In October, Kamesha Laurry joined the Reporters Committee as the Borealis Racial Equity in Journalism Fund Legal Fellow.
During her legal fellowship, created with the help of a grant awarded by Borealis Philanthropy, Kamesha will help identify, support and address the legal needs of journalists of color, newsrooms led by people of color and reporters covering issues that impact communities of color across the country.
“Journalists of color are not immune from racial inequities in America,” Kamesha said. “I’m happy to be a part of a team where we’re dedicated to combating the social injustices that we can, one step at a time.”
Kamesha said she knew from an early age that she wanted to become a lawyer. She remembers watching “The Cosby Show” when she was 10 years old and telling her mother that she wanted to be like Phylicia Rashad’s character, Clair Huxtable, a lawyer.
Kamesha studied pre-law, with a concentration in political science, while attending Oakwood University in Alabama. After graduating in 2016, Kamesha attended law school at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where she was vice president of communications and outreach for Northwestern’s Black Law Students Association and the Diversity Coalition. She was also a member of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law and the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy.
As a student attorney, Kamesha worked at the Wrongful Convictions of Youth Clinic and the Civil Rights Litigation Clinic as part of a legal team that represented clients wrongfully convicted as juveniles and other victims of the systemic challenges of the American criminal justice system.
She also had the opportunity to work on one of the cases documented by the Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.”
Kamesha is most proud of her work to help exonerate a client who spent 57 years in prison.
“That was a powerful day for me, especially being a [law] student,” Kamesha said. “I loved making a change in someone’s life for the better.”
Kamesha Laurry is not admitted to practice law.
The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.