Student Spotlight: Dagny Broome

By: Sarah Patarino

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dagny Broom (left), Director and Founder of LAI Laura Caldwell (right)

Dagny Broom (left), Director and Founder of LAI Laura Caldwell (right)

Meet Dagny Broome.  Political scientist.  International humanitarian.  Third year law student.  And legislation guru.

Dagny studied political science and economics at Smith College, a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts.  Dagny’s study of political science helped spark her interest in policy as well as her passion for enacting change.

“I came to law school in order to help those who were less fortunate and to enact change on a policy level,” Dagny said.  “When I was a junior in high school, I went to a summer program called Presidential Classroom.  It was a gathering of high school students who were interested in politics.  It was the first time that I got to meet so many people with the same interests as me and who had the same passion to change things for the better.  It was during that time that I decided to go to law school and am so thankful that I was unable to fulfill that dream and be on my way to graduation this year.”

With an interest in policy reform and a passion for people, Dagny quickly found a home at the Life After Innocence (LAI), a legal clinic at Loyola University Chicago. When she arrived at Loyola she read about the clinic and decided she wanted to be a member of the team.

“Pretty soon after I started reading about it and seeing what t entailed, I knew that I wanted to join and am so glad that I did,” Dagny stated.  “The clinic has broadened my horizons and my expertise in the criminal justice world.”

According to Dagny, LAI is a great place to learn how to advocate for those in need and to hone her other skills.

“Knowing what sorts of obstacles the wrongfully convicted face after being released from prison has helped me to come a better advocate for those who need one,” Dagny said.

While the day-to-day operations of the clinic allow Dagny to practice her advocacy and legislative skills, it was the annual Innocence Conference that meant the most to Dagny this past year.

“The most rewarding part of the clinic for me was when I attended the Innocence Conference in April,” Dagny said.  “It was an amazing opportunity to hear stories from around the U.S. and to meet truly inspiring people working in the innocence field.  I also got to meet all the exonerees that we work with and learn more about their stories and experiences.”

Dagny hopes to continue using her expertise and her knowledge of the law to work in the criminal defense field when she graduates.

“I would ideally love to work in international human rights,” She said.  “Advocating for policies in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva or in the International Court of Justice in the Hague.”

Dagny’s interest in legislation helped her to act as the legislative leader at LAI.  During her time with the clinic, LAI was able to introduce mental health and education bills into Illinois legislation.  Dagny was able to begin to accomplish part of her dream to make changes for the better and to help those who cannot help themselves.  Her contributions have been invaluable and she continues to teach the LAI members each day.

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