2020 News October 2020

The voice of experience: Law student Kevin Lee advocates for the homeless

After being displaced by a flood, Kevin Lee and his mom spent a year bouncing from shelter to shelter. Now the first-year law student aspires to become a judge and champion for kids without a permanent home.

The newest law student at SMU’s Dedman School of Law is also the most unlikely.
“Looking back and saying, ‘Wow, I was there, but now I’m here.’ Just imagine where else I can go,’” said 26-year-old Kevin Lee. A few years ago, Lee was homeless.

After losing their house in Pittsburgh in a flood, Lee and his mom spent a year bouncing from shelter to shelter. Soon after, his uncle, who was his biggest role model, was murdered.
But when we first met Lee three years ago, he had far different things on his mind.

“I just knew that I wanted to go to college,” he said. “I knew I wanted to go to law school. That was something I knew I wanted to do.”

Lee says he was captivated by the movie “The Great Debaters,” which takes place at Wiley College in Marshall. So, after losing their home, Lee and his mom left Pittsburgh and headed for Texas, where he planned to pursue his dream of going to college.

“I’ve always told him as a child, ‘Whatever you want to be, you can be,’” said Kevin’s mom, Tamara Williams. “So if that’s what you want to be, that’s what you’re going to be.’”

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