Dean of Arizona Summit Law School honored at MLK event

The Town of Paradise Valley will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr during its 2016 celebration on Monday, Jan. 18t at the Paradise Valley Town Hall.

Shirley Mays

Shirley Mays

Dean Shirley L. Mays will receive the 2016 Diversity Award and is the keynote speaker.

The annual event, co-sponsored by the Paradise Valley Baha’i Communit, includes musical performances and presentation of awards to winners of the Junior Youth Essay competition.

Shirley L. Mays was named Dean of Arizona Summit Law School in August 2010. She is the School’s fourth Dean. Prior to that, she served a lengthy tenure as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.

Ms. Mays was named the recipient of the 2016 Diversity Award in line with the 2016 theme “Lead by Example” because of her vision and her total commitment for change and excellence, her quest for innovation and “having a dream”, communicating it and acting on it to fruition. These were the key leadership traits of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dean Mays’s priorities as Dean of Arizona Summit Law School are focused on the mission of promoting diversity in the legal profession and serving  communities by developing innovative curriculum tailored to meet student needs and preparing students for success in their legal career in order for them to be productive members of the community.

She says in Phoenix and across the country, there are so many underserved populations that fall within that justice gap: the elderly, the homeless, immigrants, juveniles and the poor all lack adequate access to legal services. Failure to serve these populations, she believes, will have significant implications in creating “haves” and “have-nots” within our community.

Dean Mays is also actively involved in many community-based organizations. One is Jack and Jill of America, an organization that “creates a medium of contact for children, which will stimulate growth and development and provide children constructive educational, cultural, civic, health, recreational and social programs.’

Another is The Tanner Community Development Corporations that address the economical, educational, spiritual, health, and housing needs of the African American community and the underserved in central and southern Phoenix. Dean Mays also teaches adult Sunday school at the Historic Tanner AME Church in Phoenix.

When asked what leadership is, she replied “Leadership is an inside-out job. It requires me to first look within to ensure my motive is pure and my mission is for the greater good, and then implement that mission in my work, working collaboratively in service to others.”

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