Simone Aldredge Senior (‘20) says Black History Month has always been meaningful to her family. “I have parents that made Black history very important in our home and because of their influence, it’s important to me,” she says. Being raised in a home filled with artwork and sculpture depicting African culture helped Senior feel connected to her heritage. “Our family took ancestry DNA tests to find out where in Africa our ancestors are from, and I traveled to Ghana with my mom to learn more about them.” Senior feels “a duty and a passion” to learn even more about Black history and hopes to pass what she learns along to her future children.
Senior attended the University of Chicago for her undergraduate degree and decided to take the LSAT in preparation for law school. “I had never heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” she says. “I was watching YouTube videos one day and came across a family that belonged to the Church.” Her interest was sparked, and Senior requested more information. “Missionaries came to my home and taught me. I was baptized and became a member of the Church in 2014.” After graduating from college, Simone served a mission for the Church and while serving had a very strong impression that she should apply to BYU Law. She put together her application, applied, and was accepted.
Living in Utah and attending a religious university was a new experience for Senior. “I was the only Black American student in my class,” she says. “I wanted to know what was being done by the Law School to increase diversity, so I inquired with the admissions office. I asked what they were doing and how I could help. I was impressed with the efforts they were making.” At BYU Law, Senior served as president of the Black Law Student Association. “In the two classes after mine, there was an increase in diversity. I was excited to see that,” she adds. “I recently heard a quote stating that only 2% of all attorneys are female and Black American, which makes me one of the 2%,” she says. “Black history is just as important to me now, especially because I’m often in roles where I’m one of the few Black Americans.”
When applying to firms, Senior made it clear that diversity was important to her. “Metz Lewis, and especially the firm’s founding member, is very committed to diversity. Our firm is active in the diversity efforts in Pittsburgh,” she says. As a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Senior is learning more about the diverse atmosphere in Pittsburgh’s law community. “It is such an inclusive place. I have had only positive experiences,” she says. Working for the firm’s corporate transactions and securities group, Senior assists primarily with private company mergers and acquisitions. “Everyday at work I use something that relates directly to what I learned in one of my classes. I really like that I can apply what I learned at BYU Law in my job.”