Aubre Dean

Aubre Dean photo

College of Law

What attracted you to Syracuse University?
When I was determining what law school I wanted to attend I analyzed several things – for starters I knew I wanted to go to a school that valued community and supported students in their individual learning objectives. At Syracuse Law there was an emphasis placed on not just learning but giving back to those around us. Whether through the clinical programs, community outreach events by student organizations, or the pro bono work, Syracuse Law really fit with my own belief system.

What organizations are you involved with on-campus that you are really passionate about and why?
I have been active in many organizations: As a member of the Student Bar Association, I served as the College’s Class of 2020 President and as Chair of our Class Act! Campaign; I was Captain of the National Moot Court Competition and a Competition Director of the Advocacy Honor Society, and was on the Syracuse Law Review. I am also former VP of our Women Law Students Association, a Mentor, and a Student Attorney in the Veterans Law Clinic. I am also very proud to have been named a National Ms. JD Fellow. All of these organizations enabled me to develop as a lawyer in training and as a leader, and to give back and engage with our community. In sum, these opportunities were exactly why I chose Syracuse Law.

How has your time at Syracuse shaped you?
Syracuse Law has empowered me to empower others. When I stepped onto this campus three years ago I was unsure of my legal career and the path it would take. However, I am surrounded every day by peers, faculty and staff who have confidence in me. Their confidence and influence have led me to use my voice for others and has taught me to advocate for the issues I believe in. Deciding to go to school out of state was a tough decision for me, but I am so thankful for not only my own family but the Orange family as well that I have made in the last three years.

What motivates you to give back to Syracuse?
The only way that I have been able to attend Syracuse Law is through the generous support and giving of alumni. Being Orange to me means so many things – school pride, a deep network, etc. But without the incredible alumni groups that Syracuse Law has, I quite literally would not be here.

I am a scholarship student, thankful for the generosity of those individuals. My first year of law school, I was selected into the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor program. This program gave me the opportunity to work for a federal judge in New York City and meet Justice Sotomayor at the end of the year. My ability to do that was made possible by an alum who had given to the Syracuse Public Interest Network. The money that came from my SPIN grant allowed me to work in a city I love, and do something I was passionate about. I think regularly about how my life would have been different without the grant. The following summer, I worked for a law firm with a Syracuse Alum – an alum who loves Syracuse and wants to see its students thrive. I’m returning to work for that firm in the fall.

To make things even better, many professors at Syracuse Law are alums themselves, such as my coach and mentor, Professor Brown. She is at Syracuse Law and gives back to its students with all her free time. You can tell she really loves and cares about students. She was named Professor of the Year last year, an award voted on by students, because of her attentive generosity. I think a large portion of the reason she gives back so much is her pride in Syracuse Law.

Being Orange does not just mean that I am graduating with a diploma, but I am graduating as a member of the Syracuse family. I am so thankful to attend a school alumni support with such pride, and give back. I hope one day to give back in the same way.

What has been your favorite Syracuse experience so far?
There are so many!! My favorite memory, however, is when my team won the regionals of the National Moot Court Competition – the oldest and largest moot court competition in the country. Winning the regional tournament made all of the hard work worthwhile. It was such a team effort! Our coaches spent time away from their families, we had rounds in front of incredible guest judges. In March we competed in the national rounds and placed in the Top 16 in the United States, facing some of the fiercest advocates in the nation. The competition is hard work and time consuming, but I am very thankful to spend such a large amount of time with incredible individuals that inspire me every day to dig deeper and work harder. Being on the National Moot Court changed the type of attorney I will be.

Why do you think alumni should support SU?
Being Orange means giving back to your community. As students we have benefitted from the alumni network that supports us. By giving back to SU, we, as alumni, want to return the favor, pay it forward.

If you had a chance to thank a donor right now, what would you say?
Thank you for allowing me to chase my dreams. Though you probably do not know me, the resources you have given back to the school mean so much. When I chose Syracuse, I was promised a second family and a home. Though I originally doubted what that would mean, especially as being fiercely loyal to my undergraduate institution, I really have found a home away from home. So many times during my law school career I have relied on alumni support and the Syracuse alumni network. Thank you for giving back, I cannot wait to become the attorney that Syracuse has prepared me to be.

Why are you proud to be a part of the Orange family?
When my grandmother died last semester, I came back to phone calls, texts and goodie bags. My professors helped me catch up on what I missed. It really did hit me: I had a community, and the people in it cared about me, beyond Syracuse. Here, I have made lifelong friendships, I have learned valuable lessons, and I have given back along the way. I will forever be Orange.