When Dakar Diourbel took the LSAT on Southwestern's campus,
he walked around the Bullocks Wilshire building and saw an old photo of the law
school's first graduating class from 1914. "I remember walking through the
building and looking in the display case and there was a black man in the
group. I was very impressed because that picture was taken long before the
civil rights movement." Then he saw a picture of the late Los Angeles Mayor (and Southwestern alumnus)
Tom Bradley. "I had moved to L.A.
and I thought Southwestern was the best option for me, so I decided to go
Born and raised in and around the suburbs of Chicago, Diourbel earned two bachelors degrees from Illinois State University: one in Occupational Health and Safety and the other in Anthropology. Although he spent part of his sophomore year of undergrad living in Southern California and taking class at Los Angeles City College, he returned to Illinois to finish his degrees and work in Occupational Compliance.
The youngest of eight siblings, he moved to Los Angeles because several of his brothers and sisters already resided here and he wanted to live in a better climate. Diourbel spent his first year in Southern California working for Eastman Chemical. He started law school thinking he would go into environmental law, representing plaintiffs against chemical companies. But as he has continued to study and network with local attorneys, his interest has shifted to criminal defense and personal injury.
Diourbel has enjoyed his experience at Southwestern, working in the fitness center since his first year, in what he calls "one of the most coveted jobs on campus because you can get a lot of studying done down here." He also enjoys talking to the students who come to the gym. "I've wound up mentoring first-year students, giving them advice."
When he is not studying, Diourbel enjoys spending time with his family, working out (he prefers weights), riding motorcycles and reading anthropology books. Though he is almost finished with school, he has a big decision to make: the location of his next step. "I'm making my decision about where I'm going to take the bar: it will either be California, Arizona, Georgia or somewhere in the South."