Markeisha J. Miner, J.D.


    Markeisha J. Miner, J.D.

    Dean of Students

    Cornell Law School

    Ithaca, NY

    Age: 38



    Markeisha Miner, J.D., learned early that education would be the key to her success. During a family reunion, Miner’s grandfather took all of his grandchildren to see the one-room schoolhouse where he was educated and the fields where he and his mother worked as sharecroppers. Years later, Miner would become the first of 30 grandchildren to graduate from college. “My grandfather wanted us to know and not forget our history,” Miner recalls. “And he also wanted us to know that he had worked so hard so that we could have much greater opportunities.” 


    Miner considered obtaining a Ph.D. in African-American studies, but an internship with a local prosecutor’s office in Detroit changed her course. Before accepting the position of dean of students at Cornell Law School in 2015, she was the assistant dean for Career Services and Outreach at University of Detroit Mercy Law School. Her legal experience includes an associate position with Dickinson Wright PLLC, where she drafted the diversity mission statement; and clerkship with the Hon. Anna Diggs Taylor, the first African-American woman on the bench in the entire 6th Circuit.  


    Community service is important to Miner. She was a youth director at her home church; monitored polls on Election Day; and was a trustee for the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation. Since moving to New York last summer, she has joined the Board of Advisers for the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers.


    Miner earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and her Juris Doctor from University of Michigan Law School. Notably, she completed an externship in South Africa, where she worked with Beatrice Thembekile Ngcobo, the deputy chair for Community on Gender Equality, in Durban. “Her efforts showed me that it is not enough to protest, but that we must also work to educate others about and protect the rights we have won,” Miner says.