Madame President

Imani Hollie takes the lead of Loyola's Student Bar Association

A communications major from San Diego State University, third-year law student Imani Hollie says that an important benefit of attending law school at Loyola University Chicago is the freedom the administration gives its students to express themselves and be vocal about their educational experience. This past spring she was elected president of Loyola’s Student Bar Association for the 2019-20 academic year after running on a transparency and inclusiveness platform. Hollie is the recipient of Loyola’s Curt and Linda Rodin Social Justice Fellowship, and Schiff Hardin & Waite’s John J. Waldron Scholarship. During law school she has worked as a judicial clerk, an academic tutor, and has participated as a member of several student organizations, including the Cultural Impact initiative, Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, and Stand Up for Each Other. Hollie has also served as an article editor of Loyola’s Public Interest Law Reporter. Here, she shares her favorite classes, ideal job, and the leadership qualities she feels are most important to her success as the School of Law’s SBA president.

What drew you to Loyola for law school and how would you describe Loyola to someone who is still searching for a JD program?

I applied to Loyola because of its social justice mission. I came to law school so that I could prepare myself to give back to my community. For those still searching, Loyola is a place of opportunity. Law school can give you the opportunity to experience growth and development in ways that will truly benefit you years after you graduate. You will learn the law, but the thing that stands out about Loyola is that it also strives to produce top quality lawyers through the building of character.

Where do you study on campus?

I study in the Civitas ChildLaw Center or in the business school across the street.

What did you do this summer?  

This summer I interned at Lawndale Christian Legal Center. I represented juveniles in criminal proceedings.

What has been your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was Criminal Law. I had THE amazing Professor Stephen Rushin. He made criminal law super interesting and intriguing.

As Loyola’s 2019-20 SBA president, what leadership qualities do you think are most important to be successful in this position?

 To be a successful SBA president, the most important leadership qualities are patience, hard work, and dedication.

Do you think Loyola has changed you—be it in perspective, attitude, or ambition?

Loyola has made me realize that as a person of color no matter where I go in life, there is always going to be some work that needs to be done or some door that I will have to knock down. I am definitely more dedicated to giving back to community and continuing the fight to make America and the world an equal and inclusive place for marginalized communities.

In what ways has the city of Chicago enhanced your law school experience?

Chicago has really ignited my passions and purpose. There is a lot of work that needs to be done here. The city also provides an ample amount of opportunities regardless of what area of law you want to practice.

Where do you see yourself in three years?

I see myself either as a public defender or with a non-profit organization practicing criminal defense. I also see myself engaging with the city government and the community to bring resources and programs that divert community members from participating in unlawful activity. Someday, my ideal job is to represent juveniles in criminal proceedings.

Describe Loyola in three words.

Growing. Unparalleled. Passionate.


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