chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Desmond Meade

Associate in Science Degree, Paralegal Studies, 2008

Miami Dade College, Miami, FL
Desmond Meade

Desmond Meade

Desmond Meade knew that graduating from Miami Dade College’s ABA-Approved Paralegal Studies program would help him to one day become a success. Well, he became one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2019. 

Desmond was homeless when he first enrolled in MDC’s Law Center in 2006. In the years prior to that, he had been addicted to drugs and alcohol, and he was a convicted felon who had been sentenced to prison. 

Desmond has said that being a Paralegal Studies student at Miami Dade College helped him to turn his life around. He knew that he wanted to use his education to help others, and he understood that the more he knew about the law, the more effective he would be as an advocate for others. 

Desmond earned his A.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies from MDC in 2008. He also earned his bachelor’s degree from MDC, and later graduated from Florida International University College of Law.

Desmond is currently the President and Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. In 2018, he led the single largest expansion of voting rights in the United States in half a century when as a result of his work Florida voters passed Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Returning Citizens (formerly incarcerated). 

Desmond Meade began his study of the law in Miami Dade College’s ABA-Approved Paralegal Studies program. He would go on to change the law in the State of Florida, and in doing so he would change the lives of so many Returning Citizens. He continues to lead efforts to empower and civically re-engage local communities, and to reshape local, state, and national criminal justice policies. 

-Submitted by Ellis Keeter, Program Director, Paralegal Studies Program, Miami Dade College