Tayo Belle ’10

“If we as lawyers don’t try to understand discrimination and step up to end it, then who’s going to do it?”

Tayo Belle ’10

“My ultimate goal is to expand our understanding of the equal protection clause.” Raised in a family of activists, Tayo Belle always planned to focus her life’s work on ending discrimination. And just as she drew inspiration from strong family role models, at Northeastern she found lifelong mentors and classmates who share her ideals.

In her co-ops, Tayo focused on a variety of areas of racial justice, from equal opportunity for minority business owners to employment and education equality to voting rights. Her experiences laid the foundation for her work at the School Justice Project in Washington, DC, where she helps deliver legal services and advocacy to older students with special education needs who are involved in DC’s justice systems.


Dennis Sweet & Associates, Jackson, Mississippi

Tayo worked alongside professional lawyers on civil rights and criminal law cases, including lawsuits related to Hurricane Katrina.

  • Northeastern University Law Journal (senior staff)
  • Student Bar Association (vice chair)
  • Black Law Students Association (secretary)



Civil Rights and Restorative Justice

Serving as Professor Margaret Burnham’s research assistant for nearly three years, Tayo helped reopen a 1960s murder case and bring justice to families that was long overdue. She is a current member of the clinic’s advisory board.


US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago

Under the supervision of the Honorable Anne Williams, Tayo drafted memoranda and orders and assessed the merits of petitions for rehearings and successive appeals.

Legal Skills in Social Context

Lawyering Fellow

As a lawyering fellow for the first-year LSSC program, Tayo helped guide a student “law office” in its work on behalf of the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.

  • Racism in American Law
  • Education Law
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Appellate Advocacy

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, New York

Tayo’s responsibilities included conducting a 50-state summary of voting laws and constitutional provisions.


Poverty Law and Practice

A key part of her legal training, Tayo learned how to relate to clients, gain their trust and help give them a voice.


Outten & Golden, New York

Continuing her fight for racial justice, Tayo researched and wrote memoranda for pending federal litigation against the US Census Bureau related to employee discrimination.

After Graduation

Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellow, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, San Francisco


Senior Staff Attorney, Social Justice Project, Washington, DC


A skilled lawyer with a passion for social justice.