Teacher, coach, dean, City Council aid, lawyer. D’yal K. McAllister has done them all.

Like Tom Kline, McAllister began her professional career in the classroom. She taught mathematics and geometry to New Orleans high school students as part of Teach for America, the highly competitive program that requires a two-year commitment in an under-resourced urban area.

While at Marion Abramson Senior High School, McAllister also designed an after-school program for students considered “at-risk” by their teachers and helped increase standardized test scores by 40 percent. She also coached a girls track and field team that won both regional and state championships.

McAllister then moved back home to the Detroit area, where for three years she taught literacy and comprehension to fourth grade students before enrolling in the law program at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. McAllister, who earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, won several awards in law school, including the Outstanding Oral Advocate Award and the Barrister’s Award, Trial Advocacy.

While in law school, McAllister held several interesting positions, including serving as the Samuel S. Fels Fund Fellow at the Urban League of Philadelphia, where she planned town hall meetings throughout Philadelphia. She also worked as a legal intern in the office of City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., meeting with constituents and drafting council resolutions, and as a law clerk for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Legal Counsel.

For six years before joining Kline & Specter, McAllister was dean of students of the Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia. There she was responsible for student academic progress, ensuring school safety, developing classroom management resources for teachers and meeting with students, parents and teachers.

McAllister is a co-author of a Journal of Adult Development article titled “Who will volunteer? Religiosity, everyday racism and social participation among African-American men.”