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Alumna named one of the Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40

June 14, 2010
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Syeta Glanton

Syeta Glanton, LW'05, has been named one of the Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the National Bar Association (NBA) and IMPACT, a nonprofit organization founded by a group of young professionals of color in 2006.

The 40 attorneys were selected for the honor based on their achievement, innovation, vision, leadership and involvement in the legal community. "The NBA is extremely proud of each of the 40 Lawyers Under 40 awardees," said NBA President Mavis Thompson. "They are excellent representatives of the next generation of African American attorneys."

Glanton, 30, is the criminal justice, human and civil rights policy adviser in the office of Gov. Chet Culver and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge. She also serves as the office's liaison to the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Lottery.

"My job can be very stressful, especially when the legislature is in session," Glanton said. "However, I enjoy having input in criminal justice/human rights laws that affect the African American community and all Iowans."

Glanton will be recognized along with the other honorees on Aug. 8 at the 85th annual NBA Convention in New Orleans.

"I am very excited about receiving the award," said Glanton, who noted that the National Bar Association was formed in Iowa in 1925 and its archives are housed in the Drake Law Library.

"IMPACT is an organization of African American lawyers that I met while representing Drake Law School as the Midwest regional director on the National Board for the National Black Law Students Association," Glanton added. "It is very rewarding to receive an award from such a prestigious association as the NBA and from my peers through IMPACT."

The NBA is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominately African American attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.

A native of Franklin, N.J., Glanton received her bachelor's degree in political science from Spelman College. At Drake Law School, she served as chapter president and Midwest regional director for the BLSA Law Student Association. She also participated in judicial and prosecutorial internships as well as the criminal law program at the Drake Legal Clinic.

"My internships helped me develop organizational, advocacy and leadership skills in order to have a successful career in state government," Glanton said.

Drake faculty members also have played a key role in Glanton's success. "There were so many professors that influenced me while at Drake," she said.

"However, my favorite professor was Teri McMurtry-Chubb, because of her ability to connect with me and provide sound professional and personal advice. We have a special bond, since we both attended Spelman College for our undergraduate degrees.

"My other favorite professor," she added, "is former Dean David Walker. Although he didn’t teach many classes, he served as an excellent mentor to me throughout law school by identifying classes that I needed to take to help ensure success once I graduated."