Amber Goodwin will be graduating from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota on June 6, 2021.

She will be 41 years old when she graduates.

But don’t think that this is some standard “non-traditional graduation story.

In fact, there’s nothing “standard” about Amber Goodwin at all.

Twenty years prior to her graduation day, Goodwin graduated from college but didn’t get accepted into any of her chosen law schools. But she didn’t let this rejection get her down.

“My mentality was: I’m going to keep applying places and they have to tell me no,” Amber Goodwin said to Good Morning America (GMA). “I’m not going to call the question on myself. If people tell me no, then that’s on them, and I’ll just keep trying.”

So, she went on to get her master’s degree, then founded the Community Justice Action Fund (CJAF). The CJAF is a not-for-profit organization that also features a gun violence prevention program focused on communities of color.

Then, in her 30’s, she decided to give law school another try. 

“I consider myself brave for going back to law school at 38 and not really going back with a plan of what I would do once I got out of law school,” she said. “A lot of times people, especially women and Black women, are not celebrated while we’re doing things. We’re celebrated maybe when we’ve made it and are winning big cases as an attorney or doing other things like getting married or having kids.”


Amber Goodwin also worked with the Biden-Harris transition team to work with various gun violence groups. And, prior to founding the Community Justice Action Fund, she was the national advocacy director of Gifford’s.

Congratulations, then, are in order for Ms. Goodwin and all she accomplished, now and in the future! We can’t wait to see what she does next.