Dannnye K. Holley, Dean and Professor of Law

Roben West

Kierra Powell

TMSL Graduating Class:   2017 Summa Cum Laude
Home:   Kansas City, Missouri
Undergraduate Institution:  

Prairie View A&M University, 2012

Undergraduate Major:  

Criminal Law, Summa Cum Laude



  1. Judicial Intern for Judge Brian C. Wimes at the United States Court for the Western District of Missouri, Summer 2015 and Summer 2016
  2. Civil Clerk Intern at Daniel, Williams & Associates PLLC
  3. Intern in the Criminal Asset Forfeiture Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas
  4. Contracts Tutor for 1L Contracts, Section 3, Professor Wu

Scholarships, Organizations, and Extracurricular Activities

  • TMSL Journal Editorial Board—Online Circulation Editor
  • First, Second, and Third Year—Top Ten% law student
  • CALI Excellence in the Future Award for highest grade received in Appellate Litigation
  • CALI Excellence in the Future Award for highest grade received in Constitutional Law
  • CALI Excellence in the Future Award for highest grade received in Texas Practice
  • CALI Excellence in the Future Award for highest grade received in Advanced Legal Analysis
  • 2016 Scholarship Recipient of the Houston Association of Women Attorneys
  • Dean’s List 1L, 2L, and 3L Years
  • 2017 Texas Real Estate Agent

Community Involvement

  1. TMSL Law Journal community service events
  2. Wills Clinic with Earl Carl Institute
  3. TMSL Mentorship Program in 2L Year
  4. Individualized Mentorship for 1L and 2L Students in 3L Year

My Story

My story is rather unique and entails some adversities that have taught me the importance of perseverance.  During my senior year of undergraduate school, I gave birth to my daughter, Mari Davis.  Although I was on a full academic scholarship, I withdrew from Prairie View A & M University in order to raise my daughter.  I began working at various call centers earning minimum wage.  After several months passed, I realized that my lifestyle was not how I envisioned my life for my daughter and me.

I returned to college to complete my last semester and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.  I returned to Kansas City and began working as a State of Missouri probation and parole officer.  I managed a caseload of violent offenders, which required me to appear in court for their parole violations.  This experience gave birth to my new goal of pursuing law school.  I had always heard of many criminal defense lawyers who attended TMSL and I wished to follow in their footsteps.  I took the LSAT on two occasions; however, my scores were very low.  I felt defeated and almost gave up my dream of attending law school.  I was encouraged by an alum of TMSL to apply for admission to TMSL.

After receiving news of my acceptance, I relocated my three-year-old daughter and myself to Houston from Kansas City.  I was fearful of law school, fearful that I would not be able to understand the topics due to my low LSAT scores, and unsure how I would be a mother to my daughter.  During my time in law school, I have taken pride in giving TMSL my best effort in every class and absorbing as much as possible from the skilled professors at the law school.  My efforts proved fruitful as I am now nearing the end of my final semester and graduating summa cum laude, mom and daughter intact, despite my adversities.

After serving my two summer externships for Judge Brian Wimes, I was offered, and accepted, a position as a civil clerk for United States District Judge Wimes in Kansas City, Missouri, effective upon my graduation from TMSL.  At the end of my clerkship, I plan to join a firm that practices transactional and real estate/property law.


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