Foundation and local law firm award scholarships

Rachel McDuffie of Belleville, a rising third-year Wayne State University Law School student, has been awarded the A. Kay Stanfield Spinks Law Student Scholarship from the Straker Foundation and the Buckfire & Buckfire PC Law Diversity Scholarship.

The A. Kay Stanfield Spinks Law Student Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding African American students pursuing a law degree. It honors the memory of D. Augustus Straker, who in 1890 became the first African American attorney to argue a case before the Michigan Supreme Court, and A. Kay Stanfield Spinks, who founded the D. Augustus Straker Bar Foundation and established the scholarship award.

The Law Diversity Scholarship Program was established in 2013 by Southfield-based law firm Buckfire & Buckfire PC to recognize students who demonstrate commitment to issues of diversity within their community. It is awarded annually to one student.

McDuffie works for the University of Michigan's Human Resources department while attending law school full time. She also is a summer intern at the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.

"I am thrilled and incredibly grateful to be selected as a scholarship awardee," McDuffie said. "I applied to law school after realizing that there was a significant lack of trust in the legal system, and a lack of diversity in the legal community. My goal in pursuing a public service career is to contribute to those solutions. I'm committed to lifting others as I climb, and doing all that I can to support a diverse, representative legal community in Michigan. It is an honor to be recognized by the Buckfire Law Firm and D. Augustus Straker Bar Foundation, who share that commitment. This scholarship support will help me to continue the work I've started at Wayne Law, and carry it into the future."

McDuffie earned her master of public health degree from the University of Michigan and her bachelor's degree in psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Published: Mon, Jun 19, 2017