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Diamond Brooks discovers passion for civil rights litigation at OHIO

Published: May 20, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Always eager to discuss politics, Diamond Brooks grew up watching political commentators like Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow.

She graduates from Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College in spring 2022 with a resume full of academic credentials and leadership experiences, having spent four years immersed in her favorite topic.

"I felt as though political science would be a great foundation heading into law school," Brooks said. "I decided upon an African-American Studies Minor after taking my English 1510 course my freshman year and engaging in debates regarding blue lives and Black lives and all lives matter. Having these discussions helped me to realize my passion for racial justice, specifically for the African-American community. I decided to pursue a Certificate in Law, Justice, and Culture because of my passion for the law and the intersectionality between politics and the law."

Before law school, Brooks is getting some real-world experience as a paralegal with the Legal Aid Society of New York, the most influential social justice law firm in New York City.

 

Diamond Brooks is shown at the Student Research and Creative Activity Expo
Diamond Brooks presented her thesis on "Casual Connections: How the Conservative Legal Movement Successfully Gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 while Simultaneously Avoiding the Stigma of Racism" at OHIO's Student Research and Creativity Expo.

Q&A with Diamond Brooks

Q:Who were/are your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life? 

A: I have had the pleasure of working with both Dr. Daniel Moak and Dr. Kathleen Sullivan during my four years here at Ohio University. As a student of the Honors Tutorial College, I have had the opportunity to engage in one-on-one tutorials with both professors, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Dr. Sullivan exposed me to case analysis and identifying patterns in precedent within the law, which has been the most rewarding experience of my college career. Dr. Sullivan was my thesis advisor this past year, and I just cannot express how eternally grateful I am for the ways in which she has challenged me and supported me academically. Dr. Moak has exposed me to Black political thinkers in a manner that has caused me to identify my own passions within the law, which is to pursue a career civil rights litigation.

Q:What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”? 

A: My “I’ve got this” moment at Ohio University actually came my freshman year during my second semester tutorial with Dr. Sullivan. I realized that I can not only manage a difficult college course load, but that I can thrive in a rigorous academic environment. Dr. Sullivan had me read a book a week in addition to writing a reflection paper each week. This task initially was very daunting, and I struggled to meet the deadline, but with persistence and hard work I not only was able to keep up with the schedule, but I also enjoyed each and every reading and looked forward to discussing it with her each week.
  
Q: What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO?

A: I have, of course, experienced some challenges during my past four years at Ohio University. Most notably, however, was the completion of my senior thesis. It was difficult to come up with a topic that I could write extensively about over the course of a year that I also had an interest in and felt competent to tackle. But I do not regret it at all, and in fact it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my college career.

 

Diamond Brooks
Diamond Brooks is shown here as a sophomore, with her Best Attorney Award gavel she received competing on the OHIO Mock Trial Team at the American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament. She also won that award as a first-year student and as a senior, for a total of six mock trial awards. She holds the record for most awards won by a competitor in Ohio University Mock Trial history. Across her four years in the program, she was the highest-ranked attorney in the entire competition four times.

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A: Some of my favorite Ohio memories were spent with my friends just exploring and figuring out who you are and what we want out of life. I've also enjoyed my time in student organizations immensely, most notably the Ohio University Mock Trial Team and Ohio Innocence Project university chapter.

Q:  What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss? 

A: I would tell a new OHIO student to embrace everything. Get out of your dorm room and go meet new people, join a new club and really take advantage of these four years to get to know yourself and what you want out of life before heading into your career and the struggles of adult life.