Hometown: New Orleans, LA
- Baylor University, 2015 | Psychology, B.S.
Job: Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Program: Full-Time Day
Making a Lasting Impact
I was the Founder and President of the First Generation Law Owls organization. I also was the Criminal Justice Co-Chair for the National Lawyers’ Guild. To me, the best part about law school organizations is the sense of community. As the Criminal Justice Chair, I had many edifying, creative conversations with like-minded people. As the First Gen President, I tried to create a welcoming space for first-generation students to learn, bond, and grow. Both positions were extremely rewarding in countless ways.
I spent two semesters in the Federal Re-Entry Clinic. The clinic is prosecutors, defenders, judges, probation officers, and community partners joining together to assist formerly incarcerated citizens in readjusting to life outside of prison. I saw the barriers a criminal conviction carries. I saw hope from people facing huge obstacles and pessimism from people overwhelmed by a seemingly unchangeable system. Overall, I expanded my empathy and developed a more holistic view of the criminal justice system’s present and future.
Life at Temple Law
As a Black, first-generation student who moved halfway across the country, I initially put a lot of weight on my shoulders. I felt I had a lot to prove and that, crucially, I had to do so on my own. The Temple community quickly demonstrated I was not to lift that burden alone. The administrators were fantastic, the professors largely empathetic, and my peers supportive. Temple was far from the cut-throat, cold law school environment you hear of in horror stories.
Law School Lessons
Law school is an amazing opportunity. With a JD, the world truly opens up to you. The things you do to get there – studying, networking, organizations, friendships, office hours, and internships – are all important. They’re also very time and emotionally consuming. Remember that you’ll never learn everything in the legal field, so don’t let the process consume you. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for help–you’d be surprised how many people are willing and wanting to help you.
Be kind to everyone. Do this not because the legal community is much smaller than you think, but also do it because it is the right thing to do.
First Time Philadelphian
Philadelphia is a fascinating city that never ceases to amaze. Go outside as often as possible. Every time I go outside, I come home with a dozen stories. Ride a bike, go for a walk, take a drive–just find a way to explore the city. There’s always something waiting for you out there.
I’m from New Orleans and had only seen one inch of snow once before. When it snowed mid-November of my 1L year, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I had my friend take a whole photoshoot of me just posing with it like some weather tourist.
Balancing Life and Law School
Basketball and weightlifting kept me sane over the last three years. Once COVID hit, I got into biking and now I strongly recommend going through Philadelphia on a bike. The thing about keeping a hobby during law school is that it isn’t recommended – it’s necessary. An enjoyable hobby not only keeps the stress away, it’s a constant that reminds you of who you are as you navigate the chaos of law school’s ups and downs.