Davynn Brown’s upbeat personality and bright smile are hard to miss. The Lithonia, Ga. native is a ball of energy, and her busy schedule shows it. She is taking the Tax Clinic this semester, plus she is parliamentarian for the Black Law Students Association, marketing chair for the Family Law Society and a member of the Student Trial Lawyers Association. Brown is soaking up all that her law school experience has to offer since taking a winding path to get here.
After graduating as valedictorian from Southwest DeKalb High School, she went to Yale University and earned a degree in African American Studies. Afterward, she moved to Brooklyn and taught sixth grade literature. But, home was calling her back, so she relocated to Atlanta and spent four years teaching students with dyslexia until the push to go to law school became too strong to ignore.
While she was teaching, she recognized there were inequities in who had access to tutoring services. Many children of color who needed her help could not afford it, and she found herself driving to neighborhoods like the one where she grew up to help those who were not receiving the same level of advocacy and resources as white students. She says that she realized that if she was really going to make a difference in her community, she needed to understand how systems work, which led her to Georgia State College of Law.
This summer, her experiences in African American Studies and education coalesced with law when she participated in an internship program offered by the Harvard Law Summer Systems Institute. They paired her with an organization in Louisiana called Citizen SHE, an advocacy organization focused on Black women. Brown supported the organization hosting a number of programs, including a virtual summer camp for Black girls, voter registration drive, CLEs for lawyers and programs to help Black women to navigate the workplace. She also interned with Right Question Institute, an organization that teaches people how to advocate for themselves if they can’t access pro bono legal services.
Advocacy is at the core of Brown’s legal interests. Her long-term goal is to run a firm that helps small, minority-owned businesses startup and stay in motion. She says the CNBC show “The Profit” is her inspiration.
“I want to be Marcus Lemonis for my people,” she said. “He has this business knowledge on how to create inventory lists, skew numbers, POS systems and more. He takes a stake in the business so he’s there long-term. I’m learning as I’m watching the show.”
When she’s not hard at work, she loves to paint. Her room is filled with pink, purple, yellow and green paintings of flowers—she has an affinity for daffodils. As she navigates her busy schedule and virtual learning, Brown says that she is glad she found a home at Georgia State Law.
“Everyone on faculty really cares about the students and there’s relationship building,” Brown said. “I have been in very competitive spaces, but I haven’t felt that pressure here…We have people from all over the state here, so there’s an interesting mix of viewpoints…There’s a family-oriented feeling.”
Interview by Kelundra Smith