UVA Law Student Wants to Make a Difference

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

Keva McDonald likes helping people and she sees the law as a perfect way to do just that.

"I have always been involved in public service, basically my whole life," said soon-to-be law grad, McDonald.

The 24-year-old Alabama native had her sights set on becoming a prosecutor when she first came to UVA. However, McDonald's compassion for others steered her in the other direction.

"I felt like I would be in a better position to serve the public as a defense attorney or as a public defender, mainly because there are lots of individuals who are in the need of assistance," she said.

Her desire was so strong that back in September, McDonald founded UVA's chapter of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic which uses pro bono counsel and law students to investigate claims of innocence from those behind bars.

"I felt like there was a need. There are thousands of wrongfully convicted individuals now in prison, at least an estimated thousands," said McDonald.

Along with classes and the Innocence Project, McDonald still found time to tie the knot. Her husband is also a graduating UVa law student. All her hard work will pay off on Sunday, May 22.

"It's exciting, it's very exciting," said McDonald. "I'm looking forward to actually impacting society with what I've learned finally."

To McDonald, serving others is what really matters.

"I hope that people will be able to look back some day and say 'Thank God Keva was there and helped me get through this,' and I think that that is the greatest honor that you can have as a career," she explained.

McDonald plans on taking her bar exam in July and working as a clerk in the D.C. Superior Court.

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