Possible pathway: Environmental law piques interest of local student

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Growing up, Haley Marion loved to play in the dirt, catching frogs, snakes, and anything she could get her little hands on.

“I grew to understand the importance of nature to one’s sense of self, and how harmful it could be if those resources were stripped from us as humans,” she says.

This interest carried beyond childhood, and she earned her undergrad degree from Albion College in environmental science—what she says can sometimes be a “doomsday major.”

“I loved getting to know Michigan native species throughout my undergraduate, but I wanted to find a career path where I could aid in creating systematic, environmental change,” she says.

“I knew I wanted to use my understanding of environmental issues to create something positive, and law ended up being the perfect pathway to do so. It’s important to me that I use my education to help those who are unequally affected by the climate crisis, and by studying law, I will have the tools to execute this goal.”

Marion is now in her 1L year at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where she looks forward to taking the Environmental Clinic later in her track. She is the 1L representative of the Environmental Law Society and helped plan events such as the pledge-signing event for the Global Day of Action, earlier this year.

“I’m honored to be part of this group of strong-minded individuals who are working towards finding legal solutions to the climate crisis,” she says.

Her career goal is to become a practicing, environmentally focused attorney in Michigan.

“I aim to work in both the private and governmental spheres, but I’m still unsure of how I picture the timeline working out exactly,” she says. “I’m grateful to be at Detroit Mercy Law, as I’m being introduced to new possible legal pathways every day.”

Marion most appreciates the close-knit community at the law school.

“As we all know, studying law is difficult, but it’s more enjoyable when there are people around you who support you,” she says. “I’m beyond thankful for the opportunities to chat with and get to know my professors—whether we’re talking over the class material or catching up on the latest episodes of our favorite shows, I always learn something new.

“I’m also very grateful for the close community of friends I’ve made in my section this year. I’m always surrounded by other hard-working peers who are rooting for me, and I’m honored to be part of a community like this one.”

Prior to law school, Marion found her passion for the legal sphere with a 2022 summer internship with Dykema Gossett PLLC, where she learned new skills in legal organization and writing.

Her father, Anthony Marion, is director of Marketing Operations at Dykema.

“My dad’s passion for his work has always inspired me, and he always encourages me to follow my dreams, even when it may be a difficult path,” she says.  
Inheriting a passion for music from her mother, Karen Marion, a retired elementary-level music teacher, Marion dabbled in various instruments, including woodwind, brass, and percussion, and played in the Albion College orchestra.

“While I stuck with bassoon throughout most of my track, I learned many lessons from all my experiences playing music,” she says. “I learned to love dedicating time to crafting my skills, and I’ve found there’s nothing more valuable than sharing your hard work with others. Whether it’s playing music on a stage for my friends and family, or advocating for my clients in a courtroom, I find joy in using my work to provide others with joy and satisfaction.”

A graduate of Anchor Bay High School in Fair Haven, Marion grew up in Chesterfield in Macomb County. She now lives in downtown Detroit with her younger sister, Livingston Marion, who is studying art education with the goal of becoming an elementary-level art teacher.

“My sister inspires me to work hard and to give back to my community,” Marion says.

To that end, Marion currently is searching for volunteer opportunities to participate in over the summer, and is eager to help in clean-up projects around the city or to help raise funds for environmentally focused Detroit initiatives.

“My favorite thing about Detroit is the strong commitment to building up the community,” she says. “Every person and business you ask will share their mission to improve community conditions, infrastructure, or overall morale. Being in Detroit just feels like a big hug, and it inspires me while living here.”

She also previously volunteered, in undergrad, with an organization that partnered with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

“We worked to provide children in the foster care system with items and funds they may not otherwise have access to due to their housing conditions,” she says. “From making hygiene bags to raising funds through a kickball tournament, working with CASA through volunteer work has always been one of my favorite ways to help those in my community.”

In her leisure time, Marion enjoys cooking and baking.

“I love trying new recipes, even where they’re a flop,” she says. “My favorite part is sharing my cooking with others like family and friends.”

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