming a criminal law attorney. She participated in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program, and interned with the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Unit.
(Photo courtesy of Madison Orow)


By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Madison Orow chose to pursue law after witnessing the immigration and criminal legal system first-hand through her father.

“I wanted to fight for other immigrant families who may not have had the same resources my family did,” she says. “I also chose to study law because my dad always emphasized the important of education to me.

“I’m the proud daughter to two Chaldean—Iraqi-Catholic—parents and a proud sister to two younger siblings I strive to be a role model for. I’m a first-generation college student, and now a first-generation law school student. I hope to become a successful attorney while making my family incredibly proud because they’ve paved the way for me.”

Orow earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Grand Valley State University, with a view to eventually becoming a criminal law attorney. During undergrad, she was one of 15 students chosen to participate in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, an experience she terms a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“To be able to learn with and from incarcerated men was an enriching and fruitful experience,” she says.

A 2019 internship with the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Unit was a great opportunity for Orow to get her feet wet before starting law school. The internship—that entailed watching trials, sentencing, and jury picks, solidified her interest in making prosecution a career.

She notes that interning for five months at Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids in 2020 was a privilege as the firm only accepts one legal intern per semester.

“I enjoyed getting to know the attorneys and learning what working for a mid-size law firm may look like,” she says.

Orow also participated in a partnership program between GVSU and the FBI Collegiate Academy that allows criminal justice students to sign-up for a certification in various branches of the FBI. The day-long training introduced her to such topics as cybersecurity, human trafficking, and more.

Orow is currently a 2L student at Detroit Mercy Law School with a particular interest in criminal law and immigration law—and an ultimate career goal of becoming a federal prosecutor or a federal judge.

“What I enjoy most is that I know my professors want to their students succeed, which in turn provides an enriching learning environment,” she says. “The administration has been extremely helpful throughout my time here, especially while navigating law school during a pandemic.”

In a four-month internship last year for the Michigan Department of Attorney General—Civil Rights Division, Orow enjoyed working on various active cases.

“We also were able to work on expungements, which was a great opportunity,” she says.  

She also has thrown herself into several law school activities over the past two years: SBA 1L Class Secretary, SBA Executive Secretary, President of the Arab American Law Student Association (AALSA), and Secretary of the Criminal Law Society.

“I’m grateful I was able to get involved in so many student organizations. It’s really enhanced my law school experience, and I’ve always enjoyed being more than just a student—I’ve been involved in extra-curriculars throughout college and high school,” she says.

“Some events I’ve been working extremely hard on this semester regarding my SBA position is the Barristers Ball, the Halloween Party, and partnering with various Detroit sport teams to obtain tickets to games for Detroit Mercy Law students.”

The AALSA group is partnering with the Great Commoner in Dearborn for a fund-raiser this month; and has partnered with the National Arab American Bar Association (NAABA) for a panel on bar exam tip and strategies.  

Orow admits that navigating the pandemic has been difficult.

“I’d prefer to be learning in-person and have a single class online, but unfortunately, that has not been feasible,” she says. “However, I try to leave my house, get dressed, and go somewhere to get schoolwork done so I feel as though my classes are actually in person.”

Originally from West Bloomfield, Orow now lives in Detroit—her favorite place, and where her leisure hours are spent being active, shopping, traveling, being involved in politics, and nutrition.  

“I love the city,” she says. “I enjoy all of the amazing restaurants downtown, because I’m a total foodie. I also love that almost everywhere I need to go is within walking distance of my apartment, so I walk a lot, which I enjoy.”

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