Native of Guinea eyes dual JD degree from Detroit Mercy Law

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Mariama Diallo has been interested in the law since childhood, when her father worked for the African Union and the family moved several times, including living in different countries. 

“Living in different countries helped me see the human rights violations happening around the world,” she says. “It sparked an interest in me and I promised myself that I would go to law school so I could fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. I also want to fight for what is right regardless of whether it’s tradition or not.

“My goal is to make a positive difference in the world. To fight for justice. To fight for people. To fight for human rights. My goal is to fight so that no matter where one is in the world, their human rights are guaranteed and never violated without consequences.”

Diallo started her career path by earning her undergrad degree from the University of Georgia, graduating in December 2021 with a double major in criminal justice and sociology, both cum laude. She served as public relations chair and outreach officer for the Muslim Student Association, and as communications officer for the Criminal Justice Society.

Taking a rest from studies after earning two degrees in three years, she stayed with her sister and family in Alberta for four months after undergrad before returning to Atlanta. She was married in June, and took a further rest break until law school started in August.

Diallo is now a 1L student studying for a Dual JD from Detroit Mercy Law School and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law.

“I really enjoy being in both Windsor and Detroit. It’s a nice contrast,” she says. “My main area of focus is human rights and international law. However, I’m also very interested in family law, criminal law, and immigration law.

She previously earned experience as a legal intern with The Law Firm of Kouyate & Associates, in Atlanta; and as a legal intern at the Clayton County Public Defender’s Office in Atlanta.

One of seven children, Diallo was born in Atlanta, but her family hails from Guinea in West Africa, and she spent most of her life in Egypt. She and her husband currently live across the border in Windsor.

Once settled in law school, Diallo plans on doing pro-bono and community service work, and joining clubs in her areas of interest.

Diallo coped with remote learning and the pandemic by making sure to do things she enjoyed, including swimming, and watching television, 

“I also go out for a walk or for a drive, even if I am not going anywhere specific, just to make sure I get out of the house and breathe some fresh air,” she says. “I find it helps to not be at home all day.”


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