Helping hand: Law student collects bottled water for Flint

Robert St. Cin

Robert St. Cin

WMU-Cooley Law student Robert St. Cin rounded up several classmates and faculty to help Flint in its health emergency caused by high lead content in the water.

“I love Flint – I’ve lived in many different places but Flint is my home and that’s why I wanted to help,” St. Cin explains. “The best way I could think to help was by reaching out to the Cooley community and, as expected, that community came through in a big way. We were able to collect around 175 bottles of water in just a few weeks, which went to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. The Food Bank does great work across numerous Michigan counties but the bulk of its efforts go toward Genesee County.

“What made the water drive so great in my mind was that it took place in the midst of Cooley’s Thanksgiving Food Drive. The fact that each of these events was so successful, even with a fairly small student population, is an incredible testament to the generosity of the Cooley community.

“It may seem cliché but the people really are the highlight of Cooley, especially at the Auburn Hills campus,” says St. Cin, a second year law student at Cooley. “Whether students, staff, or faculty, our campus is filled with genuinely good people from a variety of backgrounds and with a sincere desire to help one another.”

A graduate of Flushing High School in Flushing, northwest of Flint, St. Cin attended Anderson University in Indiana before earning his undergrad degree from the University of Michigan-Flint where he attained Dean’s List distinction. He served as secretary of the U-M-Flint Entrepreneur’s Society that has worked closely with Habitat for Humanity in Flint in developing an award-winning work/live initiative.

“The program allows for individuals to own a building, which houses both their home and business,” St. Cin explains.

St. Cin, who started his legal studies at WMU-Cooley in May 2014, was motivated by the fact that neither of his parents graduated from high school.

“I saw the struggle that can come with limited schooling – I think it’s fair to say that’s really pushed me,” he says. “I’ve always enjoyed negotiation and working towards the most amicable compromise in a given situation, so law school really seems like a natural fit.”

A member of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, St. Cin is working part time at Chowning, Edgar, & Wagner in Grand Blanc near Flint.

“I’ve aided in legal research, participated in trial preparation, and typed countless legal documents,” he says. “Though some of my responsibilities aren’t glamorous, the experience of working first-hand with knowledgeable, dedicated attorneys has been invaluable.”

As for future career goals, St. Cin has a wide range of interests.

“I could easily see myself happy and fulfilled following any number of paths,” he says. “That said, serving as a judge or magistrate certainly makes the short list.”

St. Cin’s time in leadership with Cooley’s Sports & Entertainment Law Society has been a bit different than that of the U-M Flint Entrepreneur’s Society.

“Because sports and entertainment are fields built around networking, that’s been the emphasis,” he explains.

Earlier this year, the society hosted Flint native Patrick McInnis, CEO of Fathead, a Detroit-based company that specializes in life-size vinyl wall graphics, who discussed the importance of networking.

“The event was a tremendous success and really set a high bar for the organization going forward,” St. Cin says.

As president of the Sports & Entertainment Law Society, St. Cin jokes that he has an obligation to love sports and music.

“I was never the greatest athlete, nor musician, but I know an unhealthy amount of trivia relating to both,” he says. “The same can be said for movies and TV. I know more useless facts about music of the mid ’90s than anyone should know.”

St. Cin and his wife recently bought their first home in Grand Blanc.

“I married my best friend,” he says. “She supports me and pushes me to be better than I expected I could. I recently made Dean’s List for the first time at Cooley and there’s no way that would’ve happened without her.”

While he has given back to the community in many ways, including volunteering with Easter Seals, a major highlight for St. Cin was as a Special Olympics coach while attending school in Indiana. He worked with Mitch, a small, middle-aged man with Down syndrome. The two were walking around the outdoor track when it began to rain.

“I wasn’t wearing a coat and Mitch saw me begin to shiver,” he says. “Without warning, he wraps me in a hug and says, ‘Are you warm yet?’ It was such a small gesture but a great reminder of the reward that comes from helping others.”

Sheila Pursglove story is reprinted with permission from the Legal News

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