October 30, 2019
As a first-generation college student, Lindsey Mead’s parents instilled in her that it’s best to pursue a career that inspired passion within her. The Saginaw Valley State University student followed that advice, leading her both on the path to study law and to help communities in need.
“My parents always pushed me at least to follow my passions. As long as they knew I was trying my best, they were proud of me,” Mead said. “That has been the most motivating factor for me; knowing that failure was an option and okay.”
Mead, an English major and pre-law student from Saginaw, became involved with two groups her sophomore year that put her on the path to studying law: SVSU's Alternative Breaks program and the moot court team.
When Mead applied to be a site leader for Alternative Breaks — an initiative that sends SVSU students to volunteer for national nonprofits during the university’s holiday breaks — she knew it was a risk because she had less experience with the program than most site leaders.
“It was the first time I’d applied for something that was a stretch; where there was an opportunity to fail,” Mead said. “When I got selected as a site leader, it made me want to rise up to the occasion.”
Mead’s passion for helping disadvantaged communities was enhanced by the experience.
“Alternative Breaks exposed me to communities outside of my own, struggling and prospering in ways that Saginaw isn’t,” Mead said.
A late start to her first season as a competitor for moot court could have been her excuse to not do as well ... or to quit. But Mead rose to the challenge and has qualified and competed in nationals for the past two years.
Acting as teams of two attorneys, students competing in moot court tournament are tasked with arguing two hypothetical legal cases based on real-life courtroom battles. The competition is judged based on the clarity of the students' argument, their public speaking skills, their ability to answer questions, and how well they know the law and the case.
The competition fit Mead's passion for fighting to help others in need.
“What I want to do is advocate for people, and so moot court was the perfect stepping stone not only to my friend group – the people I’m closest with – but to my career path,” she said.
As a member of the 20th class of Roberts Fellows, one of SVSU's most prestigious student leadership development initiatives, Mead traveled to China, Taiwan, and Japan with her cohort last summer. The Roberts Fellows program focuses on fostering students with a strong interest in community engagement, and Mead used this program to help a local non-profit she already had ties to. Mead and other Roberts Fellows organized a fundraiser to help pay for renovations at Community Village, a local assisted living facility, by inviting people to participate in a bowling tournament to raise funds for the cause.
“It was the first time I’d been placed in a room with that many leaders,” Mead said. “It was the first time where I had to know when I needed to step down and follow.”
After taking the LSAT in the fall, Mead continues to set high goals for herself. She is in the process of selecting a law school to attend.