Interviewer: What does the FAMU brand mean to you?
Professor Grant: I come from a family with a long tradition of attending HBCUs and I think HBCUs are of critical importance to the African-American community and social mobility. For me, FAMU and its brand means a lot. We produce the largest number of African-American bachelor’s degree graduates. We have a critically important mission in the state of Florida, and nationally, we produce African-American attorneys at a higher rate than most other schools. That legacy and brand are critically important to me.
Interviewer: How does FAMU Law impact the city of Orlando currently and how do you see this changing?
Professor Grant: I believe in the next five to ten years Orlando is going to be a city on par with Charlotte, Atlanta, and other cities that have experienced phenomenal growth. And, I think FAMU Law is strategically placed for that rapid growth and change in this diverse community. It’s one of the best values in legal education when you look at our low tuition rate. I think that FAMU will become more of a catalyst for community growth as time changes. I also think this law school will serve as an incubator to create new leaders and legal minds who will work hand in hand with the civic and business community to send it in a positive direction.
Interviewer: You’ve served on the faculties at several law schools. What sets FAMU College of Law apart from the others and what was the motivating factor for coming here?
Professor Grant: When this law school was built, I was entering the general job market to become a young professor. I didn’t have any teaching or publication experience at that time. So, initially serving on other faculties allowed me to develop as a professional. But FAMU Law was always on my radar and the end goal was to teach here. I believe what sets this school apart from others is its mission. Increasing the number of African-American attorneys in the profession in Florida and internationally is of great importance to me. Another thing that matters to me is diversity. This law school has one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, and I’m very proud we have that recognition. FAMU Law students have a passion for learning, for changing society, and for figuring out how to grow into the profession. These were all motivating factors for me. I wouldn’t want to be at any other institution other than FAMU Law.
Interviewer: What do you think is your most popular class with the students, and why?
Professor Grant: If you look at my student evaluations, my Will and Estates course is probably my most popular class. It’s a human drama when you are talking about estate planning and death and family situations. As my teaching approach goes, it’s a subject that I am able to give a little bit of humanity to, and I think students appreciate that.
Interviewer: What advice would you give returning, prospective, and new students, in addition to alums?
Professor Grant: I would tell all students to study hard as the three years will go by fast. Take it seriously and don’t take this opportunity for granted. I would also tell alums to remember that law is not always about money. Some people have a misperception that when you become a lawyer you’re going to become fabulously rich. They forget that the law is about human beings. So, I remind them to have compassion for people who are less fortunate or not as privileged as they are. I also tell them to have empathy for their clients, because at the end of the day they will have the ability to impact and change people’s lives in ways they can’t imagine right now.
Interviewer: Tell me one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments.
Professor Grant: I have been teaching law for a little more than fourteen years. In that regard, the opportunity to guide and mentor young minds is the most important professional accomplishment I have ever achieved. Within that context, the crowning moments received were when I received tenure in 2011, when I was on the faculty at Capital Law School, and also being promoted to full professor of Law at FAMU, the beginning of the 2017 school year.
Interviewer: Share with me at least one important contribution FAMU Law is making on the forefront of creating societal change.
Professor Grant: I think our most important contribution to societal change is our students and alumni we produce. They are the ones on the forefront of changing society. They are socially conscious and aware. They are tuned into a variety of issues that are percolating in society. They have a cultural confidence, and they’re the change agents for the future. And that makes me feel good and rest well at night knowing that America’s future will be led by people who will lead it to a better place.
Interviewer: What are your favorite pastimes?
Mr. Grant: One of my true passions is working on my cattle ranch in Alabama, where I raise about fifty head of Black Angus and Charolais cattle. I have been doing that most of my life. I spent time on my grandfather’s farm as a kid and after he passed away my father and his youngest brother got into the cattle business. Carrying on the family legacy humbles me and puts me closer to nature and in a really good state of mind. My other favorite pastimes include wood-working, travelling, meeting people of different cultures, religions, and ethnicities around the world.
Interviewer: Is there anything else you feel that’s pertinent to FAMU Law that you’d like to share?
Mr. Grant: Yes, I know FAMU Law will fulfil a critical role in society. And I’m honored and privileged to have the opportunity to help create that legacy. So, thank you FAMU, for being the institution that you are! I look forward to your continual growth and success.