Shelby Johnson-McMillan, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Shelby Johnson-McMillan thought about the television series “Law and Order” when she first heard about the Law and Leadership Institute. But after attending LLI she could better gauge what lawyers do. “This is what I want to do,” she decided. As the result of LLI, she also has more tools to achieve that dream.
Shelby became intrigued with the idea of becoming an attorney during LLI’s mock trial program and reached a turning point in her commitment to becoming a lawyer after interning at the Oldham Kramer law firm. “Mr. Kramer let me follow him as he went to court, throughout his work day,” she recalled. “I was inspired. I wanted to be like him and his co-workers.”
At LLI, she learned to take timed tests, to speak effectively to a variety of audiences, and to be professional, including not only dressing the part but arriving slightly early and more. Reflecting on how LLI helped her, she advises those now at LLI to take the program seriously. “Don’t just come for the stipend. It will help you and open your eyes.”
Now Shelby is a second-year student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, majoring in psychology and criminal justice. As a high school senior, she had looked for a university that was far away from home, historically serving black students, with a strong psychology program and active students. NCA&TSU fills that bill for her.
“I’m on my own and learning about something that interests me,” she explains. “It’s fun. I didn’t think I would like college this much.”
Following these interests with some devotion, she has earned academic honors at NC A&TSU.
What’s next? Though she wanted to be far away from home for college, Shelby wants to return to Akron both for law school and a legal practice.