Law student sports background in criminalistics/forensic science

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

In boyhood, Davis Bowers dreamed of a career as a police officer—but as he got older, realized that line of work was not for him.

After developing an affinity for science and chemistry in high school, he combined this passion with his childhood dream and pursued a degree in criminalistics/forensic science from Tiffin University in Ohio, where he interned with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office as a Medicolegal Death Investigator. His work included receiving reports of death from police and medical staff, documenting and photographing death scenes, and the intake and documentation of the bodies.

“Cuyahoga County is well-known in the Medical Examiner realm as a leader in multiple aspects of the field,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to be one of few interns at the office where we were immersed in the daily duties of the investigators. I learned not only about the field of work, but valuable life lessons.”

During undergrad, Bowers took a class on criminal trial evidence, and enjoyed the mock trial part of the class.

“We learned how to be an efficient witness during trial, along with the basic duties and legal concepts that a lawyer would handle with that fact pattern,” he says. “After I graduated, I became more passionate about the legal field than I was with forensic science and I began studying for the much dreaded, LSAT.”

Bowers is now a 1L student in the Dual JD program offered by the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law.

“The Dual JD is the perfect program for me and my career goals,” he says. “My girlfriend, Leanne, is a Canadian citizen living near Toronto, and I’m a U.S. citizen. The program enables me to gain a degree in both countries so I can establish a career in either country.

“My career goals are to ultimately practice in both countries—most likely in criminal cases, but other areas of law have also caught my attention. I’m passionate about correcting the mistakes of wrongful convictions because of the horrifying statistics showing the wrongful conviction rate, especially those who are unable to afford to receive legal advice.”

Bowers notes both law schools have been extremely accommodating during the COVID pandemic and are trying their best to make the first-year experience seem as normal as possible.

“The entire atmosphere around both institutions is welcoming and friendly, and the sense of community are the two most enjoyable features about these great institutions,” he says. “Another great aspect is the opportunity to connect with alumni, current upper-classmen, and prominent members of the legal community.”

Bowers is extremely grateful for being chosen by Detroit Mercy Law to be a Transnational Fellow.

“In normal times, the fellows would be completing service projects in the Detroit community, and we’re patiently waiting to return to fully immersing ourselves in community service as we have in the past. Until then, the fellows as a whole are searching for safe, socially distant opportunities to do service in the community,” he says. 

Launching his legal studies during a pandemic has been a challenge, and Bowers had to battle with issues of Internet connectivity and organization of the many platforms and services associated with online learning.

“I’ve never been exposed to the online learning environment, and I was skeptical of its effectiveness—nevertheless, my peers and I can attest that learning online is still effective,” he says, adding that his Dual JD class of 2023 has been particularly helpful.

“I think everyone has accepted the motto ‘no soldier left behind’ and we keep each other on track,” he says.

“The universities are focused on improving our coping mechanisms and have continuously encouraged students to maintain a healthy mental state of mind. The faculty has gifted all of us with tips and tricks on how to effectively manage mental health and coping mechanisms during the stresses of 1L year.”

Before starting school, Bowers worked briefly as a social services worker in the children and family unit, involved with finding adoption placements for multiple children in the care of the Children Services Agency.

“The work was challenging when learning about the hardships the children experienced, but extremely rewarding knowing you were able to make their lives even slightly better,” he says, adding that the experience has piqued his interest in practicing family law.

A native of Belle Center, Ohio, a small town off the beaten path between Lima and Columbus, Bowers enjoys fishing, hiking, and spending quality time with friends and family.

“With online classes, I’m fortunate to save money on rent while also still spending precious time with my mother, father, sister, and two family dogs,” he says. “Also, I’m still able to visit with my nephew, brother, and sister in-law occasionally.”

He also enjoys athletics, and was a member of the track and field team at Tiffin University.

“I had a great coach who helped propel me to compete at the national level,” he says.  “I received a few accolades, but more importantly, I built skills and characteristics—teamwork, resiliency, determination, and time-management— that will translate to an excellent career in law.”

He also believes in finding time to help others.

“I’ve always been a big supporter of volunteerism, but as a general principle instead of a heading on a resume. By that I mean focusing on acts that will have small impacts on yourself but may mean the world to the person on the receiving end. Spending a few minutes to help someone change a tire, open a door, or assist a club or class with an event all take little effort, but are what I would consider effective volunteerism,” he says. “I love lending a helping hand to others any way I can, which is another reason I think a career in the legal field will suit me well. I intend to be involved with pro bono clinics during law school, and then again, post-graduation, to assist those who are less fortunate.”