Justin Selep, ’19, First Recipient of Downey Scholarship

Justin Selep is the first recipient of the Downey Hockey ScholarshipJustin Selep, ’19, a 1L student and current player on the MSU hockey team, is the first recipient of the Dawana and Daniel M. Downey Hockey Scholarship. He is the first Spartan hockey player to be enrolled in the MSU College of Law while a member of the team. The Honorable Dan Downey, ’76, and his wife Dawana made a $200,000 gift to the College of Law to endow a scholarship especially for law students who played college hockey at MSU. “I had a great education at DCL,” says Downey, who says playing hockey is great preparation for trial law, and he established the scholarship to give other MSU hockey players the opportunity to attend law school.

Downey notes in his time playing hockey at MSU that hockey was one of the few sports where fighting was allowed. “But when the fight is over, it’s over. You’re brothers in arms off the ice. Trial law is much the same. You can try your case and compete in the courtroom, and then leave the fight behind and go have a drink with the opposing attorney.”

Selep plans to become a litigator and is applying to MSU Law’s Fieger Trial Practice Institute. He believes the pressures an athlete faces are the same as a lawyer arguing a case. “People are watching you, and you have to perform at that moment,” he says. “For me to be my best, I need to be in that high-pressure situation…being able to perform in the courtroom, defending someone or representing someone is something that would be a lot like playing hockey.” Image: MSU Athletic Communications