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Tracey McCants Lewis

Tracey McCants LewisMcCants Lewis
Assistant Clinical Professor, 2016 TEDxPittsburgh Speaker

Tracey McCants Lewis, assistant clinical professor and pro bono program coordinator at Duquesne University School of Law, has been selected as one of 12 speakers for TEDxPittsburgh 2016, a unique and prestigious forum for showcasing ideas, individuals and innovations that are redefining Pittsburgh. The theme of this year's event is "Activate: Ideas in Motion," and her presentation will focus on activating forgiveness. McCants Lewis teaches in the Civil Rights Clinic and Unemployment Compensation Clinic and focuses her scholarship on critical race theory, feminist legal theory, and the application of legal storytelling in clinical legal education.

Professor McCants Lewis guides her leadership on the basis of the Duquesne Law School motto, Salus Populi Suprema Lex, "The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law." "The leadership opportunities I have are not about me - but about serving those who depend upon me for services. I want to encourage those I am working with to develop and take on other leadership opportunities. The welfare of my students is paramount in my clinical teaching. I'm hoping to mentor and develop the next generation of ethical and competent lawyers who will also serve the people."

A member of the Pennsylvania State Bar, McCants Lewis formerly practiced law as an associate with K&L Gates LLP and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Max Baer of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. McCants Lewis earned her B.A. degree from Gannon University in political science and her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law, where she served on the Duquesne Law Review board and was the recipient of the National Association of Women Lawyers - Outstanding Woman Law Graduate of 2000. She was appointed to the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board in 2013, after having served as the chair of the Allegheny County, Courts Administration Vision Team Committee in 2012. McCants Lewis was named recipient of the 2012 NAACP Pittsburgh - Homer S. Brown Award for Legal Service and the 2012 Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh - Decade of Dedication Award. In 2015, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh named her as a Racial Justice Award honoree and the Women's Law Association (WLA) honored McCants Lewis as its Woman of the Year.

Her time at Duquesne was marked by a particularly challenging, yet nurturing atmosphere.  "I was always encouraged through a supportive environment by faculty and staff to pursue leadership positions with a variety of student organizations," says McCants Lewis. "This was exceptionally special as I was a married evening student with an infant son."  Her son is now a freshman at Duquesne. "This training ground fostered the leadership skills I now possess and continue to develop as I serve our students at Duquesne, the legal clients of the Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education, the Greater Pittsburgh community and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

McCants Lewis cites discipline as the most important skill acquired during law school. "I had to learn how to balance family, school, work and leadership responsibilities. Maintaining balance is a required skill for a legal clinical professor who is a professor in the traditional sense, yet is also responsible for the ethical and competent representation of clients who are receiving legal services from law students."

Watch a video in which Professor Lewis' explains her work regarding the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law and her theories on legal storytelling.