“The University of Windsor is made up of professors, coaches, and deans who are all part of who I am today,” says Justice Lloyd Dean BComm ’87.
Though Dean’s family has a history in litigation – his grandfather and great grandfather are considered among the first black lawyers in all of Canada to have been called to the Ontario bar, and the latter was even appointed as King’s Council – he didn’t plan a future in law. In fact, part of the reason Dean entered the Faculty of Law after earning his business degree was so that he could continue his varsity football career. But after earning his LLB in 1990, Windsor and Toronto firms began to pursue him, and the family legal genes won the case against his athletic ambitions.
After some time with the Harvey Strosberg firm, Dean completed a degree in education from UWindsor, and taught for six years, and put law on the backburner. Eventually however, he was drawn back to law full time. “I didn’t pursue success,” he says, but not only did he succeed, he moved behind the judge’s bench in 2005. Two years later, in 2008, he became the Local Administrative Judge of Windsor. In this role, Justice Dean is in charge of scheduling the courts and which judge will be presiding in any given court. He also serves as the lead person representing the judiciary at any meetings or committee sittings with the different stakeholders within the judicial system, such as the Ministry of Attorney General, Windsor and County Police Forces, Probation, the Windsor Jail, etc.
Despite his busy schedule, Dean supervises two students during their clerkship, which Dean says allows him to slip back into the teaching role he relished. The influential role of a teacher is not lost on him:
“Strength of character and strong morals were what my parents emphasized growing up and what laid the foundation,” he says, “but teachers and coaches build the house. I love sharing my story and providing students with what they may not get at home. I had tremendous mentors at the University of Windsor. In hindsight, it was the perfect place for me.”