Global outlook: Law student sets her sights on international law

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A native of Jamaica, law student Daina Robinson is drawn to anything with an international component, gravitating toward classes in international law and public interest law.

“I came into law school pretty set on working in an international capacity for a government agency,” she says. “As an immigrant, I tend to think on a global scale and I’ve seen how debilitating a deep socioeconomic rift can be, I want to use law to help close that gap.”

A rising 3L at Wayne State University Law School, Robinson says she is now more open-minded about her eventual goals since experiencing more fields of law. She is
currently clerking at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Washington, D.C. through the Levin Center at Wayne Law.

“I was thrilled I got to meet a few representatives, including Chairman Cummings and Congresswomen Hill and Ocasio-Cortez,” she says.

This is Robinson’s second work experience in D.C. During undergrad at Ohio State University, where she majored in international relations and diplomacy, she interned at the Department of Justice, which helped solidify her desire to study law.

“I was on the Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs and on the Central America and Spanish Speaking Caribbean Team, which is the liaison for extradition matters between that region of the world and the U.S.,” she says.

At the end of her 1L year Robinson clerked in the Michigan Poverty Law Program at Legal Services of South Central Michigan and enjoyed interacting with clients one-on-one during intake interviews. She helped attorneys with legal research, and drafted memos for housing and family cases.

“I also learned about the desperate need for legal advocates in the public interest field,” she says. “Nationally there just aren’t enough lawyers to meet the legal needs of marginalized and indigent clients.”

Robinson particularly appreciates the people at Wayne Law.

“Law can be stressful no matter where you do it, but the administrative staff and my friends have been incredibly supportive,” she says.

She is a member of the Jessup International Moot Court and was part of the Wayne Law team that finished as semifinalists in the 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Midwest regional competition; the team also earned the second-best memorial award.

She is also a member of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA).

“Before I even decided on attending Wayne, Dean Thomas in Student Affairs connected me with the group, and I felt immediately embraced,” she says. “BLSA has been a law school family for me and has helped get me through some adrenaline highs and gut-wrenching lows. They’re my sounding board, advisers and hype team rolled into one. I was so honored to be vice president this year and work with a wonderful executive board and serve amazing members.”

Last fall, she took an opera workshop class that culminated in a performance, so she could keep up with classical singing.

“It was so much fun, and I’m really fond of playing characters that are over the top,” she says. “I also got to meet some really talented Wayne students and director Professor Brockington. Singing brings me so much joy that I make sure I incorporate it somehow.”

This past spring, Robinson started working in Admissions at Wayne Law.

“It’s so great seeing incoming students get so excited about coming here, it reminds me of my enthusiasm as an incoming 1L. The admissions staff were a huge part of why I decided to attend Wayne, so I’m glad I get to give back in that capacity.”   

Her other leisure interests include dancing, theater, and playing the ukulele.

“I like a lot of things and I’m always up for learning something new,” she says. She is also involved at Woodside Bible Church, on the Praise Team and Prayer Team.

A resident of Oakland County, Robinson is delighted to attend law school in the Motor City.

“I love the distinct personalities each neighborhood has in the city,” she says. “People outside of the area really underestimate how much there is to do in Detroit. Coming back to study in the city after undergrad has been absolutely worth it.”

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