Eyes on the prize


Photo courtesy of Alex Meyers

Law student plans on career in politics

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Remember this name: Alex Meyers—you may be reading a lot about him in a couple of years. A 2L student at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Meyers plans to hit the ground running after next year’s graduation in his career quest to enter politics as a legislator.

“I want to be able to help my community as much as possible and in order to make good laws, I need to learn how the law works,” he says. “I’m taking a variety of classes that would be applicable in state politics. Currently, I’m taking Environmental Law because the preservation of the Great Lakes is of great concern to me.”

His short-term career goal is to get elected as a state representative. “From there, I’d like to stay in the legislature in some form or another as long as my constituents continue trusting me,” he says.

Meyers—who took part in the recent Women’s March in D.C.—is getting a taste of politics in a clerkship with the Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice in Detroit, that began with a Voice for Justice Fellowship last summer. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he says. “Over the summer, I helped one of the staff attorneys with unemployment issues and another attorney with community engagement.

“I’ve continued on at Sugar Law under a work study program and serve as Public Policy Advisor to former State Rep. Rashida Tlaib. I’ve helped her organize town hall events to educate residents about how they can respond to pollution in their neighborhoods.”

Meyers holds a leadership role as president of the law school’s OutLaws group, where he creates opportunities for guest speakers to educate members and the larger law school community. LGBT Detroit Executive Director Curtis Lipscomb has spoken to the group about activism opportunities, and last year, the OutLaws hosted a panel discussion about Transgender Rights in Europe and the United States.

Meyers is not shy about being in the public eye. Bitten by the theater bug in middle school, he earned his undergrad degree in theater from Central Michigan University.  “I enjoy the concept of retelling stories in a live setting, I think it really engages the audience in a way movies can’t,” he says.

The skills carry over to his legal work. “Not just speaking in front of a group, but understanding how to move around a courtroom and play to the space is something I learned in undergrad that I don’t think most other law students have,” he says.

A highlight of his law school experience is the Law Review, especially the research aspect. “I’m getting better at writing because of Law Review, which is great, but searching through databases and the library stacks is like a scavenger hunt,” he says.

In his 1L year, Meyers participated in the school’s Criminal Expungement Clinic. “It was really interesting because it gave me the chance to use my newly developing legal skills to give back to the community,” he says.

Serving as a class representative for the Student Bar Association has given him the chance to talk to almost everyone in his class and find out a little bit about them. “It also lets me be a bridge between my class and the administration and bring any concerns that may arise to the deans quickly and effectively,” he says.

He also volunteered as a peer adviser, where he compiled lists of local law firms and available positions. “I was able to connect my classmates to various internships, so I enjoyed seeing results from my work,” he says.

The Belleville resident divides his time and talents between law school studies and playing the piano at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield. “I’ve been playing piano professionally for 12 years and I just enjoy the act of making music—getting paid for it is a bonus! Plus, NWUU is such a welcoming community, it makes the experience that much better,” he says.

His music directing credits include Studs Terkel’s “Working;” Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s “Edges;” and Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years.” In addition to working in the pit of various musicals, he has performed as dinner entertainment at some local restaurants.

He continues leadership roles even in his leisure time, serving as communications director for the Metro Detroit chapter of Represent.Us, a national organization working to get rid of corruption in politics through campaign finance reform, redistricting reform, and voting reform.