Darren Stakey: A Sense of Purpose
Meet Touro Law alumnus Darren Stakey, Class of 2015 salutatorian
Born and raised on his family’s farm, Long Island native Darren Stakey (Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ‘15) first explored several other industries before settling on law. After graduating from college, he became involved in private aviation, interacting with dozens of celebrities and upper-crust officials as he handled their flights into JFK Airport. At the same time, he pursued music—singing at Carnegie Hall at age seventeen and recording his first album by 2007. As both his aviation and music careers were winding down, Darren, unsure of where he was headed, decided to apply to law school.
Taking a leap of faith, Darren studied for, and passed, the LSAT. He applied to many law schools, but chose Touro Law Center (TLC) for the “feeling of home” it possessed.
“It’s been the career of Benjamin Button,” he says, laughing. “I’ve been very lucky.”
As soon as he enrolled in Touro’s Law Center, Darren became active in volunteer work, rushing to join Touro’s efforts in Hurricane Sandy relief. “I was inspired to join the civic mindedness that Touro Law is all about,” he says. “I realized how important it is to take up the mantle for those who are underserved – both in my local community and nationwide. There’s an access to justice crisis in America. For me, going to law school was a way for me to fix that crisis.”
Before even being admitted as a lawyer, Darren fulfilled over 700 hours of pro-bono work for TLC programs like the Billy Joel and the Law Symposium and the HEART hotline. The summer after he graduated, he raised $10,000 for Autism Speaks by performing a four-day song and piano marathon—which broke two Guinness World Records.
While Darren was initially considering entertainment law, the alumnus shifted focus after graduation—where he presented the class address as salutatorian. Now dreaming of becoming a judge or politician, he recently accepted a clerkship position at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
“You can't leave Touro without having that feeling instilled in you to help the public. It’s just so much a part of the culture.”