Civil rights

How a Tar Heel Combines Her Passions for Civil Rights and Sports at Miami Law

Kennedy Byrd was able to combine her love of sport and social justice and create a path that allowed for both. The University of Miami Law School gave her a place to not only follow her dreams, but also be in an environment she loves. If you want to learn more about Miami Law and all they have to offer, check out their site here.

Whether cheering on the Tar Heels from the sidelines or cheering on them as alumni while working to become a lawyer, Kennedy Byrd is proud to be a Tar Heel. Now, she is also proud to be a student at the University of Miami School of Law.

While at Chapel Hill, Byrd earned a BA in journalism, with minors in entrepreneurship and social and economic justice. Apart from being a cheerleader, she has also had the opportunity to work with the ACC Network, Sports Xtra and UNCUT. With such a diverse background, it begs the question of what would entice Byrd to pursue law school after UNC.

Interest in the law aroused at UNC

“I knew for sure that I wanted to be a lawyer at the start of COVID and was exploring different ways to intersect my passions for sports and civil rights,” Byrd said.

Her interest in pursuing a law degree was sparked by some of the courses she took as part of her minor in social and economic justice. To further solidify the decision, she worked as an ESPN Next intern in 2021 and had the opportunity to see how the law worked in the sports world.

“I enjoyed working with the legal department and exploring how I could integrate sports and the law,” Byrd said.

While there are many different paths to becoming a lawyer, Byrd decided to pursue her education immediately after graduating from UNC last spring. His next big question became – where to go now?

Choosing Miami Law for Legal Studies

A few months later and a law school application later, Byrd studied at the University of Miami Law School that fall and fully embraced everything Miami has to offer. Not only does the program offer an incredible range of courses in civil rights, social justice, and sports and entertainment law, but the city itself has an unparalleled culture.

“I think there are always opportunities to network and learn more,” Byrd remarked.

Although she has only been at Miami Law for a short time, Kennedy says she has had the opportunity to witness some powerful and eye-opening events. One such event was the Women’s Powerhouse Panel which she was fortunate enough to attend.

“It was an opportunity to learn from women at the top of the music, sports and fashion law industries,” Byrd said.

She is also a member of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society, the Black Law Students Association and the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association.

Advice for other Tar Heels considering the law school path

The path to law school wasn’t easy, but the support of an extensive network of UNC alumni helped Byrd a lot. The former UNC cheerleader also offered advice for those looking to get into law schools like Miami for current undergraduates.

“Set the schedule that works best for them. I came to law school right after graduating, but there are many paths to a law degree,” Byrd said.

Kennedy also pointed out that learning about law schools that match your passions is extremely important in deciding where to spend the next few years of your life.

After four eventful years at Chapel Hill, Kennedy Byrd knew she wanted her new years in law school to be just as meaningful. And, even though she’s only been here a few months, Byrd knows she made the right choice with the University of Miami School of Law.

After graduating from Miami Law, Kennedy hopes to work in sports media and law. (Credit: Kennedy Byrd)

Kennedy Byrd cheering for the Heels alongside fans at Kenan Stadium. (Credit: DTH)